Philanthropy, Education Reform, and the Politics of Influence
Megan E. Tompkins-Stange, Foreword by Robert B. Schwartz
paper, 216 Pages
Pub. Date: June 2016
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cloth, 216 Pages
Pub. Date: June 2016
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Policy Patrons offers a rare behind-the-scenes view of decision making inside four influential education philanthropies: the Ford Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. The outcome is an intriguing, thought-provoking look at the impact of current philanthropic efforts on education.
Over a period of several years, Megan E. Tompkins-Stange gained the trust of key players and outside observers of these four organizations. Through a series of confidential interviews, she began to explore the values, ideas, and beliefs that inform these foundations’ strategies and practices. The picture that emerges reveals important differences in the strategies and values of the more established foundations vis-à-vis the newer, more activist foundations—differences that have a significant impact on education policy and practice, and have important implications for democratic decision making.
In recent years, the philanthropic sector has played an increasing role in championing and financing education reform. Policy Patrons makes an original and invaluable contribution to contemporary discussions about the appropriate role of foundations in public policy and the future direction of education reform.
Policy Patrons takes us deep inside traditional and venture philanthropies to learn, in the unfiltered words of decision makers, about profound shifts affecting public education and the practice of democracy. Tompkins-Stange has delivered an eye-opening portrait of this fast-changing field.
— Dale Russakoff, author of The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools?
Through extensive and candid interviews with grant makers, Tompkins-Stange examines how several large foundations try to change education policy in the United States. Philanthropists rightly earn our admiration, yet they also deserve our critical attention. Policy Patrons delivers on both counts.
— Rob Reich, professor, political science, and codirector, Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, Stanford University
Policy Patrons is excellent reading for philanthropic leaders and concerned citizens alike. Critical and richly informed, this book will help readers make up their own minds about the balance of danger and opportunity posed when multibillionaires devote themselves to education reform.
— Michael McPherson, president, Spencer Foundation
Megan Tompkins-Stange provides a brilliant and insightful account of philanthropic influence in education policy. Policy Patrons is an invaluable contribution to ongoing debates about the role of philanthropy in a democratic society.
— Sarah Reckhow, assistant professor, political science, Michigan State University
Policy Patrons delivers the gospel truth about how foundations differ in goals, partner preferences, and decision styles.
— Joel L. Fleishman, director of the Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University
As inequality of all kinds continues to increase in the U.S. — and around the world — a serious debate about the role of inclusive, democratic processes in philanthropy and the foundation world would seem to be in order. Policy Patrons offers a hopeful glimpse into how such a discussion might begin.
— Kyoko Uchida, Philanthropy News Digest
The book offers a unique contribution to a growing scholarly literature on philanthropy and education aimed not only toward an academics audience but those in the policy sectors as well.
— Kathleen deMarrais & Elizabeth M. Pope, Teachers College Record
Policy Patrons is an important work in this emerging field of study.
— N. Kraus, Choice Connect
About the Author