The New Education Philanthropy: Politics, Policy, and Reform

Philanthropic foundations play an increasingly influential role in education research, policy, and practice—yet this sector has been subject to little research-informed analysis. In The New Education Philanthropy, Frederick M. Hess and Jeffrey R. Henig convene a diverse group of scholars and analysts to examine the shifting role of education philanthropy over the last decade, giving particular attention to the large national foundations—Gates, Broad, Walton, and Lumina, among others—that are increasingly aggressive and strategic in their use of funds. Drawing on original research, they investigate and assess the impact of new patterns in foundation giving for advocacy and research; the divergence in funding strategies between old and new foundations; the extension of “venture philanthropy” to higher education; and the backlash against “reform” philanthropy as well as the unlikely partnerships it forges. The New Education Philanthropy offers an unprecedented look behind the scenes at major foundations, exploring the goals, values, and strategies that drive the new grantmakers’ work and outlining the lessons they have learned over the past decade. This empirical inquiry into the ideas and activities of this secretive sector promises to provide a valuable resource for researchers and reformers alike.

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