The New Education Philanthropy

The New Education Philanthropy Politics, Policy, and Reform

Edited by Frederick M. Hess and Jeffrey R. Henig
cloth, 248 Pages
Pub. Date: December 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-872-6
Price: $66.00

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paper, 248 Pages
Pub. Date: December 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-871-9
Price: $33.00

Add to Cart

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.


This remarkable volume provides penetrating analyses of every corner of the changing education landscape, from a range of philosophical perspectives rarely juxtaposed in today’s polarized discourse. The findings are both encouraging and disturbing. The New Education Philanthropy is essential reading for all parties in the debate over education. — Dale Russakoff, author of The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?

Hess, Henig, and the contributing authors have made a valuable contribution to the dialogue about the appropriate role of wealthy donors in K–12 education. Collectively, The New Education Philanthropy gets it right. A couple of billion dollars invested in reform will never ‘leverage’ overnight transformation but it can have a profound impact worth studying. — Jim Blew, president, StudentsFirst, and former advisor, The Walton Family Foundation

Ten years ago, big foundations confronted the fact that philanthropic dollars were mere buckets into a sea of public spending on education, and many shifted their strategies. This exemplary volume gathers together a diverse group of exceptional authors to explore the recent and more muscular philanthropic approach. — Rob Reich, professor of political science, Stanford University, and faculty codirector, the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society

The New Education Philanthropy provides a broad-based and penetrating look at the role of philanthropy in education reform. — Adam Gamoran, president, William T. Grant Foundation

This collection of work is politically balanced with a distinct effort made at bringing a diverse selection of topics, authors, and divergent ideological perspectives to the surface....[I]t is a sustained, rigorous critique of recent philanthropy while keeping in mind the context of its broader historical trajectory. — Dino Sossi, Teachers College Record

This book provides a much needed analysis of newer foundation giving and its impact on education policy.  — Oscar Jimenez-Castellanos & Bethany Richmond, Teachers College Record

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About the Editors

Frederick M. Hess is a resident scholar and director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

Jeffrey R. Henig is a professor of political science and education at Teachers College at Columbia University, where he also serves as chair of the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis.