Philanthropy’s quest to improve K-12 education feels stuck in a rut. Some of the biggest funders on the scene remain devoted to a reform strategy that so far has failed to yield transformative change, while a range of other funder-backed efforts aren’t yet operating at a scale likely to produce major breakthroughs.“There’s no dramatic change,” Bill Gates told New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof last year, summing up the results of his own foundation’s efforts, which have entailed spending billions of dollars over 15 years.
There are many fine journalists at Education Week. I count on EdWeek to be the K-12 paper of record.
That is why it is distressing to learn that the Gates Foundation gave Edweek nearly $2 million to cover technology.
“Date: October 2015
Purpose: to broaden education digital media capacity in the U.S. to share analysis, best practice, and current innovation in public education
Topic: College-Ready, Strategic Partnerships
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Bethesda, Maryland
Grantee Website: http://www.edweek.org”
I wish the billionaires would keep hands off the independent media. Can EdWeek be independent of the man and the industry that underwrites their coverage?
Some big trends are happening in America for women, and these trends will likely be snowballing in the near future. The first trend: the growing financial muscle of women. The second: women’s growing leadership. Add to this mix the upward trajectory of women’s role in philanthropy, and you may have the makings of a paradigm shift.
In conversing with Debra Mesch, director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, and Andrea Pactor, its associate director, I came away with a sense of how forces are aligning, now more than ever, for women to take the lead in philanthropy and beyond, and shape public policy for the common good.
An answer to a question that has occurred to me many times.
In an article in Salon, Gary Sasso asks why the billionaires are so intent on funding privately-managed alternatives to public schools. Sasso is the Dean of the College of Education at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. After all, if they want to improve education, the vast majority of students in this nation attend public schools. Why aren’t they helping public schools? The reality is that charter schools drain funding from public schools, and they usually don’t get better results (if one considers only test scores). Many of them have a stern disciplinary regime that may raise test scores but does not improve education or the spirit of learning.
Sasso says that the huge disparities in income today and the erosion of the middle class explain more about educational outcomes than anything that happens in schools. Why are the 1% focused solely on the schools?
Charter schools will never be…
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Awareness has been developing for years about the synergy between women and philanthropy, but there are a lot of unanswered questions in this area—questions that are becoming more important as women wield greater economic power in their own right, but also play an increasingly active role in shaping family philanthropy.
At Inside Philanthropy, we’ve been keenly focused on the role of women in philanthropy since we first started publishing two years ago. One of our first major features looked at the 15 Most Powerful Women in U.S. Philanthropy, many of whom are spouses of business leaders, but we’ve since written about a number of independently wealthy women who have turned to philanthropy in a big way, like Lyda Hill. And we’ve reported on the rising power of women philanthropy networks, such as Women Moving Millions.
As the power of women grows in society, their influence in philanthropy is simultaneously increasing. A recent study from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, “How and Why Women Give 2015,” reveals that, due to significant progress toward social and economic equity with men, “women have never before had so much control over philanthropic resources.” On top of that, the world is going through an awakening about investing in the rights and well-being of women and girls like never before.With all this going on, major developments for women and philanthropy seem to be happening at every turn. Here is a review of some of the significant trends and emerging topics in women and philanthropy from 2015.