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Follow the Money: How Foundation Dollars Change Public School Politics - Studies in Postwar American Political Development (Paperback)
  • Follow the Money: How Foundation Dollars Change Public School Politics - Studies in Postwar American Political Development (Paperback)
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Follow the Money: How Foundation Dollars Change Public School Politics - Studies in Postwar American Political Development (Paperback)

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£22.49
Paperback 236 Pages / Published: 22/01/2015
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Some of the nation's wealthiest philanthropic organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and the Broad Foundation, have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in education reform. With vast wealth and a political agenda, these foundations have helped to reshape the reform landscape in urban education. In Follow the Money, Sarah Reckhow shows where and how foundation investment in education is occurring and provides a penetrating analysis of the effects of these investments in the two largest urban districts in the United States: New York City and Los Angeles. In New York City, centralized political control and the use of private resources have enabled rapid implementation of reform proposals. Yet this potent combination of top-down authority and outside funding also poses serious questions about transparency, responsiveness, and democratic accountability in New York. Furthermore, the sustainability of reform policies is closely linked to the political fortunes of the current mayor and his chosen school leader. While the media has highlighted the efforts of forceful reformers and dominating leaders such as Joel Klein in New York City and Michelle Rhee in Washington, D.C., a slower, but possibly more transformative, set of reforms have been taking place in Los Angeles. These reforms were also funded and shaped by major foundations, but they work from the bottom up, through charter school operators managing networks of schools. This strategy has built grassroots political momentum and demand for reform in Los Angeles that is unmatched in New York City and other districts with mayoral control. Reckhow's study of Los Angeles's education system shows how democratically responsive urban school reform could occur-pairing foundation investment with broad grassroots involvement. Bringing a sharp analytical eye and a wealth of evidence to one of the most politicized issues of our day, Follow the Money will reshape our thinking about educational reform in America.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190227340
Number of pages: 236
Weight: 348 g
Dimensions: 234 x 157 x 14 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Sarah Reckhow has written a timely and fascinating book that brings overdue attention to the impact of philanthropy on education policy. In this extraordinarily thoughtful account, she explains how major donors are influencing school reform. In a field alternately dominated by fawning accounts and ad hominem attacks, Reckhow has provided a signal service. This is a book I heartily recommend to scholars, educators, policymakers, and would-be reformers. * Frederick Hess, author of The Same Thing Over and Over: How School Reformers Get Stuck in Yesterday's Ideas *
Cheerleaders celebrate the role of foundations in driving contemporary school reform, while critics charge they exert influence without proportionate accountability and undermine local democracy. What distinguishes Follow the Money is that it is grounded in important theories within political science, empirically based, employs novel methodologies, and offers reasonable and modulated conclusions that, while generally aligning with critics, are neither shrill nor calcified. Any one of these would represent a contribution within the education policy field, and taken together they add up to quite a wallop. * Jeffrey R. Henig, Department of Education Policy & Social Analysis, Teachers College, Columbia University *
This fascinating, exhaustively researched, and important book traces the growing scope and impact of philanthropic money in education politics and policymaking, a topic that has been the subject of much speculation but little systematic research to date... Unlike many education scholars, she employs a multi-method research design that incorporates large-scale data analysis, detailed case studies, surveys, interviews, and social network analysis. This approach has enabled her to craft a nuanced and multi-faceted analysis of foundation influence and impact and created a rich new trove of data that will be invaluable to other scholars. * Perspectives on Politics *

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