All In for Public Education - Profiles of Organizations Who Offer Their Brands of School Reform

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Profiles of Organizations Who Offer Their Brands of School Reform

School Reform Advocates come in all shapes and sizes and offer their own brand of changing how and what we teach in our public schools. We can learn from all of them and it is important to find out more about them before painting them with critical or reputation damaging rhetoric. When it comes to school reform, it seems many are offering their brands that may or may not work for you. NSPRA Consultant Jim Dunn, APR, has compiled this overview along with profiles of some of the more popular organizations dealing with changes in public education.


Navigating the Murky Waters of School Reform

Private groups with little accountability to local education systems are pressing for reforms in public education. These reform-minded individuals, organizations, and private foundations fall into three broad categories. One seeks to promote change by suggesting changes in policy and legislation. A second uses money in the form of venture philanthropy to achieve its education reform goals. The third believes most schools, and especially those in affluent areas, have never been better, but that schools in inner cities and rural areas sometimes underachieve because of poverty, segregation, and inequality.

At the center of the reform movement is this essential question: Are our schools failing?

Those who seek to reform public education by enacting policy or funding venture projects like charter schools and vouchers believe that without question, schools have failed and must be reformed. Those who point to a combination of poverty, segregation and inequality as the underlying causes of poor student performance, believe the current education system works well — but only for those who are living above the poverty level. These advocates eschew fixes that divert public money to the private education sector, and oppose high-stakes testing in favor of multiple assessments to measure accountability and success.

The diverse array of school reformers that believes public education is broken beyond repair have created a shopping list of reforms/solutions that includes the following concepts: charter schools, vouchers, data-based decision making, high-stakes testing, parental choice, merit pay, eliminating tenure, union busting, and Common Core standards.

Unfortunately, poor communications planning and an often heavy-handed approach toward those who express concerns have alienated the people they most want to influence: namely parents, educators and legislators. As a result, the reform conversation sometimes degenerates into an “attack-defend” mode that goes nowhere.

Those parents and educators who oppose the proposed changes to public education claim the reform effort has a hidden agenda to privatize public education. They claim the corporate reformers have manufactured an imaginary education crisis in our country by cherry-picking low-performance facts from poverty-stricken school districts and continually repeat accusations that are simply not true.

Furthermore, reform opponents believe the inappropriate use of high-stakes testing, combined with declining federal support for education, has led to a wide scale vilification of public school teachers in particular and public schools in general. Many local-level educators believe outsiders are unfairly criticizing their schools for social conditions over which they have no control.

Finally, the current reform situation is historically unprecedented. The recent concentration of personal wealth has placed huge amounts of money in the hands of a small number of agenda-driven individuals. These new venture philanthropists, and the foundations they have established, enjoy almost unlimited funding to promote an unregulated free market economy in education. These individuals believe the same business practices that made them successful can transform schools. The more aggressive members of this group use their money not only to promote business interests, but also to promote their own personal solutions to the larger social issues facing our nation, including education.

Education reformers and organizations are plentiful, but often opaque and hard to track. Because they are created to address a specific need or reform, heavily financed private foundations come in and out of existence to support the latest fad reform. Interestingly, very few reformers with money are addressing poverty, segregation and inequality as the main threats to public education.

Those who support America’s current education system are numerous and well-reasoned in their opposition to vouchers, school choice, high-stakes testing and corporate control of schools, but they are not well funded. No phalanx of foundations and/or think tanks champions U.S. public education. Billionaires are not lining up to suggest the nation’s schools can be improved by strengthening the current system, improving funding, or increasing intellectual capital.

A final fact in the enigmatic world of school reform, “testing” creates strange bedfellows. The right opposes testing for several reasons:

  • Digital record-keeping might not be secure
  • Testing causes stress throughout the education community
  • The centralized use of education “standards” compromises local control.

The left thinks standardized test results are often used for the wrong reasons. They prefer multiple assessments to evaluate how well students, teachers and school districts are meeting goals. Consensus on assessment continues to be elusive.

Here then, starting with the major players in each area of reform, are the individuals, institutions and foundations that could influence thinking in your local school district. You can better understand how to respond to them when you understand their missions and funding sources.

The Major “Policy and Legislation” Reformer

  • ALEC
    www.alec.org

    The major political action committee is the American Legislative Executive Council (ALEC). Though it claims to be nonpartisan, the membership of this influential group is made up of mostly right-wing politicians in legislatures all over the country who propose “draft” legislation promoting tax benefits to corporations, banks, and the wealthy. ALEC also seeks to advance the privatization of public institutions such as public education, public transportation, public utilities, state lotteries, and other municipal and state services. In education funding, these legislators directly represent the interests of corporate and banking institutions, introducing legislation promoting the privatization of public schools through charters and vouchers. ALEC has created over 1,000 bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law.

    Funding
    Each corporate member pays an annual fee of between $7,000 and $25,000 a year and if a corporation participates in any of the nine task forces, additional fees apply, from $2,500 to $10,000 each year. ALEC also receives direct grants from corporations, such as $1.4 million from ExxonMobil from 1998-2009. It has also received grants from some of the biggest foundations funded by corporate CEOs in the country, such as: the Koch family Charles G. Koch Foundation, the Koch-managed Claude R. Lambe Foundation, the Scaife family’s Allegheny Foundation, and the Coors family’s Castle Rock Foundation.

    Connections Academy, a large online education corporation and co-chair of the Education Task Force, benefits from ALEC’s measures to privatize public education and promote private online schools.

The Major “Venture Philanthropy” Reformers

The three main “venture philanthropies” are the Bill and Melinda Gates, Eli Broad, and Walton Family Foundations. These three, and an ever-changing array of smaller philanthropists who have made their fortunes doing business in the economy ushered in by Ronald Reagan, form the vanguard of philanthropies who want to utilize corporate thinking and best-business practices as a way to reform public education.

The Bill & Melinda Gates fortune is currently worth $59 billion; the Walton Family Foundation was established by the owners of Wal-Mart (The Walton family is currently worth $16.3 billion); and Eli Broad (Eli Broad Foundation) is currently worth $6.3 billion. All three families/foundations fund a plethora of organizations, all of which endorse, promote or in some way support one or more of the following public school reforms: charter schools, vouchers, data-based decision making, high-stakes testing, parental choice, merit pay, eliminating tenure, union busting, and superintendent training.

Venture philanthropists use their private money to steer public education reform debates and create model programs. To reform schools, they promote business remedies, reforms, and assumptions. Some of their most significant projects involve promoting charter schools to inject market competition and “choice” into the public sector, as well as using cash bonuses (merit pay) for teachers and to “incentivize” students. They promote the use of data to determine if schools are succeeding. High stakes testing models are favored to determine the success of students, their teachers, administrators and schools.

The corporate/political action committees that support corporate education reform are varied and ever changing. Wealthy philanthropists and hedge fund managers often are the financial backers.

Here are just a few the organizations and names you may hear when school reform is debated:

Public Education Reform Critics

In her book, Reign of Error, The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools, Diane Ravitch claims the United States is facing an orchestrated and well-funded effort to destroy its public education system. She documents that, contrary to what the reformers would have people believe, public school test scores and graduation rates are the highest they have ever been. Dropout rates are at their lowest point. Ms. Ravitch argues that government programs, like No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, set unreasonable goals for students, punish schools, and unfairly attacks teachers as failures. She worries that major foundations, individual billionaires, and Wall Street hedge fund managers are pushing the privatization of public education for their own profit or to realize their own personal ideals. Most troubling to Ravitch is that equity fund managers are now eyeing public education as an emerging market for investors. Finally, Ravitch suggests the narrative that our schools have failed and need reform is more harmful to students and the country than any of the reformers’ perceived ills in public education.

A companion book, 50 Myths & Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools: The Real Crisis in Education, by David C. Berliner and Gene V. Glass is an academic cannon aimed directly at the most cherished beliefs of private sector forces and right-wing intellectuals. Using scholarship, reasoning and facts, Berliner and Glass frame compelling, scholarly arguments against vouchers, charter schools, high-stakes testing, and school choice. Their book is very effective in addressing what they believe is the modern myth that our public schools, teachers and students are all failing.

Conclusion

The water is murky in the school reform debate. Passion, money, politics and arrogance have stirred the silt at the bottom of the education pool. Those hoping to understand the issues surrounding school reform will need to understand, and even appreciate, that democracy is a messy business. Meanwhile, 55 million students and their parents, 4 million teachers in 132,000 schools are expecting adults to sort through school reform and move forward. Everyone agrees our schools face major challenges.

The current chaos creates an opportunity for school communicators. Building consensus, finding common ground, turning down the volume, and focusing on what is best for children, their parents, and communities is what we do. NSPRA is striving to be a sensible voice and a national leader in building consensus and moving forward.


REFORM ORGANIZATIONS AND FOUNDATIONS,
THEIR MISSIONS AND FUNDING:

Alliance for School Choice

www.allianceforschoolchoice.org

Areas of interest:

The largest organization in the United States promoting school choice programs is The Alliance for School Choice. Its programs support the creation and expansion of school vouchers, corporate tax vouchers, corporate tax credits, and other school choice programs. The organization is headquartered in Washington, DC, is designated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and receives its funding through private individual and foundation donations.

School Choice advocates believe that children should have the opportunity to go to better schools right away. Access to private schools is made possible via opportunity scholarships (most commonly called school vouchers), special needs scholarship programs, and scholarship tax credit programs. While the Alliance for School Choice focuses on those three reforms in particular, advocates also believe that states should eliminate barriers preventing the growth of high-quality charter schools, virtual schools, online learning options, and home schooling.

Funding:

  • Walton Family Foundation
  • Charles and Ann Johnson Foundation
  • Bill and Susan Oberndorf Foundation
  • Robertson Foundation
  • Kern Family Foundation
  • Bradley Foundation
  • Daniels Fund
  • Simon Foundation
  • Challenge Foundation
  • Hume Foundation
  • Smart Family Foundation
  • Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation
  • Purchase Fund

AEI

www.aei.org
American Enterprise Institute
Conservative Think Tank
Washington, D.C.

Areas of interest:

  • Free Enterprise
  • No Child Left Behind

Funding:

Total budget: $44.4 million. 53 percent is from individuals and 42 percent is from foundations and corporations. Not transparent about funders.

 American Federation for Children

www.federationforchildren.org

Areas of interest:

Conservative 501(c)4) advocacy group that promotes the school privatization agenda via the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other avenues

Funding:

Funding is not transparent on website

Brookings Center for Educational Policy

www.brookings.edu

Areas of interest:

  • School vouchers
  • Distance learning
  • Teacher evaluations
  • Common Core

Funding:

  • John Olin Foundation
  • Kirby Foundation
  • Walton Family Foundation
  • Smith Richardson Foundation
  • Brown Foundation
  • Casey Foundation
  • Ford Foundation
  • Hewlett Foundation
  • Schwartz Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2011)

BAEO

Black Alliance for Educational Options
www.baeo.org

Areas of interest:

  • Increase access to high quality education options for black children
  • Transformational education reform
  • Charter schools
  • Homeschooling
  • Vouchers
  • School choice

Funding:

N/A

CEE-Trust

The Cities for Educational Entrepreneurship Trust (spin-off from Mind Trust, Indianapolis)
www.cee-trust.org

Areas of interest:

 

  • Education entrepreneurship
  • CEE-Trust is a growing national network of 22 city-focused foundations, non-profits, and mayors’ offices that work together to promote education innovation and reform

Funding:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Joyce Foundation
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York

Center for American Progress (CAP)

< p style="padding-left: 30px;">americanprogress.org

 

Areas of interest:

 

  • Producing papers and policy briefs on expanded learning time
  • Differential pay
  • Comparability in Title I funding
  • Common education standards

Funding:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation

Center for Inspired Teaching

www.inspiredteaching.org

Areas of interest:

  • Common Core
  • Teacher training

Funding:

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Center for Teaching Quality, Inc.

www.teachingquality.org

Areas of interest:

  • Teacher recruitment
  • Preparation
  • Induction
  • Professional development
  • Compensation
  • Leadership

Funding:

  • Bush Foundation
  • Council of Chief State School Officers
  • Editorial Projects in Education
  • Education Commission of the States
  • Educational Testing Service
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • MetLife Foundation
  • National Education Association
  • University of Phoenix
  • Rose Community Foundation
  • Stuart Foundation

CER

www.edreform.com
Center for Education Reform
Washington, D.C.

Areas of interest:

  • Lasting, substantive and structural education reform
  • Media
  • Research
  • “Grassroots activism”
  • State report cards
  • Charter schools
  • Merit-based pay
  • Digital learning
  • School vouchers.

Funding:

  • Achelis & Bodman Foundation
  • Anschutz Foundation
  • Apgar Foundation
  • BelleJAR Foundation
  • Blackie Foundation
  • Bonsal Family
  • Bradley Foundation
  • Curry Foundation
  • Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
  • The Daniels Fund
  • Fisher Fund
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Gleason Family Foundation
  • Helzburg Foundation
  • Dodge Jones Foundation
  • Oberndorf Foundation
  • Peabody Foundation
  • Peters Foundation
  • John Templeton Foundation
  • Walton Family Foundation
  • Smart Family Foundation

Charter School Growth Fund (CSGF)

chartergrowthfund.org

Areas of interest:

 

  • Invests in CMOs
  • “Blended learning”
  • Rocketship Education is a portfolio member
  • Acquired DreamBox Learning in 2010
  • Has worked with KIPP, Uncommon Schools, YES Prep Public Schools, and Achievement First and Aspire, among others.

Funding:

Chiefs for Change

chiefsforchange.org
(part of Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education)

Areas of interest:

  • High stakes testing
  • Merit pay for teachers
  • Parent choice

Funding:

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Children’s Scholarship Fund (CSF)

https://scholarshipfund.org/

Areas of interest:

  • Tuition assistance
  • Parental choice — send public school students outside of public school

Funding:

Walton Family Foundation

Consortium for Educational Change

cecillinois.org

Areas of interest:

  • Common Core
  • Principal and teacher evaluation

Funding:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Joyce Foundation

CRPE

www.crpe.org
Center for Reinventing Public Education
University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Areas of interest:

  • Governance
  • Charter schools
  • School choice
  • Financing

Funding:

  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Fund for Educational Excellence
  • The Joyce Foundation
  • Laura and John Arnold Foundation
  • Michael and Susan Dell Foundation
  • National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
  • Nellie Mae Education Foundation
  • US Department of Education
  • Walton Family Foundation
  • Anonymous

Data Quality Campaign (DQC), Inc.

www.dataqualitycampaign.org

Areas of interest:

  • National advocacy group focused on increasing data usage in “teacher effectiveness” and “college and career readiness,” among other things.
  • Has worked with 50CAN, APQC, Bellwether Education Partners, College Board, GreatSchools, KnowledgeWorks, Stand for Children and more.

Funding:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
  • Lumina Foundation for Education
  • AT&T
  • The Birth to Five Policy Alliance
  • The Broad Foundation
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Casey Family Programs

Democrats for Educational Reform

www.dfer.org

Areas of interest:

  • Has branches in 13 states
  • The “Democrats” word has little to do with the “Democratic” political party but it does try to bring change policy in the Democratic Party. Its vision is to make the Democratic Party the champion of high quality public education.
  • Teacher training
  • School choice
  • Standardized tests to measure teacher effectiveness.

Funding:

  • Anchorage Capital Partners
  • Greenlight Capital
  • Pershing Square Capital Management

Education Pioneers

www.educationpioneers.org

Areas of interest:

  • Recruits, trains and places grad students in summer positions in urban school districts
  • Educational nonprofits and charter management organizations across the country

Funding:

  • Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
  • Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Robertson Foundation
  • Walton Family Foundation
  • Credit Suisse
  • Doris & Donald Fisher Fund
  • MetLife Foundation
  • Gale Mondry & Bruce Cohen
  • W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation
  • Salesforce.com Foundation
  • Google

Education Post

http://educationpost.org/

EducationPost is another Broad Foundation spinoff. Peter Cunningham, the former communications guru for U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, leads the organization. According to its website and news reports, EducationPost will focus on three areas: K-12 academic standards, high-quality charter schools, and how best to hold teachers and schools accountable for educating students. Their website claims EducationPost is a non-partisan “communications” organization.

EducationPost also will have a “rapid response” capacity to “knock down false narratives” and will focus on “hot spots” around the country where conflicts with national implications are playing out. For example, EducationPost recently attacked author and reformer Diane Ravitch saying she was “belittling” teachers.

EducationPost has made news recently by releasing a parent opinion survey they say shows considerable concern that today’s schools are not preparing our children to fully compete in the global economy.

Areas of interest:

  • School choice
  • Charter schools
  • Teacher tenure
  • Standards
  • Rapid response communications

Funding:

  • Broad Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • the Walton Family Foundation
  • Anonymous donor

Education Reform Now, Inc.

www.edreformnow.org 

Areas of interest:

  • Charter schools
  • National and state education
  • Advocacy efforts

Funding:

  • Starr Foundation
  • Pershing Square Foundation
  • Robertson Foundation
  • Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
  • Poplar Foundation
  • Larry Robbins Foundation
  • Anthony Davis Foundation
  • Lovett & Ruth Peters Foundation
  • MRM Foundation
  • Curry Foundation
  • Bodman Foundation
  • Daniels Fund
  • Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
  • Robin Hood Foundation
  • Walton Family Foundation

Education Resource Strategies (ERS)

www.erstrategies.org

Areas of interest:

  • Urban schools
  • Time on task
  • Teacher quality
  • Merit-based pay for teachers
  • Student-based budgeting

Funding:

  • Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Carnegie Foundation
  • Hewlett Foundation
  • Lowenstein Foundation
  • Joyce Foundation
  • MacArthur Foundation
  • Stupski Foundation

Education Sector Inc.

www.educationsector.org

Areas of interest:

Think Tank focused on:
  • Charter schools
  • Data driven “improvements”
  • Teacher “quality”
  • Virtual learning
  • Blended learning
  • School choice

Funding:

  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • CityBridge Foundation
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
  • Rodel Foundation of Delaware
  • Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation

(Project-Specific Support):

  • Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • The Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Doris & Donald Fisher Fund
  • William T. Grant Foundation
  • The Joyce Foundation
  • KnowledgeWorks Foundation
  • Lumina Foundation for Education
  • Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
  • The Philanthropy Roundtable
  • Smith Richardson Foundation
  • The Spencer Foundation
  • Stuart Foundation
  • James Irvine Foundation
  • The Wallace Foundation
  • BelleJAR Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Ford Foundation
  • Haas Fund
  • Hewlett Foundation
  • Irving Foundation
  • Kellogg Foundation
  • MetLife Foundation
  • Skillman Foundation
  • StateFarm Foundation
  • Walton Family Foundation

Education Trust, Inc.

www.edtrust.org

Areas of interest:

  • K-12
  • Teacher quality
  • Accuracy
  • Equality
  • Accountability

Funding:

  • BelleJAR Foundation
  • Broad Foundation
  • Carnegie Foundation
  • Casey Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Ford Foundation
  • Haas Fund
  • Hewlett Foundation
  • Irving Foundation
  • Joyce Foundation
  • Kellogg Foundation
  • Lumina Foundation
  • MetLife Foundation
  • Skillman Foundation
  • StateFarm Foundation
  • Wallace Foundation
  • Walton Family Foundation

Educators 4 Excellence

www.educators4excellence.org

Branches in NY and LA:

Areas of Interest

  • All about teachers
  • Tenure transparency
  • Teacher evaluations
  • Teacher preparations
  • Merit-pay
  • No seniority-based layoffs

Funding

  • Education Reform Now
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Robin Hood Foundation

Excellent Education Development

www.exed.net

Areas of interest:

Provides below market-rate loans to charter school operators.

Funding:

  • New Market Tax Credits from CDFI fund of US Treasury
  • Citibank Community Development
  • Wells Fargo
  • Prudential
  • Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation

Excellent Education for Everyone, Inc. (E3)

www.nje3.org

Areas of interest:

  • School choice
  • Improving urban education

Funding:

  • Walton Family Foundation
  • Amway President Richard DeVos
  • Bradley Foundation
  • GEO Foundation

The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

www.edchoice.org/

Areas of interest:

  • Vouchers
  • Privatization of schools
  • "Amplifying the national call for true education reform through school choice"
  • Research and marketing services
  • Policy studies, research briefs, and voter surveys
  • “The ABCs of School Choice,” a summary of each voucher, tax-credit scholarship, education savings account, and individual tax credit/deduction program in operation

Funding:

The Friedman Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization with an annual operating budget of around $4.5 million. According to the organization’s 2012 annual report, 35% of its donations came from special giving, 28% from grants, 20% from personal appeals, 9% from web, events, and publications, 7% from renewal mail and annual gifts, and 1% from direct mail. The Friedman Foundation was not endowed by its founders.

Hispanic CREO

(Council for Reform and Educational Options)
www.hcreo.com

Areas of interest:

  • School choice
  • Options for Hispanic students

Funding:

  • Walton Family Foundation
  • Bradley Foundation
  • Daniels Fund
  • Bill and Susan Oberndorf Foundation
  • Kern Family Foundation
  • Hume Foundation
  • Challenge Foundation
  • Bodman Foundation
  • Houston Community Foundation
  • Simon Foundation
  • Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation

Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF) Public Schools

California-based

www.icefps.org

Areas of interest:

  • Charter schools
  • School report cards

Funding:

$2,000,000+
  • Michael and Susan Dell Foundation
  • NewSchools Venture Fund
  • Walton Family Foundation
  • Weingart Foundation
$1,000,000+
  • Ahmanson Foundation
  • Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
  • Whittier Foundation
$500,000+
  • Joseph Drown Foundation
  • Henry L. Guenther Foundation
  • Stephen C. Smith
  • Stranahan Foundation
$200,000+
  • Dwight Stuart Youth Foundation
  • Kevin O’Brien Foundation
  • K&F Baxter Family Foundation
  • Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
  • Jim and Judy O’Brien
  • Firestone Foundation
$100,000+:
  • Boone Foundation
  • John W. Jordan II
  • RGK Foundation
  • Success Through the Arts Foundation
  • Wells Fargo Foundation
$50,000+
  • Carlton Hill Foundation
  • CITI
  • Kirk and Anne Douglass Foundation
  • George and Dee Ring
  • Michael King
  • Randy Newman
  • Kevin P. O’Brien
  • William O. Campbell
  • Crail-Johnson Foundation

InnoSight Institute

www.christenseninstitute.org

Areas of interest:

Apply Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen’s theories of disruptive innovation to develop and promote solutions to the problems of education.

Funding:

  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Hume Foundation
  • Joyce Foundation

Measured Progress, Inc.

www.measuredprogress.org

Areas of interest:

  • Educational Assessments
  • Professional development (online and workshops)

Funding:

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

www.publiccharters.org

Areas of interest:

Charter schools

Funding:

  • Casey Foundation
  • Fisher Fund
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Joyce Fund
  • Kauffman Fund
  • Robertson Foundation
  • Schwab Foundation
  • Simon Foundation
  • Walton Family Foundation

National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ)

 

 

Areas of interest:

 

 

Funding:

 

New Classrooms Innovation Partners, Inc.

 

 

 

 

www.newclassrooms.org
(formerly School of One)

Areas of interest:

  • School-wide performance bonus
  • Student incentives and
  • “School of one”
  • Personalized curricula/lessons
  • Heavily focused on use of technology and online learning.
  • Pilot program in NYC

Funding:

  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
  • New Schools Venture Fund
  • Target
  • Bezos Family Foundation
  • The Broad Foundation

New Schools Venture Fund (NSVF)

www.newschools.org

Areas of interest:

  • Raise money for individual and institutional investors
  • “Teacher quality”
  • Data
  • Technology in and out of the classroom.
  • Investments in: BetterLesson, School of One, and Education Elements EdTech Entrepreneurship Lab.

Funding:

  • BelleJAR Foundation
  • Boston Foundation
  • Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
  • Chicago Community Foundation
  • Fisher Foundation
  • Fidelity Foundation
  • Ludwig Foundation
  • Walton Family Foundation

Policy Innovators in Education (PIE) Network

www.pie-network.org

Areas of interest:

  • Education advocacy organizations network: 37 member groups in 26 states and DC
  • Teacher effectiveness
  • Charter schools
  • Parent choice

Funding:

  • Laura and John Arnold Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Joyce Foundation
  • Stuart Foundation

Public Impact

publicimpact.com

Areas of interest:

  • Policy and management consulting firm
  • Teacher and leader merit-pay and training
  • Charter schools

Funding:

  • Carnegie Corporation
  • Bill and Gates Foundation
  • Joyce Foundation

redefinED

www.redefinedonline.org/

Areas of interest:

  • To “move beyond neighborhood school assignment and the increasingly blurred line between “public” and “private.”
  • To collect and distribute contributor-generated articles (many are written by former newspaper reporters) that recast the way public education is perceived
  • Charter schools
  • Private-school scholarships
  • Online education
  • To focus attention on the importance of empowering parents with the authority to educate their children

Funding:

redefineED’s stated editorial mission is to represent the interests of a Florida nonprofit organization named Step Up For Students which administers a scholarship for 51,000 low-income children. Step Up For Students uses Florida tax credits and donations to get their money and in turn uses that money to fund scholarships for deserving kids in Florida. Florida law allows that three percent of Step Up For Students income can be used for "administrative purposes." As a result, redefineED uses money generated in part by Florida tax credits to promote charter school and private-school scholarship interests on a national level. You will see big names like the Walton foundation on the Step Up For Students website contributor list.

Stand For Children

stand.org

Areas of interest:

  • Has nine affiliates as of July 2014; looking to grow to 20 states by 2015.
  • Seeks to organize families in districts it wants to change
  • Data-driven decision making
  • Tenure
  • Merit pay
  • Vouchers
  • Hard-hitting issue advocacy
  • Managing media relations
  • Championed countless policy and budget choices across ten states: Common Core standards, STEM, teacher training, merit pay, school choice
  • Hopes to raise over $1 billion in five years

Funding:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
  • Helmsley Charitable Trust
  • Laura and John Arnold Foundation
  • Anonymous
  • Arthur Rock

(Patrons $250,000+):

  • Joshua and Anita Bekenstein
  • Paul and Mary Finnegan
  • Jonathon and Joanna Jacobson

Students for Education Reform (SfER)

www.studentsforedreform.org/what-we-do/

Areas of interest:

  • School choice
  • High standards
  • Teacher quality

Funding:

National Donors:
  • Anonymous
  • Adam Cioth & Beth Cobert
  • Arthur Rock
  • Charlie & Rebecca Ledley
  • CityBridge Foundation
  • Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
  • James Kennedy
  • Lenny Mendonca
  • Mark Battey
  • Paul Myerson & Giselle Wagner
  • Rochester Community Foundation
  • Ron Beller & Jennifer Moses
  • Whitney Tilson.
State Donors:
  • Anonymous
  • The Anschutz Foundation
  • The Olson Foundation
  • Benson & Mary Whitney
  • NewSchools Venture Fund
  • Parent Revolution
  • CORE
  • Students First
  • DFER

StudentsFirst Institute

www.studentsfirst.org
Led by Michelle Rhee, the former Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools

Areas of interest:

  • Students
  • Student voice heard
  • Parent choice
  • Teacher effectiveness

Funding:

  • Laura and John Arnold Foundation
  • Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation
  • Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
  • Walton Family Foundation
  • Michael Bloomberg
  • David Tepper
  • John Tudor Jones (Robin Hood Foundation 75K)
  • Daniel Loeb (75K)
  • StudentsFirst raised about $3 million between its founding in October 2010 and July 2011 (according to 990)

The Media Bullpen

mediabullpen.com
(See The Center for Education Reform)

Areas of interest:

The Media Bullpen is a dynamic, virtual newsroom that covers the news and the news of education.

Funding:

  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundatio
  • Walton Family Foundation
  • Bradley Foundation
  • Gleason Foundation