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  • Reconnecting Education and Foundations: Turning Good Intentions Into Educational Capital
  • William A. Bryan
Reconnecting Education and Foundations: Turning Good Intentions Into Educational Capital Ray bacchetti and Thomas Ehrlich (Editors) San Francisco: Jossey-Bass / Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2006, 528 pages, $55.00 (hardcover)

In 1889, Andrew Carnegie, expressed an enlightened view of philanthropy that is still the bedrock of foundation mission statements today. Reconnecting Education and Foundations was published as one means of celebrating the centennial of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Today, foundations and educational institutions are under greater scrutiny with the public's attention focused on outcomes and value. Bacchetti and Ehrlich suggest that the development of "educational capital" should be a primary outcome of foundation funding.

The fifteen authors contributing to the four parts of this book bring rich backgrounds with foundations, higher education, K-12 education, civic groups, professional associations, national bureaus/councils, government agencies, and alternative education.

Part 1, "Introduction–Recommendations–History," is presented in three chapters. Chapter 1, "Foundations and Education: Introduction," by Ray Bacchetti and Thomas Ehrlich, provides a historical context for understanding the culture of foundations, the relationship between foundations and education, and arising issues. A discussion of frayed relationships and cultural differences that signal two cultures drifting apart are discussed. Chapter 2, "Recommendations: Building Educational Capital," by Ray Bacchetti and Thomas Ehrlich, proposes the concept of educational capital and outlines recommendations for improving the relationships between education and foundations. Chapter 3, "What Might Andrew Carnegie Want to Tell Bill Gates? Reflections on the Hundredth Anniversary of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching," by Ellen Condliffe Lagemann and Jennifer de Forest, takes a look at foundation efforts to promote and improve education over the last hundred years. They emphasize approaches used by foundations to impact K-12 and higher education.

Part 2, "K-12 and Foundations," contains five chapters. Chapter 4, "Increasing Foundation Impact by Building Educational Capital," by Theodore Lobman and Ray Bacchetti examines the value of foundation grants to K-12 education and suggests ways to improve their effectiveness. In chapter 5, "Foundations and School Reform: Bridging the Cultural Divide," Nancy Hoffman and Robert Schwartz explore the differences in the organizational structures of foundations and school districts and how these differences affect their working relationship. A discussion of how intermediary organizations can be effective in bridging these differences is presented. Chapter 6, "When Reach Exceeds Grasp: Taking the Annenberg Challenge to Scale," by Barbara Cervone discusses the Annenberg Challenge (1993), the largest private grant to public education in US history. These relatively unstructured grants were given to improve education in failing schools and school systems in urban areas. She examines the problems of administering these grants. "Building Capacity for School Improvement" (chapter 7), by Thomas Hatch, examines the competing demands of many agencies involved with schools and the high costs to [End Page 728] schools when receiving grants. He identifies characteristics that have a critical influence on foundation goals. Chapter 8, "The National Writing Project: Commitment and Competence" by Ann Lieberman, examines the National Writing Project's (NWP) success over its 32-year history and the complementary roles played by foundations. She takes a good look at educational capital gained in retrospect.

Part 3, "Higher Education and Foundations," includes five chapters. In Chapter 9, "Patron or Bully? The Role of Foundations in Higher Education," Charles T. Clotfelter scrutinizes relations between foundations and major research universities. His principal interest is the influence foundation funding has on institutional research. Chapter 10, "Many Motives, Mixed Reviews: Foundations and Higher Education as a Relationship Richer in Possibilities Than Results," by Ray Bacchetti, differs from chapter 9 in that it primarily examines higher education and foundation relationships in terms of funding for teaching and learning. "Working Through Intermediaries: The New Jersey Campus Diversity Initiative" (chapter 11), by Edgar F. Beckham, presents a case study of the Bildner Family Foundation and intermediary organizations (The Philanthropic Initiative and the American Association of Colleges and Universities) working together to educate students to the values of diversity and how diversity can be a resource for strengthening democracy. This partnership involved interested schools in New Jersey. In chapter 12, "From...


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