The “new” education philanthropy and its consequences, as new funders have emerged and evolved — with more than a little pinwheeling from one strategy to the next.
Ultimately, donors and foundation staff don’t have to answer to anybody besides themselves. They’re free to interpret their experiences however they like. This is why they can come across as unaccountable and smitten with their own wisdom. But it’s also good to keep things in perspective. If you’re bitterly angry at someone who’s voluntarily giving away large sums of money, you probably need to take a deep breath.
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Indeed, Russakoff quoted Booker’s approach to school reform efforts with Zuckerberg: “I’m thinking, ‘Do everything you can right now, instead of worrying what tomorrow will be like or the next day . . . People allow their inability to control everything."
Dale Russakoff notes that Zuckerberg and then-Newark mayor (now-U.S. Senator) Cory Booker expected to transform Newark’s troubled schools into a national model of excellence — in just five years.
Ultimately, donors and foundation staff don’t have to answer to anybody besides themselves. They’re free to interpret their experiences however they like.
It takes money to do things. Programs, staff, research, advocacy, and pretty much everything else that happens in school reform requires funding. This gives funders oceans of influence. Yet this influence is accompanied by a sea of quirks that rarely get examined or discussed. Reformers should change that. They should talk openly about the influence of funders and expect that foundations be at least as answerable for their actions as they’d like educators to be.
Read the full article by Frederick M. Hess on Medium
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