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ERIC Number: ED539935
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-May
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
A New Bet for Better Schools? Diversifying Philanthropic Strategies to Improve Student Learning. A Report from a Funder Briefing on Creating New Schools as a Grantmaking Strategy (Denver, Colorado, May 26-27, 2004)
Grantmakers for Education
For much of the past 20 years, philanthropists have invested significant time, money and knowledge into the important task of improving the nation's education system. Collectively, their efforts have targeted all aspects of the system--from helping teachers upgrade their skills and knowledge to creating better curricula and classroom tools, from underwriting research into effective teaching strategies to designing models for "whole school" reform, from strengthening the leadership in schools to advocating for broad policy changes that could spark school improvement. Recognizing the apparent challenge of changing existing schools and systems, some see a "new schools" strategy as their best leverage point for creating many more successful public schools. Others see it as a complementary strategy to pursue in tandem with continued efforts to change existing schools--thus diversifying their strategies and avoiding a single "bet" on only one approach. In May 2004, Grantmakers for Education and The Philanthropy Roundtable convened over 40 donors and grantmakers from foundations across the country to consider the effectiveness of a "new schools" strategy for philanthropy. With support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the meeting--"Creating New Schools: Promising Strategy for Change?"--offered two days of conversation and reflection on the rationale for a new schools strategy, emerging evidence on its viability and the challenges grantmakers need to confront to support successful new schools initiatives. The highlights of the meeting include: (1) Joe Graba, a former educator and now senior policy fellow at Hamline University, addressed the question: "Why new schools?"; (2) Participants also had the opportunity to review preliminary research on the relative challenges of creating new schools versus improving existing schools; and (3) The meeting's second day focused on how funders could successfully support a high-quality new schools strategy. [This paper was written with the assistance of Bryan Hassel and Alex Medler.]
Grantmakers for Education. 720 SW Washington Street Suite 605, Portland, OR 97205. Tel: 503-595-2100; Fax: 503-595-2102; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Annie E. Casey Foundation; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Grantmakers for Education