Jan 182013
 

The Jaquelin Hume Foundation is one of the many conservative foundations operating in the United States. Some of the foundation’s work is directly related to education, and much of the foundation’s work impacts education indirectly though tax/fiscal policy and social policy.

For this post I pulled grants listed on the foundations Form 990s for the years 2001-2010. You can download an Excel spreadsheet with this information on my data page. The rest of this post uses that data to look at the various organizations receiving funds from the foundation.

The foundation essentially gives to five different kinds of organizations1:

  • Education organizations (e.g., KIPP, TFA, Alliance for School Choice)
  • Think tanks that are part of the State Policy Network, a collection of state-level free-market think tanks
  • A variety of other conservative think tanks or advocacy organizations that are not part of the State Policy Network (e.g., Heritage Foundation, Hoover Institution, Independent Women’s Forum)
  • A handful of possibly education-related organizations (e.g., Atlantic Legal Foundation, Center for Union Facts)
  • Other organizations (e.g., museums; mostly California-based)

Here is a list of education organizations:

Screen Shot 2013-01-02 at 12.29.58 PM

[Click on image to enlarge.]

A few notes about the above:

  • I believe CANEC was either the precursor to California Charter School Association or the Association’s previous name.
  • The Personalized Learning Foundation was a project of the Center for Education Reform
  • I’m assuming MAPSA is the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (charter schools)

And organizations that are part of the State Policy Network, a collection of state-level free-market think tanks:

Hume SPN

Other conservative think tanks:

Hume Conservative Think Tanks

Education-related organizations (that also do some non-education work):

Hume Possibly Edu-Related

And, finally, the other organizations:

Hume Other

The Hume Foundation is a well-known supporter of conservative politics, and that support is quite obviously continuing.

While the foundation supports some education organizations that are hardly conservative (e.g., Center for Teaching Quality, Editorial Projects in Education), the majority of the funding goes to conservative advocates. For instance, the Association for American Educators, Center for Education Reform, Education Next, California Teachers Empowerment Network, Foundation for Excellence in Education, and Education Action Group all received funding from the Hume Foundation, and all of those would certainly be considered conservative/libertarian organizations.

  1. There are certainly other ways of categorizing the foundation’s grants, but these five categories seemed most appropriate.
 January 18, 2013  Posted by on January 18, 2013 No Responses »
Oct 292012
 

A few days ago, the American Prospect posted an article titled Teach for America’s Deep Bench, by James Cersonsky. The focus of the article is Leadership for Educational Equity, a 501c4 associated with Teach for America. Cersonsky describes LEE as working “to provide resources, training, and networking for alumni who are interested in elected office or other extracurricular leadership positions.”

Barbara Miner’s 2010 Rethinking Schools article about Teach for America included a bit of information about LEE. The organization was still very young at the time and, as Miner’s encounter describes, LEE refused to take a stand on various issues. Cersonsky’s article provides some updates and contends that LEE is “training the next generation of politicians, who have very specific ideas on school reform.”

And there’s good evidence that LEE is gearing up for a more politically active role. In late June of 2012, Isabel Oregon Acosta of the Broad Foundation sent the following email to Chris Cerf (full email available here):

Hi Chris,

I wanted to reach out because I’m helping Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) to put together their inaugural Policy Leadership Academy and wanted to extend an invitation to you to speak on a panel that will discuss human capital policy. The goal of the panel is to describe leading efforts to attract and retain excellent people in school systems and which aspects of these efforts are best accomplished through policy, as opposed to implementation or specific efforts by school leaders. LEE wants to drill down on how policymakers can best help establish the context for schools to be successful without micromanaging them. Tim Daly of TNTP is moderating the panel and Jordan Henry of NewTLA, a reform caucus of the Los Angeles teachers union will be speaking on it (a draft agenda is attached). We also just secured Jean Desravines from NLNS for the same panel.

The session is slated for Friday, July 27th, from 10:30-12pm at the CityBridge Foundation at 600 New Hampshire Avenue in Washington, DC.

As context, LEE is a new organization aimed at changing policies and laws by accelerating the leadership of Teach For America alumni. The Policy Leadership Academy is an effort to get Teach For America’s 40 senior-most alumni with an interest in policy more educated about the big questions/dilemmas in education policy. The audience will be about 60 percent candidates for local and state office and elected officials, 25 percent policy officials at the state and local level and 15 percent advocates from all over the country. The aim is to help build participants knowledge base and skill set so that they can not only get elected, but be effective in working to close the achievement gap once in leadership roles.

Do you think it might work for you to be in DC on the morning of July 27th? I think your perspective would beinvaluable.

Best,

Isabel Oregon Acosta

Assistant Director

[The Broad Foundation - Education]

The contents of the email was released through an OPRA request filed in the state of New Jersey. The email was released because it contains communication between a representative of the Broad Foundation and Commissioner Cerf.

Included in the communication is a draft for the three day Leadership Policy Academy. A few notes about the draft agenda:

  • According to a LAUSD teacher cited in Cersonsky’s article, LEE was working to “strategically promote folks who have a different politics,” including NewTLA. I’m not sure including NewTLA in the Policy Leadership Academy qualifies as “promoting” NewTLA, but LEE is certainly including the group in discussions.
  • The Broad Foundation was clearly helping LEE get this work started. The event was held at the CityBridge Foundation, another education-related philanthropy. The Gates Foundation paid for the “School Budget Hold ‘Em” described in the draft schedule.
  • Education Resource Strategies posted about attending the event. An accompanying slideshow about the “School Budget Hold ‘Em” could be something that indicates preferred policies (e.g. merit pay, ignoring reductions in class size in favor of other policies, shifting special education funding, reducing labor costs)

Do keep in mind that things may have changed; this was only a draft of the agenda. Regardless, it provides some evidence of how LEE is networking with other education-related organizations and the kinds of policies or reforms favored by the group.

 October 29, 2012  Posted by on October 29, 2012 1 Response »
Oct 222012
 

Recently, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF), one of the newer education-related foundations, announced $15 million in new grants to New Orleans education causes. According to EdWeek’s Sean Cavanagh, a variety of education advocacy organizations and alternative teacher preparation programs are the main recipients.

Earlier this year, New Jersey state Senator Loretta Weinberg filed an OPRA request for documents related to LJAF and the NJDOE. As John Mooney noted, the request was “largely a repeat” of a request made by the Education Law Center. The emails were eventually released to ELC.

In a May 2011 email with the subject line “Policy and Legislative Supports for Education Reform in New Jersey,” Cerf describes the revamped NJDOE to LJAF’s Education Program Manager Esther Trichoche.

While there’s no evidence that LJAF funded anything to do with the NJDOE, it certainly indicates there has been some communication – and not just idle chatter – about NJDOE plans. It’s also possible the foundation is supporting important advocacy efforts in the state, particularly Better Education 4 Kids and StudentsFirst.1 We should have a better idea of LJAF’s activity in the state (if there is any) by mid-November when the foundation’s Form 990 for the year 2011 is due.

This kind of communication between state education heads and representatives of philanthropic organizations is of interest for two reasons. First, it provides some pretty specific details about what foundations, in this case the LJAF, are looking for when they think about giving out money. Second, it provides fairly strong evidence that philanthropies are trying to help, influence and shape public policy (in this case a state DOE).

Some may not appreciate the (often) heated rhetoric about the Billionaire Boys Club, but it’s hard to dispute the fact that a handful of influential philanthropies play a moderate to significant role in some important changes going on in education.

  1. LJAF is a known funder of StudentsFirst. These two advocacy organizations – StudentsFirst and Better Education 4 Kids – are working in tandem in New Jersey.
 October 22, 2012  Posted by on October 22, 2012 No Responses »
Sep 022012
 

From Eli Broad’s recent book, The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking1:

Facebook came to my attention in a personal way in 2010, when U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan asked if I would meet with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and brief him on our decade-long efforts to reform public education.

  1. Broad, Eli (2012-04-19). The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking (Kindle Locations 2160-2162). John Wiley and Sons. Kindle Edition.
 September 2, 2012  Posted by on September 2, 2012 No Responses »
Aug 122012
 

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) is a relatively new foundation. Established in late 2008, the foundation supported only a handful of education-related organizations/causes during its first few years: KIPP, TFA, Yes Prep, the DC IMPACT program (through the DC Public Education Fund), a few school districts, and a small amount of research. Below is a summary of education-related grants for the years 2009 and 2010 (the years for which Forms 990s are currently available):

Although the foundation gave out a few grants in 2008, none went to education.

The foundation is one of the few confirmed funders of Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst.1 This is hardly a surprise given the foundation’s earlier support of the DC IMPACT program. Other funders of the DC IMPACT program include the Robertson Foundation, Broad Foundation, and Walton Family Foundation. The latter two are confirmed funders of StudentsFirst.2

John Arnold serves as a board member of TNTP. Laura Arnold serves on the board of Teach for America. Although currently available Form 990s do not list contributions to TNTP, the foundation has contributed to the organization for work in the Houston Independent School District and possibly other programs as well.3

According to the foundation’s website, the foundation “currently focuses on four major levers for change”: efficient markets, human capital, learning systems, and performance management. [Update 10/12/12: the foundation’s website now lists three levers: “more high-quality schools and educators,” “active public engagement,” and “creating an environment of innovation.”

The foundation ended 2010 with approximately 2/3 of a billion dollars in assets.

  1. See here.
  2. See the Walton Family Foundation’s list of 2011 grantees (here) and the Broad Foundation’s 2011 Form 990 (available here).
  3. For instance, the LJAF is listed as a TNTP contributor in TNTP’s recent report, “The Irreplacables.”
 August 12, 2012  Posted by on August 12, 2012 1 Response »
Aug 112012
 

Over at EdWeek and the Gates Foundation’s blog, Anthony Cody and foundation leaders are exchanging letters about a variety of topics. Vicki Phillips recently posted about the use of student data in teacher evaluations, a post that received a bit of praise and a lot of criticism from Cody.

Here is the part of Cody’s response that I am going to focus on in this post:

Ms. Phillips’ post focuses almost exclusively on the work of the Measures of Effective Teaching Project, an initiative of the Gates Foundation. While the Gates Foundation has invested upwards of $300 million in this project, they have spent several billion over the past few years funding other groups who are active partisans in the war on the teaching profession. We have not yet seen enough of the systems under development by the MET project to really understand them, so I will focus my attention on the other fruits borne by Gates Foundation investments.

The first question that arises when discussing teacher effectiveness is how we measure student learning. While Ms. Phillips distances herself from the use of test scores, this has been central to the reforms advanced by the Gates Foundation thus far. It is possible that the MET project will chart new ground, but before it does so, it will need to reverse all the policies and laws mandating evaluation systems that rely on test scores that have been passed at the insistence of the Gates Foundation and programs it has funded.

I’m going to avoid the issue of “the war on the teaching profession,” but I do think it would be helpful to have an overall picture of how the Gates Foundation is supporting various teacher-related issues. I’m particularly interested in teacher assessment and human capital management for the following reasons:

  • To say there is a lot of debate about how teachers should be evaluated would be a gross understatement. The debate intensified during the past few years, at least in part due to budget struggles and requirements for the Obama Administration’s Race to the Top. We’ve also seen a flurry of legislative activity regarding teacher evaluations (e.g. NY, TN, FL, LA).
  • The way the teaching force is managed – including, but not limited to teacher preparation, professional development, certification, tenure, evaluation, benefits, hiring, and firing – is a big deal for both current teachers and future teachers.

The primary purpose of this post is to review the Gates Foundation support of teacher-related issues through advocacy, professional development, evaluation, and other means from 2008 to the present. I am going to exclude all grants related to the Measures of Effective Teaching Project and all Washington State grants. I excluded the former since Cody’s post is specifically about the non-MET Project work of the foundation, and I think it’s better to treat the Project as separate from the rest of the foundation’s teacher-related work. I excluded the Washington State grants because the foundation’s giving is markedly different in their home region and better addressed as a separate issue entirely (see here).

2008-2010:

I started with the “B&MGF Spending, 2008-2010.xlsx” dataset (available here) that I used for an earlier post. I’m looking at those three years for the following reasons:

  1. They are the most recent years for which IRS Form 990s are currently available.
  2. These three years cover the first two years of the Obama Presidency, including the earliest version of Race to the Top.
  3. The foundation started focusing on teacher quality issues in 2009. Bill mentioned this transition in his 2009 Annual Letter.

I then selected grants that impact the teaching profession in one of the following ways:

  • Grants for advocacy related to teacher quality
  • Grants for research by academics, private companies, or think tanks
  • Grants for supporting current teachers
  • Grants for teacher evaluations
  • Grants for human capital development

An Excel file (“BMGF Spending, 2008-2010 TQ.xlsx”) listing these grants is available here. For the most part, I selected grants based on the descriptions provided by the foundation’s Form 990s. In a few cases, I included grants that do not specifically mention the teaching profession, but that likely did contribute to issues regarding the profession (e.g. EdTrust). Needless to say, it is entirely possible that a different person would include slightly different grants. For instance, one could argue that anything related to the Common Core State Standards should be considered teacher-related. I tried to err on the side of only including grants that were specific to teachers in some way. Here is an overview of the foundation’s giving:

  • The foundation funded a number of organizations that have supported test-based accountability for teachers: Teach Plus, Stand for Children, TNTP, EdTrust, Educators 4 Excellence, Parent Union, Advance Illinois, the PIE Network, and The National Council on Teacher Quality. The foundation has also made a few grants to the NEA and AFT for issues relating to teacher evaluations.
  • Teach for America, the Relay Graduate School of Education (“Uncommon Knowledge and Achievement”), TNTP, the Coalition of Urban Teacher Residencies and AUSL received grants that involve teacher training and preparation.
  • While the grants to organizations listed above get a good amount of attention, there are two other categories of grants that deserve attention: grants for research, and grants for development of specific tools related to teacher quality.
  • ETS, Harvard University, Teach for America, Public Agenda, and Urban Institute received funding for research related to teacher quality issues.
  • The foundation also supported five states in building data systems that will likely be used in teacher evaluations. Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio received grants “to develop and implement of model common definition of teacher of record and standard business process for linking and validating teacher and student data at the SEA level and a representative sample of districts.”
  • The Recovery School District, Atlanta Public Schools, D.C. Public Schools (through the D.C. Public Education Fund), Houston Independent School District, Newark Public Schools (through the NewSchools Venture Fund) and Tulsa Public Schools received grants related to changes in teacher evaluations and/or human capital management.
  • In a handful of instances, the foundation provided funding for programs designed to assist teachers, presumably with additional resources or tools.

That is not a comprehensive list of grantees, but I think it fairly represents the main strands in the foundation’s contributions.

2011-present:

Since Form 990s for the years 2011 and 2012 are not yet available, I pulled grants listed on the Gates Foundation website in order to get a look at the foundation’s teacher-related grants. Specifically, I searched for all grants from 2011 and 2012 related to College-Ready Education, Advocacy & Public Policy, and Research & Development. I believe that encompasses all Gates Foundation education grants announced during those years. A list of these grants is available here.

There is one key difference between the information collected from the Gates website and the information from Form 990s. The website lists grants announced (i.e. new grants), and grants may run for multiple years; Form 990s list money actually distributed during that year, and some, like Gates, include promises of future payments (although I did not collect info on future payments). For 2011 and 2012, the lists below are only new grants; there are still funds going out to organizations that received a multi-year grant during a previous year.

It’s worth looking at the 2011 and 2012 grants more closely. These are the most recently authorized grants and may be more likely to reflect the foundation’s current direction(s).

First, here is a list of all grants with commitments over $1,000,000 announced during 2011 (excluding the MET Project and Washington State):

Here is a list of all grants with commitments between $999,999 and $500,000 announced during 2011:

And a list of all grants with commitments less than $500,000 announced during 2011:

Below is a list of the Gates Foundation’s teacher quality/evaluation grants through July of 2012 (excluding the MET Project and Washington State):

 August 11, 2012  Posted by on August 11, 2012 No Responses »
Jul 202012
 

Started by well-known hedge fund manager Julian Robertson and his family in the mid-1990s, the the Robertson Foundation supports a variety of forms of school choice, organizations focused on human capital, and an assortment of other education programs.1 As is the case with some other high-profile philanthropies, the Robertson Foundation looks to reform school systems, and create new schools to exert external pressure on existing schools.2

I gathered Form 990s for the fiscal years ending in 2002 through 2010, and pulled information about contributions made during each of those years. You can find all of these Form 990s through Guidestar.org or Foundation Center’s 990 Finder. You can download a full summary of grant information contained on the foundation’s Form 990s here.

A few notes:

  • While the foundation education-related grants are partly NYC-focused, a few high-profile national organizations (e.g. KIPP, TFA, NSVF, BAEO) receive support as well.
  • Since this only looks at K-12 funding, I have not included the Robertson Scholars Program, a scholarship program that sends students to Duke and UNC. I included a few contributions to the University of Arkansas because this money is likely dedicated to the School Choice Demonstration Project at the Department of Education Reform.
  • The grants to the DC Public Education Fund support the DC IMPACT program. Other funders of the DC Impact program include the Walton Family Foundation, Broad Foundation, and Arnold Foundation.
  • Spencer Robertson, son of Julian Robertson, is the Executive Director of PAVE Academy, a NYC charter school.
  • Unfortunately, the foundation’s Form 990s do not include grant descriptions.

  1. The foundation supports a variety of non-education-related causes as well, but I’m interested in the education-related grants.
  2. See the foundation’s Public School Reform page.
 July 20, 2012  Posted by on July 20, 2012 No Responses »
Jul 042012
 

Doris and Donald Fisher, founders of the GAP clothing company, began contributing to education-related causes through various philanthropic organizations in the late 1990s. The Doris and Donald Fisher Fund is the current foundation, although it was formerly known as the Doris and Donald Fisher Education Fund, is still sometimes abbreviated as D2F2, and earlier was known as the Pisces Foundation.

The Fishers were early supporters of Edison Schools, and have been major supporters of KIPP and Teach for America. Although I cannot find some of the Fisher’s earliest IRS 990s, the family also supported a young organization, The New Teacher Project, founded by Michelle Rhee. As noted on the Fisher’s 2011 Form 990, the foundation contributed $250,000 to Rhee’s newest organization, StudentsFirst.

I gathered Form 990s for the fiscal years ending in 2003 through 2011, and pulled information about contributions made during each of those years. You can find all of these Form 990s through Guidestar.org or Foundation Center’s 990 Finder. You can see the information I pulled in an Excel file on my Data page or check out the results below.

A few notes:

  • Unfortunately, the Fishers do not provide a description of grants, only the name of the receiving organization and a dollar amount.
  • 2009 contributions may be low for a few reasons: a conservative approach to giving considering the financial situation; the death of Donald Fisher, which happened after the 2009 fiscal year; or simply a missing Form 990 if the Fishers gave through multiple foundations during that year.
  • While other major foundations garner more attention, the Fishers are one of a handful of donors providing support to some of the most important and influential education organizations: KIPP, TFA, NSVF, the Charter School Growth Fund, BAEO, CER, Education Reform Now, StudentsFirst, and state-based charter advocacy organizations.

 July 4, 2012  Posted by on July 4, 2012 No Responses »
May 222012
 

In an earlier post, I looked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation education spending from 2008-2010. This post will focus exclusively on the foundation’s education work in Washington state from 2008-2010. I’m using the data from B&MGF Spending, 2008-2010.xlsx.

Below is an overview of the grants from the foundation for the years 2008-2010. The first table shows the number of grants for each category. The second table shows spending for each category1.

A few observations:

  • There is zero charter school spending because WA doesn’t allow charter schools; that may change.
  • About a third of all grants fall into the Other category. More about that below.
  • About a third of all grants fall into the Early Learning category.

Here is a sample of Other grants for the years 2008-2010:

  • $22,816 in 2008 to the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle to support an after-school education program.
  • $40,000 in 2008 to the Vietnamese Friendship Association of Seattle to support low-income immigrant Vietnamese students and parents in order to improve academic performance.
  • $150,000 in 2008 to Youth Care to support educational and workforce programs for homeless and other at-risk youth.
  • $47,400 in 2009 to the College Success Foundation to support academic mentors for foster children.
  • $490,000 in 2009 to Neighborhood House to support a school-centered program aimed at providing social services to children with behavioral challenges.
  • $172,000 in 2009 to the Technology Access Foundation to support a writing, math and technology program for children.
  • $100,000 in 2009 to Evergreen State College to support academic success for tribal members.
  • $140,000 in 2010 to the Children and Youth Justice Center to support truancy prevention programs.
  • $150,000 in 2010 to Renton Area Youth Family Service to support youth in Renton who are at high risk of dropping out.
  • $150,000 in 2010 to Team Read to support struggling elementary school readers, bringing them up to grade level in reading.

The Other category contains a good number of grants that would probably be considered wrap-around services. The foundation doesn’t give out a lot of those type of grants in other places.

The heavy emphasis on early learning in Washington state is remarkably different than the foundation’s strategy as a whole. Early Learning accounts for approximately half of all non-private school spending by the foundation in Washington, yet only 3-5% of spending by the foundation as a whole is dedicated to early learning – and most of that 3-5% is in Washington! Only 16 of the 83 early learning grants made by the foundation between 2008 and 2010 went to organizations outside of Washington.

The fact that the foundation is headquartered in the state likely explains at least some of the difference in grantmaking. Maybe the foundation saw a significant need and opportunity to improve early learning. Funding the smaller, local organizations is probably a result of the foundation feeling compelled to help out local nonprofits and organizations, and/or a familiarity with local issues that need to be addressed. Whatever the reasons, the foundation disperses funds very differently in Washington state.

  1. Note that the totals in table 1 do not equal the sum of grants listed because some grants fall into multiple categories. In the second table, I weighted the funding for grants that fall into multiple categories. For instance, an early learning advocacy grant of $100k would show up as a $50k grant in early learning and $50k in advocacy. I also included the Total w/o Private Schools because a single grant of $30 million in 2008 to the Lakeside School accounts for almost half of all spending from the year.
 May 22, 2012  Posted by on May 22, 2012 1 Response »
Mar 252012
 

The NewSchools Venture Fund (NSVF) is a nonprofit organization with ten years of experience in K-12 education. NSVF is an interesting organization for the following reasons:

  • NSVF invested in a number of management organizations before management organizations were well-known
  • NSVF is an excellent example of venture philanthropy, or the application of venture capitalism to philanthropic giving 1
  • NSVF is an influential organization 2

The purpose of this post is to provide some descriptive information about NSVF grants 3 and changes in spending over time. I am using data pulled from NSVF’s IRS 990s between the years 2002 and 2010. I then compiled that information to create a dataset of all NSVF grants (available here).

First, here is an overview of NSVF total revenues and expenditures between 2002 and 2010 (the most recent year available):

NSVF’s 990s either do not include descriptions of grants or simply provide very loose descriptions (e.g. “schools” or “tools”). A date is also provided for some years, but not all.

You can flip through every year of grants by looking at the dataset, but I’m going to look at the years 2002, 2006, and 2010. I chose 2002 because it’s the first year that information is available; 2010 because it’s the most recent year that information is available; and 2006 because it’s right in the middle.

Below is a list of funds distributed in 2002:

About 2/3 of the funds distributed in 2002 went to Aspire Public Schools, a chain of charter schools in California. As Aspire’s History page notes, the Broad Foundation committed $4.8 million to Aspire in 2002. The Broad Foundation’s IRS 990s do not list any grants directly to Aspire during the early 2000s, but there are a few grants to NSVF for charter management expansion (in general) and grants specifically for Aspire. In other words, the Broad Foundation invested in Aspire through NSVF. The Broad Foundation presumably does this because NSVF adds value or has some particular expertise.

The majority of the balance of NSVF’s 2002 grants went to human capital pipelines (New Leaders and TFA). Greatschools is a website that provides data about schools.

NSVF distributed just over $18 million in grants in 2006:

Nearly every organization receiving grants was a charter management organization or charter support organization (e.g. EdBuild, Pacific Charter School Development, IL Facilities Fund).

For 2010, NSVF described grants as either “schools,” “tools,” or “human capital.” Below is a summary of NSVF spending during 2010 in those three categories:

Some of the grants for “tools” went to charter management organizations (e.g. Achievement First, KIPP), but others went to companies providing other services (e.g. Wireless Generation, Concentric Educational Solutions). 

(Total expenditures for the three categories above do not account for all of NSVF’s spending in 2010 because the organization pays salaries of employees, overhead, etc.)

Note: I have not looked at loans to organizations or investments in for-profit firms, although NSVF’s loans/investments are minor compared to grants dispersed 4.

The most obvious change in NSVF spending is the growth in technology-focused organizations. Technology-focused organizations do two things: provide additional tools for existing charter management organizations in NSVF’s portfolio, and produce products that can be used by existing public schools.

Footnotes:

  1. Here are to examples of foreign organizations patterned after NSVF: the New Schools Network (England) and the Good Schools Fund (South Africa)
  2. For instance, NSVF’s former COO, Joanne Weiss, is now Secretary Duncan’s Chief of Staff. Another former employee, Jim Shelton, is head of the Office of Innovation and Improvement.
  3. Some grants cover multiple years, so it may be more fair to call these “disbursed funds.” I’ll use “grants” from here on out only because “disbursed funds” is a touch more cumbersome and less clear to many people.
  4. Wireless Generation is a for-profit company, but is listed as a grant recipient on NSVF’s 2010 IRS 990
 March 25, 2012  Posted by on March 25, 2012 No Responses »