Book

Follow the Money

Sarah Reckhow

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199937738
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980734 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199937738.001.0001

Series: Studies in Postwar American Political Development

Follow the Money

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Some of the nation's wealthiest philanthropies, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and the Broad Foundation have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in education reform. With vast wealth and a political agenda, foundations have helped to reshape the reform landscape in urban education. In this book, Sarah Reckhow shows where and how foundation investment in education is occurring and analyzes the effects of these investments within the two largest urban districts, New York City and Los Angeles. In New York City, centralized political control and the use of private resources have enabled rapid implementation of reform proposals. Yet this potent combination of top-down authority and outside funding also poses serious questions about transparency, responsiveness, and democratic accountability in New York. Meanwhile, a slower, but possibly more transformative set of reforms has been taking place in Los Angeles. These reforms were also funded and shaped by major foundations, but they work from the bottom up, through charter school operators managing networks of schools. This strategy has built grassroots political momentum and demand for reform in Los Angeles that is unmatched in New York City and other districts with mayoral control.

Keywords: philanthropy; foundations; education reform; urban education; Gates Foundation; New York; Los Angeles; education policy; mayoral control; charter schools; social network; civic capacity; policy feedback

Book.  240 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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Table of Contents

From Annenberg to Gates in Follow the Money

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A Shadow Bureaucracy in Follow the Money

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