Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

When the comic strip “Doonesbury” is making fun of your state’s lackluster education record, you know things must change.
That’s the situation Oregon’s foundation leaders found themselves in 10 years ago. That part of the story isn’t that unusual; every state has had to cope with the failures of the K–12 system. What leaders of Oregon’s [...]

Last week, the Lumina Foundation released a new report, “A Stronger Nation Through Higher Education,” the fourth of its kind to track progress against its ambitious mission for 60 percent of Americans to hold high-quality degrees, certificates, or other postsecondary credentials by 2025.
Why college attainment? The case is pretty simple. As stated in the report’s [...]

Science, technology, engineering, and math—the “STEM” subjects—are an important focus of philanthropic institutions trying to address educational and economic disparities between girls and boys.
STEM-related fields account for an increasing number of new, and high-paying, positions being created in the knowledge economy. Especially for young women of color or in low-income communities, who already face [...]

In June, I had the pleasure of introducing four recent graduates of the Cleveland School District at the Cleveland Foundation’s annual meeting. We wanted to showcase top achievers to put a human face on the investment we’ve made in the future of Cleveland’s young people. These college-bound students are a fitting example of why philanthropy [...]

What do Texas preschooler Owen Hernandez and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke have in common?  As you’ll see during the Learning Lab, “Business Champions for Young Children,” at next month’s Fall Conference for Community Foundations in New Orleans, they both believe in the power of quality early learning to help children succeed in school and [...]

Two years ago, the Foundation Registry i3 was a lifesaver for me.

I was working as a philanthropic advisor and was looking for an opportunity to lead a group of emerging philanthropists interested in education reform from talking about collaboration to taking action. The U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) competitive [...]

The prevalence of computers in modern society has led to a greater need for technology-based curricula and wired classrooms for students of all levels. Top online PhD programs are now available, but some primary schools don’t have a single computer. As a result, companies and organizations nationwide are providing under-funded classrooms with state-of-the-art, electronic educational [...]

The Creativity Conundrum in Public Education Leadership
Many of the men and women who shaped the world over the course of history, from Mozart to Albert Einstein to Steve Jobs, have done so by thinking well outside the sphere of traditional education. Famously, each of these men had some issues with authority, and it’s hard to [...]

On April 18, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Dubuque, Iowa to launch the Together for Tomorrow campaign.  I was honored to share the stage with him and highlight the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque’s recent work on a third grade reading initiative with our school district and numerous other local partners.
As I [...]

In 2009, Lumina Foundation set a goal: we wanted to help 60 percent of Americans obtain a high-quality postsecondary degree or be credential by 2025. We began reporting on progress toward the “big goal” in a series called A Stronger Nation through Higher Education. At the time, setting a national goal and reporting progress was [...]

For the past two decades, the James A. Joseph Lecture has been one of the intellectual high points of the Council on Foundations Annual Conference. The list of past lecturers at this Association of Black Foundation Executives event helps make the case, not just Ambassador Joseph delivering the first lecture in 1991 and again in [...]

What should America’s students get out of their college education? It seems like a simple answer, yet few institutions seem to be able to agree on the knowledge and skills students need for success in career and life. But students, colleges, and the nation’s workforce can’t afford the confusion any longer.
In an effort to streamline [...]

Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation announced combined community giving of $38 million in 2011, compared with $36.8 million in 2010. The annual giving results were released in recognition of International Corporate Philanthropy Day, which celebrates business-community partnerships around the world.
“International Corporate Philanthropy Day is an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to a model of ‘shared value [...]

Ron Clark has 55 rules for the kids that he teaches at his school in south Atlanta each day. These rules cover everything from how to enter a room with poise to bringing a water bottle to class to how to be a graceful winner.
You may not know him, but hundreds of family foundation representatives [...]

Prior to starting as a Proteus Fund Diversity Fellow, I spent five years in my hometown serving the city that provided me with the platform to become an educated professional of color. In returning to my hometown of New Bedford, Mass., to serve its youth, I saw that the promise of an excellent public school [...]

I work with the program team at a regional education foundation, where it is often my job to provide feedback to applicants who were not selected to receive grants. These conversations are always difficult, but sometimes they can be particularly hard. I may find myself talking to a district superintendent, an educator with a doctoral [...]

Size is one of Rhode Island’s secret weapons, and it enables the strategic partnerships and relationships that are at the heart of getting things done. The Race to the Top story is no exception.
In fact, the stage was set for Rhode Island Foundation’s involvement in Race to the Top. Even before we helped to fund [...]

Novelette PeterkinBeyond the Budgets

In: Education

17 Jan 2012

As boards of education across the country begin their 2012-13 budget processes, city residents should know that private investment in public schools is making a significant difference in helping children from low-income homes excel in school.
In Norwalk, CT, thanks to donations from people who want all children to benefit from a good education, the Carver [...]

The call came to West Central Initiative early in the work day on Dec. 17: Minnesota was one of nine states chosen for the Department of Education’s Race to the Top early childhood challenge grant.
We greeted the news with excitement. West Central Initiative is part of a group of Minnesota organizations that [...]

July was an incredibly busy month for me this year. Not only did I marry my best friend, I also started working as a volunteer teacher for Computer Community Outreach and Education (Computer CORE), a nonprofit based in Alexandria, Va.  Computer CORE is a place where low-income, (often-times) first-generation immigrant adults can learn career development [...]

Philanthropy in education has come a long way. Rather than viewing education as a “charity” to send a few extra dollars here and there for extras or to help students in need, philanthropists understand education’s role in creating a strong economy and democracy, and they want their dollars to result in specific student improvements.
But what [...]

This morning fall conference attendees had the privilege of listening to an outstanding, provocative, and thought-provoking plenary session. The session was a culmination of statistics provided by Terry Mazany, president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, with real-life examples from three motivated change agents in their own communities:  Jaqueline Edelberg, author and parent; LaRavian [...]

Good morning from the West Coast! As I sit in my hotel room watching the sun rise over the downtown San Francisco skyline, I can’t help but be grateful for the opportunity to be at the Council on Foundations Fall Conference for Community Foundations. This is the first time in the 31-year history of the [...]

Every life has a story and it is through such stories that the Canton Community Foundation learned how little many armed services veterans know about their benefits through Veterans Affairs (VA).
These stories-and later learning that half of Michigan’s 700,000 veterans live in metropolitan Detroit-prompted the foundation to take action. In September 2010, we unveiled the [...]

Recently, E*TRADE Financial renewed its partnership with, a nationwide, online mentoring program for at-risk middle and high school students, by providing a one-year grant of $300,000 to fund the organization’s online youth mentoring programs in low-income communities in New York City; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; San Diego; and Los Angeles.
Launched in 2000 to address the [...]

On the same day that the federal government announced that unemployment had ticked up a notch to 9 percent, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) convened a bipartisan panel of former policy-makers on Capitol Hill for a spirited discussion about the lessons to be drawn from the 40-year history of federal workforce development [...]

How do we know which education investments are likely to make the biggest difference for student learning? And how do we know those investments are working? We examine the data. That’s the premise of Education as a Data-Driven Enterprise: A Primer for Leaders in Business, Philanthropy, and Education, a publication prepared for AT&T by the [...]

The marriage of the public and private sectors is the answer to a stable education system. Most funding agencies enter into bilateral agreements to empower existing, albeit often weak, government education systems. Funding education through the private sector—targeting existing nongovernment schools—is a fundamental component of the IDP Rising Schools Program.

When I joined The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation last year as the director of its education program, my colleagues and I took a hard look at public education in the United States, our own grantmaking, and the lessons we’ve learned. We talked to lots of smart people, read everything we could, and visited the [...]

The White House Summit on Community Colleges drilled home one clear message: Community colleges are the linchpin for our nation’s economic success.

While we organize efforts of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation into strategic and geographic priorities, creating a platform from which vulnerable children can succeed is so complex that, to be effective, our initiatives must touch multiple funding categories and, sometimes, multiple geographies.

Access to a quality education is key to ensuring that every child has the skills and resources needed to succeed in the workforce of the 21st century. That fact is one of the prime reasons the Verizon Foundation has chosen education as one of its signature social issues.

September is Hispanic Heritage Month—an opportunity to reflect and celebrate the contributions of Hispanic Americans. Yet the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) and its partners are looking to expand the conversation about the role of Hispanic Americans in our economy as well as our colleges and universities.

I am here in Charlotte, N.C., along with 900-plus other eager learners representing community foundations from virtually every state and beyond. This morning’s opening session featured four speakers who highlighted a few trends that will influence our future.

It’s back to school season on America’s college campuses, which means new class schedules to create, textbooks and fresh notebooks to buy, campuses to navigate, and parking spaces to fight for. Along with the cooler weather comes a renewed sense of hope and optimism at the start of the semester.

Foundation For The Carolinas demonstrated the emerging role of community foundations as collaborators and leaders for change when it announced its latest civic leadership initiative on September 1: the formation of a committee to explore the most effective and appropriate role for philanthropic giving in the community’s quest to eliminate the achievement gap in Charlotte-Mecklenburg [...]

There is no such thing as a “typical” profile of the adult learner seeking knowledge and economic mobility. Juan is a project manager for a design firm. He is the married father of four (including four-year-old triplets). To advance at work, Juan needed an engineering degree.

Last year, in his first joint address to Congress, President Obama lobbed his higher education moon shot stating, “By 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.” Achieving this goal will mean radically disrupting our current educational trajectory: only 39 percent of our fellow Americans earn a two- [...]

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The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Council on Foundations.


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