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A Convergence of Public Interest and Public Policy

A convergence of public interest and public policy in the realm of education connects Teachers College with a number of major private foundations. That convergence is represented by foundation funded programs poised to move beyond the conventional to explore groundbreaking possibilities in education. Plus, a number of foundations have a history of support that is the basis for new giving to Teachers College.

 

Most recently, foundations have provided funding support to Teachers College for its physical plant, institutes and centers, fellowships and scholarships, and unrestricted needs.

The foundations include the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation, the DeWitt Wallace-Readers Digest Fund, the Achelis and Bodman Foundations, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Eugene Lang Foundation, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, the Ford Foundation and an anonymous foundation.

Hechinger Institute Grant from the Carnegie Corporation
A $500,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation was awarded in June, 1999 to the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media for general support of Institute programs that connect the press who publish and communicate the news with the educational practitioners and policy makers who make the news.

Named in memory of Fred Hechinger, who was an education editor of The New York Times and a Teachers College trustee, the Institute is directed by its founder, Gene I. Maeroff, a former national education correspondent for the Times.
The Institute operates on four levels. It sponsors seminars to: help journalists who cover education do a better job, help editors and news supervisors better understand the work of the journalists for whom they are responsible, and help educators and journalists better understand each other. In addition, the Institute maintains a Web site and electronic communication network to provide journalists with resources for breaking stories and investigative reports.

In 1996, the Carnegie Corporation provided a $300,000 start-up grant to support the seminar series for journalists and school personnel designed to improve the coverage of educational issues in the media.

Grace Dodge Hall Renovations
"The gift from the Dodge Foundation," noted Teachers College President Arthur Levine, "is yet another example of the Dodge family's historical legacy at Teachers College. From Grace Dodge's co-founding of the College, to Cleveland E. Dodge's long commitment as a trustee, to the establishment of the Cleveland E. Dodge Medal in 1976 and the Cleveland E. Dodge Professorship of Education, no family is more closely tied to the College's success and history than the Dodges."

A grant in the amount of $400,000 was made by the Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation to underwrite renovations to Grace Dodge Hall named in honor of the co-founder of Teachers College. Opened in 1909, Grace Dodge Hall was underwritten in 1907 by a $400,000 gift from Grace Dodge.

Renovation plans initially are focused on the west wing ground floor, one of Teachers College's most visible and heavily traveled areas. It includes the Grace Dodge Room, frequently used for large classes, guest lectures, conferences, dinners and major receptions and the site of administrative offices.

Peace Corps Fellows Grant
A grant of $308,000 to the Peace Corps Fellows Program by the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund not only supports a highly successful initiative to attract talented people to teaching careers from non-traditional backgrounds, but also serves as a national model to tap similar sources for teaching candidates across the country.

Former Peace Corps volunteers receive reduced tuition at Teachers College in exchange for a two-year commitment to teach mathematics, science, bilingual/bicultural education, special education, and Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in the New York public schools where critical shortages of qualified teachers exist in these subjects.
Because of the experience of the Fellows and effectiveness of the program, the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest grant also covers a leadership component, the main goal of which is to document and share lessons learned by Peace Corps Fellows and the Peace Corps Fellows Program in urban teaching and alternative certification with other new teachers and teacher training institutions.
Commenting on the impact of the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund grant, Daniel Fergus Tamulonis, a former Peace Corps volunteer and program coordinator of the Peace Corps Fellows Program at Teachers College, noted that "the experience of returned Peace Corps volunteers with issues of multiculturalism and their training at Teachers College help these teachers become role models for their students as individuals who connect with all members of a racially heterogeneous classroom."

Support for the Institute on Education and Government
The Institute on Education and Government received a $290,000 grant from an anonymous source to support the development and implementation of the Institute's pilot programs to inform states and state officials on critical issues of educational policy and practice. The programs initially focus on these initiatives:
ù Seminars for leaders in state government with the opening session held for governors' chiefs of staff in cooperation with the National Governors Association. Gubernatorial aides met with educators and government leaders in discussions on the current policy options, implementation of education strategies, school-business partnerships, technology in education, public opinion of education and teacher training.
ù Assistance to individual states on comprehensive school reform projects. To date, the Institute has worked with Governor Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire on a series of projects associated with the "Best Schools Program for New Hampshire" that involve leadership training, distance learning technologies, model educational practices and networking. In Iowa, the Institute is focusing its work on improving teacher capabilities to use technology effectively in the classroom.
ù An annual award was established to honor outstanding contributions in education by state governors. The first awards went to former Georgia Governor Zell Miller and to Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson.
ù A forum for mid-level policy staff from governors' and mayors' offices to exchange ideas and information on educational policy issues.
Center for the Study of Privatization in Education Grant
A National Center for the Study of Privatization and School Choice at Teachers College has been established at Teachers College with a $500,000 grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts, a $500,000 grant from the Ford Foundation and a $200,000 grant from the Achelis and Bodman Foundations.

At issue are private initiatives in education including vouchers, charter schools and educational contracting that have created a flurry of support and opposition with little or no research to measure their impact.

Currently, there is no disinterested authority to test and verify the claims of each side. The debate is now centered on ideological rather than empirical data. Thus the Center, organized to serve as a neutral and respected voice to sort out the issues and evidence and provide an objective perspective on the concerns surrounding privatization. The National Center is staffed by highly regarded authorities in the fields of school choice and independent schooling and is led by Henry M. Levin, William Heard Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education.

Support for the Education Leadership Institute
A grant of $265,000 from the Henry Luce Foundation went to the Education Leadership Institute. A component of the Center for Educational Outreach and Innovation, the Institute's programs include the Principals Institute, the New Teacher Institute, the School Board Leadership Institute, Replications and School Leadership Teams.

The Principals Leadership Institute prepares principals, assistant principals and supervisors, particularly from low-performing schools to "lead a school design process in their communities... responsive to local needs, interests and resources." In collaboration with a number of New York City public schools, the New Teacher Institute provides "multiple levels of support" designed to guide new teachers through the difficult transition into teaching.

In addressing the role of school boards through the School Board Leadership Institute, Teachers College proposes to redefine their role, "to focus...attention not on compliance with state law and regulations, not on political infighting, but on creating a renewed public commitment to public education."

"The mission of the Teachers College Replications Project is to promote replication as a pragmatic, common sense educational reform strategy and to facilitate and document the replication of proven successful New York City public schools. The purpose of School Leadership Teams "is to empower (their) constituencies to fulfill their roles and responsibilities as leaders."

Discretionary Support for Innovative Programs
The Eugene Lang Foundation provided $100,000 to the Teachers College discretionary fund to provide start-up support for any one of a number of innovative programs that need initial funding or special project support.
The unrestricted grant from the Lang Foundation gives Teachers College discretion in channeling funds to such programs as the Accelerated Schools Project and the Heritage School.

Teachers College is a designated center for the Accelerated Schools Project, based on the idea that at-risk students thrive in an atmosphere of rigorous standards and an exciting curriculum. As a result, reading and math levels and test scores for students in six metropolitan New York schools involved in the program have increased dramatically.

The Heritage School in East Harlem, a unique educational collaborative between Teachers College and the New York City Board of Education, established an innovative curriculum that includes traditional subject disciplines balanced with interdisciplinary learning and augmented with programs of study in the arts--visual, music, dance and drama.

In 1999, the Heckscher Foundation provided the school with $50,000 to support technology, cultural enhancement and college visitation programs.

Minority Students Endowment
In 1998, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation awarded $100,000 to continue its support of the William Randolph Hearst Centennial Fellowships to benefit minority students recruited to Teachers College. Now totaling $200,000, the endowment generates sufficient funds to recruit six or seven minority students every year.

According to President Levine, "every minority student who graduates from Teachers College is a potential role model."

An Historic Role for Teachers College
"I cannot think of another time in history when our public schools needed our kind of institution more," said Karen Zumwalt, Dean of Teachers College. "We take a very active role in working with public schools to solve their educational problems. After all, public schooling is a foundation of democracy. If we lose public education, we have lost what holds us together as a nation."

 

Major Foundation Support

$2 million plus
Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation
DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund

$1 million to $1,999,999
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Ford Foundation
Esther A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund
Spencer Foundation

$500,000 to $999,999
Anonymous
William & Flora Hewlett Foundation
William Penn Foundation
Pew Charitable Trusts
Rockefeller Foundation
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

$300,000 to $499,999
Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation
William T. Grant Foundation
Joyce Foundation
John S. & James L. Knight Foundation

$200,000 to $299,999
Charles Hayden Foundation
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Henry Luce Foundation
Russell Sage Foundation
Surdna Foundation

$100,000 to $199,999
Achelis Foundation
Bodman Foundation
Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation
Jewish Foundation for the Education of Women
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Eugene M. Lang Foundation
John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Tiger Foundation

$50,000 to $99,999
Altman Foundation
Clark Foundation
Bernard & Alva Gimbel Foundation
William Randolph Hearst Foundation
Heckscher Foundation for Children
Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation
New York State Science & Technology Foundation
Oppenheimer Brothers Foundation
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Stuart Foundation
Wellspring Foundation

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