Conservative Philanthropies and Organizations Shaping U.S. Educational Policy and Practice

Kathleen Demarrais (Author) Brigette A. Herron (Author)
& 1 more
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American public education has been under assault for the last few decades as a "broken" system that needs a complete overhaul. In large part, these opinions are offered by people and organizations who know little about schools. But who are these influencers? This book is about conservative philanthropies, the organizations and individuals within their networks, and the strategies they use to shape educational policy and practice in K-12 and higher education. Each chapter examines a philanthropy, philanthropic network, or corporation focused on pushing an agenda of individualism, privatization, and conservative ideologies. Based in extensive research, including the tax filings of specific philanthropic foundations, the authors demonstrate how the philanthropic elite work within federal, state, and local governmental contexts to influence policy and practice. Within a global context of increasing wealth inequality, the authors question the motivations of these privileged few to withhold tax dollars from the US treasury where duly elected representatives can determine how tax dollars are used to benefit society. By allowing these philanthropic organizations tax exemptions under the guise of assumed benevolence, are citizens giving up their ability to hold these organizations accountable for how the money is spent? This book, aimed at a general audience of educators, provides the in-depth knowledge necessary to understand and resist private control of public policies and institutions.

Product Details

Myers Education Press
Publish Date
August 07, 2020

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About the Author

Kathleen deMarrais is professor and department head in the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration and Policy at the University of Georgia. After a 14-year career as a K-12 special education teacher, she earned a doctorate in Social Foundations of Education at the University of Cincinnati. She serves as a qualitative methodologist in UGA's Qualitative Research Program. Her research is focused on qualitative methodologies, qualitative pedagogy, and the impact of philanthropy in educational policy and practice. In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, her books include: Foundations for Research: Methods of Inquiry in Education and the Social Sciences (with S. Lapan); Inside Stories: Educating Young Adolescent Girls (with P. O'Reilly & B. Penn); The Way Schools Work: A Sociological Analysis of Schooling, 3rd Edition (with M. LeCompte); Life at the Margins: Profiles of Diverse Adults (with J. Merrifield, D. Hemphill & B. Bingman); Teach for America Counter Narratives: Alumni Speak Up and Speak Out (with T. J. Brewer); and Philanthropy, Hidden Strategy, and Collective Resistance: A Primer for Concerned Educators. She was honored by her undergraduate alma mater, East Stroudsburg University, with the 2017 Excellence in Education Award for demonstrated superior teaching ability and extraordinary commitment to students at the elementary, secondary or college level.
Brigette Adair Herron holds a Ph.D. in Adult Education from the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy at the University of Georgia. She is from Athens, Georgia and holds graduate certificates in Women's Studies, Interdisciplinary Qualitative Studies, and Global Health. Her scholarly research interests include transnational and justice-oriented feminist pedagogy in adult and higher education, examining the influence of philanthropy and dark money on curriculum and pedagogy in higher education, and teaching and researching with qualitative research methodology. Recent books include Philanthropy, Hidden Strategy, and Collective Resistance: A Primer for Concerned Educators (with K. deMarrais, T. J. Brewer, J. Atkinson, & J. Lewis) and Neon Side of Town: The Story of the B-52s (with S. Creney).
Janie Copple is a Ph.D. student in the Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methodologies program at the University of Georgia. Prior to PhD studies, Janie worked as a middle grades classroom teacher and curriculum coordinator. Janie's research interests include the role of philanthropy in secondary and higher education as well as adolescent and family experiences with puberty and sexuality. Janie's current publications can be found in The Qualitative Report and African Studies Quarterly.