Philanthropy, Hidden Strategy, and Collective Resistance
A Primer for Concerned Educators
Published: March 2019
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Published: March 2019
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Published: April 2019

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Published: April 2019
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6" x 9"
Language: English

A 2020 SPE Outstanding Book Award Winner
A 2019 AESA Critics' Choice Award Winner

Conservative ideologues have sought to shift the focus from the collective good to the individual good and to redirect the purposes and aims of education away from public benefit and in favor of private enterprise. As such, market-oriented, privatized, and standardized approaches to education reform have worked toward achieving that goal. This book is a primer on how the political right is utilizing various aspects of philanthropy and the political process to influence educational policymaking.

In 1971, corporate lawyer and future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell wrote a detailed memo that galvanized a small group of conservative philanthropists to create an organizational structure and fifty-year plan to alter the political landscape of the United States. Funded with significant “dark money,” the fruits of their labor are evident today in the current political context and sharp cultural divisions in society. Philanthropy, Hidden Strategy, and Collective Resistance examines the ideologies behind the philanthropic efforts in education from the 1970s until today. Authors examine specific strategies philanthropists have used to impact both educational policy and practice in the U.S. as well as the legal and policy context in which these initiatives have thrived. The book, aimed for a broad audience of educators, provides a depth of knowledge of philanthropic funding as well as specific strategies to incite collective resistance to the current context of hyperaccountability, privatization of schooling at all levels, and attempts to move the U.S. further away from a commitment to the collective good.

Perfect for courses such as: Critical and Contemporary Issues in Education, Education Policy, Educational Policy Analysis, Social Foundations of Education, Philanthropy, Public Policy & Community Change, Philanthropic Studies, Sociology of Education, Politics of Education, Current Issues in Education, Government and the Mass Media, Polarization of American Politics.

Table of Contents:

List of Tables and Figures


1. Ideology and Education: An Introduction

2. “The Haves and the Have Mores:” Fueling a Conservative Ideological War on Public Education (or Tracking the Money)” [reprinted]

3. The Haves and the Have Mores”: An Update, 2005–2018

4. Citizens United and the Disuniting of the United States by John Dayton, J.D., Ed.D., & Jamie B. Lewis, J.D., Ph.D.

5. Hidden Strategies State by State: The History and Work of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), 1973–2018

6. Philanthropy Goes to College: Tracking the Money

7. Ideological and Philanthropic Bedfellows: Elevating the Individual over the Collective Good in Education

8. The Megaphone Behind the Myth: The Media’s Role in Shaping Public Discourse about Education Reform

9. Foundry10: A Case of Philanthropy Building School and Community Partnerships
by Lisa Castaneda

10. Collective Resistance: Resources for Change

About the Authors


Reviews & Endorsements:

“(T)his book is an incredibly important resource for educators at all levels. Philanthropy in education is all too frequently hidden behind closed doors with the donors’ true intentions obfuscated and working in their own best interests—rather than those of the public. This text could easily serve as the centerpiece of an educational foundations course for future educators to familiarize themselves with some of the ulterior motives behind seemingly well-meaning philanthropic movements. Additionally, the message of empowerment via praxis throughout the book serves as a blueprint and provides resources for democratically engaged citizens to get engaged at the level of grassroots activism for the purpose of holding policymakers accountable for their ceding power to the wealthy elite and to push policymakers to defend public education, one of the cornerstones of a well-functioning democracy.”

A primer is an introduction to and foundation for a larger conversation, a place to begin critical investigation. In Philanthropy, Hidden Strategy, and Collective Resistance: A Primer for Concerned Educators, authors deMarrais and colleagues offer a point of entry for understanding how philanthropic persons have systematically created a foundation to influence education politics and policy to benefit their self-interest. The authors use historical timelines and case studies to highlight important individuals and groups that have helped shape the narrative for the need for education reform. They make an explicit link between the political strategies set forth in the 1960s, the funding that supported these strategies, and how that investment in those strategies has influenced politics and policy of education. Furthermore, the authors center neoliberalism (e.g., market-driven policies) and conservatism as the driving forces behind the education reform movement. (Click HERE to read the full review.)

Derek A. Houston, University of Oklahoma, for Education Review, Vol. 27

"Philanthropy, Hidden Strategy, and Collective Resistance makes a timely and critical contribution to conversations surrounding the impact of philanthropy on US education. As such, this text will be of interest to a diverse set of disciplines including, but not limited to: education and the sub-fields sociology of education, history of education, philosophy of education, and higher education; political science and sociology. In addition to its use as a teaching tool within higher education classrooms, this text will be of equal interest to educational researchers, policy-makers, educational philanthropists, and practitioners."

Amy Stich, Assistant Professor of Higher Education, University of Georgia

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