A recent paper by Duke graduate student Peter McElroy surveys the literature on the Annenberg Challenge, a huge philanthropic school-reform initiative of the late 1990s, and reflects on whether, why, and how it failed.
A couple of weeks ago, when the new mayor of Newark was elected on a platform of opposition to a privately-sponsored school reform, I pointed out that public education has long been a minefield for philanthropy. Like many people who make that sort of observation, I cited the Annenberg Challenge (1995-2000), a half-billion-dollar bundle of grants to overhaul schools in 15 metropolitan areas, along with special initiatives for rural schools and arts education. Matching contributions brought the total cost of the program to $1.2 billion.
Flickr user Geoff Llerena
Sanford students Danny Heller and Jennifer Shen founded Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators this past year. The organization pairs Duke grad students with local non-profits to work on pro-bono consulting projects. They talk with the Sanford Journal about starting a student organization, working across disciplines, and how chicken and waffles led to inspiration.