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Education Government The Almighty Buck Politics

How Have Large Donations Affected Education Policy In New York City? 37

theodp writes: According to Chalkbeat, the expansion of charter schools, the movement to break New York City's large schools into smaller ones, and the push to teach computer science have something in common: the influence of philanthropy. Though contributions from big donors amount to only a fraction of New York City's education spending, they still have a real impact on public school policy, said Jeffrey Henig, the co-author of The New Education Philanthropy: Politics, Policy and Reform, which details how powerful individuals and organizations increasingly use donations to advance policies they support. Increasingly, Henig adds, some of those donors are paying more attention to advocacy, creating at least the appearance, if not the reality, of grassroots support.
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How Have Large Donations Affected Education Policy In New York City?

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  • "Donations" (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Saturday January 23, 2016 @02:22PM (#51357453) Journal

    If there are any conditions, it's not a "donation", it is a bribe, and it shouldn't be tax deductible.

    • Re:"Donations" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Saturday January 23, 2016 @02:32PM (#51357499) Journal

      Nah. For instance, I will donate to help cloth the poor or disaster assistance but insist none of that donation goes to high dollar salaries of the people running it. That is not a bribe.

      • This is not just about altruistism. There is a huge political aspect to these donations. Public employee unions are the biggest donors [opensecrets.org] to the Democratic Party. The also provide thousands of campaign door knockers and phone dialers. When Obama was nominated, more than 20% of the delegates at the convention were members of either the NEA or the AFT. School reform, charter schools, and an upcoming Supreme Court ruling [wikipedia.org] could weaken these unions, which will have a dramatic effect on American politics. I t

        • I think this is a good thing, because the public employee unions have a corrupting influence, and push the Democratic Party away from their natural role of helping the dispossessed.

          You forgot to put the surrounding sarcasm tags around this bit ;)

      • Sure, but if instead you insist that all the cloths that this charity hands out are made by some cooperation that you own shares in (which is a real example unlike yours) then donations in that instance should be in quotations.

        • I'm not sure that can happen can it? It seems to me like the donation would just be rejected if that were a stipulation. However, I could see the donator purchasing a couple truckloads of cloths made by some corporation he owns stock in and that being the donation instead of money. I don't have a problem with that. do you?

          • Doesn't Microsoft often "donate" money to schools to help them set up computer equipment that will be running Microsoft software? This stipulation probably happens more often than we know thanks to back room dealings.

      • Nah. For instance, I will donate to help cloth the poor or disaster assistance but insist none of that donation goes to high dollar salaries of the people running it. That is not a bribe.

        The difference is that your wishes will be ignored, while the high value donors' won't be.

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      Well still yet they seem to be obligated to hold up their end of the bargain. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/he... [go.com]

    • Aside from 'donations' that basically go to pure astroturfing for somebody's pet project; I'd imagine that a lot of the influence comes not from direct string-attaching(which would indeed get pretty bribey looking pretty quickly); but from the effective leverage of having the city pick up the bulk of the infrastructure and operational costs that would exist across most possible educational setups; but getting the setup you want by donating the marginal cost(in cash or in kind) of whatever your pet project r
  • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Saturday January 23, 2016 @02:56PM (#51357593)
    The biggest single source of political donations has traditionally been the teachers unions. This has resulted in terrible corruption of the political process and lousy educational outcomes for kids, placing the personal interests of teachers ahead of those of children. The fact that in recent years, supporters for charter schools and private donations have managed to reach similar contributions is a glimmer of hope. But even money aside, teachers' unions still have way too much political power, and charter schools are really not a good solution either.
    • Political donations go to politicians, not to the schools. These articles are talking about donations that actually go to schools.
      • Indeed. And the difference is that these donations have political influence through actually going to kids, while union donations simply pay off politicians that funnel money in the direction of teachers and administrators.
    • The fact that in recent years, supporters for charter schools and private donations have managed to reach similar contributions is a glimmer of hope.

      The education system has failed you.

      • Don't you worry about what the education system has done for me. What people should be worried about is that morons like you are actually working as teachers in the US education system:

        Left-wing extremist. Expertise in critical theory and post-WWII literature. Published in six languages, none of which are Esperanto, unfortunately.

  • The term has more than one meaning. School systems do need reforming. The obstacle is the parents. The idea that my kid must be promoted is behind the great dumbing down of public schools. Raise the bar for getting a grade and the able students will prosper and the less able students will be labeled for what they are. As it now stands the worst students dictate the depth at which a subject can be taught. The parents make the phone calls and the mayor and other officials insist that the lesser minds do
    • The catch is that the lesser minds will do little for society whereas the sharper minds can do a great deal for all of us.

      Being clever does not in itself make you a good or useful person. Most successful investment bankers and CEOs are extremely bright people.

The possession of a book becomes a substitute for reading it. -- Anthony Burgess

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