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The Gift of Education: Public Education and Venture Philanthropy Complete

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Although educational philanthropy accounts for just a fraction of educational spending in the U.S., its institutions have recently acquired disproportionate influence and control over educational policy and practice. The Gift of Education is the first book to dissect the new ?venture philanthropy? in education. It evaluates the educational and social implications of private super-rich donors leading reform to K-12, teacher education, and higher education. Challenging common representations of the new philanthropy as primarily about care, generosity, and opportunity, Satlman argues that the new philanthropy is at the forefront of a movement to undermine universal public education at multiple levels. That is, venture philanthropy is contributing to both the privatization of public schooling as well as the transformation of public schooling on the model of corporate culture ? from charter schools to voucher schemes, from the remaking of teacher education and educational leadership to making students into consumers, knowledge into commodities, and classrooms into boardrooms. Educational philanthropy that appears almost exclusively in mass media and policy circles as selfless generosity poses significant threats to the democratic possibilities and realities of public education. Though focused on educational philanthropy, Saltman addresses much broader questions about the ideological agendas at the center of philanthropic giving, the educational and political implications of the privatization of public schooling, the assumptions behind educational obligations, and the roles that schools play in democratic societies.

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