Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
For the past three years, instead of publishing a run-of-the-mill annual report, the Kauffman Foundation has put out a "Thoughtbook," a collection of essays by staff, grantees, and friends on the foundation's adventures in philanthropy. About a third of the report deals with education--specifically, math and science education, urban school reform, and higher ed. In the first section, Kauffman Vice President Dennis Cheek's essay describes the foundation's ten-year plan to turn Kansas City into a "test bed for the thorough evaluation of educational interventions in mathematics, science, and technology." By facilitating and learning from experimentation in a demographically diverse, 32-district metropolitan area, Kauffman hopes to make Kansas City the center of the nation's STEM efforts over the next decade. (We hope, of course, that such advances don't come at the expense of equally important subjects.) Subsequent essays in this section, including one by "Zhia," a teacher from the "Homework Zone" help line, examine the challenges and successes that Kauffman has faced so far in Kansas City. The second section includes a rundown of the Kauffman Scholars program, which prepares inner-city middle-schoolers for college and beyond; an interview with "social entrepreneur" Bill Strickland, who started the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in Pittsburgh; and a roundup of innovative school models, including Cristo Rey and KIPP. A final education-related section is dedicated to getting the topic of entrepreneurship into higher-ed curricula. All in all, it's an exciting collection of ideas and initiatives that should interest lots of readers. Request a copy here.