Friday, December 7, 2007

Friday Afternoon KIPP Caribbean Pile On

There's a blogospheric pile on regarding KIPP's private-public financing of staff retreats to the Caribbean. See A-Rus and NYC Educator for two views.

In an era where public education is struggling to justify its need for more funds, stories like this certainly don't help the cause. Even if it is "just private money," this case (and the many others I've seen like this) raises the pesky and under-explored issue of investment-return ratios in educational philanthropy.

A group that's doing really interesting work in this area is called Give Well. The organization was founded around the idea that "generosity and good intentions are nice - but not enough." They're gathering effectiveness data on many kinds of non-profits, including educational non-profits. You can check out the orgs they are reviewing here. As hybrid private-public arrangements grow in education, we should all start reading their blog - check it out here.

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