School of Education News

Paper co-authored by Zeichner examines growing role of venture philanthropy

June 20, 2014

The Teachers College Record recently posted a paper co-authored by UW-Madison Professor Emeritus Kenneth Zeichner that examines the role of venture philanthropy in shaping public policy in teacher education.

The paper is titled “Venture Philanthropy and Teacher Education Policy in the U.S: The Role of the New Schools Venture Fund.” Zeichner, who is with the School of Education's top-ranked Department of Curriculum and Instruction, also currently is the Boeing Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Washington. The paper’s co-author is César Peña-Sandoval, who is a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington.

The Teachers College Record reports that the paper's "goal is to bring a greater level of transparency to private influences on public policy and to promote greater discussion and debate in the public arena about alternative solutions to current problems. In this article, (the authors) focus on the role of one of the most influential private groups in the United States that invests in education, the New Schools Venture Fund (NSVF), in promoting deregulation and market-based policies.”

Zeichner and Peña-Sandoval “reject both the position that the status quo in teacher education is acceptable (a position held by what we term ‘defenders’) and the position that the current system needs to be ‘blown up’ and replaced by a market economy (‘reformers’). We suggest a third position (‘transformers’) that we believe will strengthen the U.S. system of public teacher education and provide everyone’s children with high-quality teachers. We conclude with a call for more trenchant dialogue about the policy options before us and for greater transparency about the ways that private interests are influencing public policy and practice in teacher education.”

To learn more, visit this Teachers College Record web page.


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