Case Study Sector
In the year 2000, the best-known model for large-scale private giving to foster education reform is Walter Annenberg’s $500 million gift to U.S. public education, unveiled with much hoopla and many accolades in December 1993. Ambassador Annenberg’s gift combined remarkable personal generosity and civic-mindedness with brave, ambitious words about improving American education. The biggest chunk of the gift was used to fund challenge grants in the nation’s nine largest cities. Believing that the experiences of those cities could provide valuable lessons for future attempts at school reform driven by private giving, we commissioned case studies of three communities’ experiences with the Annenberg Challenge.
This case study examines the experience of Chicago. It appears in the book Can Philanthropy Fix Our Schools? Appraising Walter Annenberg’s $500 Million Gift to Public Education.