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The rise of large strategic philanthropies has shifted the political dynamics surrounding the production and use of research in education, particularly around market- and accountability-based reforms. Philanthropies fund think tanks, advocacy organizations, and centers to conduct research that will support their reform priorities, particularly charter schools, school vouchers, teacher merit pay, and parent trigger laws.

The project examines whether intermediary organizations' promotion of research may differ depending on a city's governance structure and policy processes, as well as changes in political actors; the sites are Los Angeles and New York City, locations that have active intermediary sectors, but differ in their education governance structures and histories.

Study participants include policymakers, journalists, intermediary organization representatives, and university-based researchers.


William T. Grant Foundation

Principal Investigator

Elizabeth H. DeBray

Professor, Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy


Janelle Scott

University of California, Berkeley

Christopher Lubienski

Indiana University

Active Since

November 2015