PACS news/March 15, 2018

Education Policy Influenced by Large Foundations: Media Turns to Former PACS PhD Fellow, Tompkins-Stange

Megan Tompkins-Stange interprets shifts in education based on influential foundation signals.

Former Stanford PACS PhD Fellow, now a University of Michigan faculty member at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Tompkins-Stange explores how public policy in the education sector is influenced by foundations. In particular, her work on the Gates Foundation has been featured in multiple publications of late, read those as well as the full press release here.

Tompkins-Stange’s Stanford PACS doctoral dissertation ultimately expanded to her book  Policy Patrons: Philanthropy, Education Reform, and the Politics of Influence. In her book, she reviews how large foundations reform education in the United States. In particular, Tompkins-Stange explores whether the widespread acceptance of a strategic, outcome-oriented approach to funding education among foundations constitutes a worrisome intrusion into the democratic process. To this day, she continues this line of research at the University of Michigan and is a sought-after voice when analyzing the intersection of education policy and foundation influence in the sector.