Chicago Annenberg Challenge

Chicago Annenberg Challenge

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The Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) was a Chicago public school reform project from 1995 to 2001 that worked with half of Chicago's public schools and was funded by a $49.2 million, 2-to-1 matching challenge grant over five years from the Annenberg Foundation
Annenberg Foundation
The Annenberg Foundation is a private foundation that provides funding and support to non-profit organizations in the United States and around the world...

. The grant was contingent on being matched by $49.2 million in private donations and $49.2 million in public money. The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was one of 18 locally designed Annenberg Challenge project sites that received $387 million over five years as part of Walter Annenberg
Walter Annenberg
Walter Hubert Annenberg was an American publisher, philanthropist, and diplomat.-Early life:Walter Annenberg was born to a Jewish family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 13, 1908. He was the son of Sarah and Moses "Moe" Annenberg, who published The Daily Racing Form and purchased The Philadelphia...

's gift of $500 million over five years to support public school reform. The Chicago Annenberg Challenge helped create a successor organization, the Chicago Public Education Fund (CPEF), committing $2 million in June 1998 as the first donor to Chicago's first community foundation for education.

Annenberg Challenge


In the 1990s, billionaire Walter Annenberg, former ambassador to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 under President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

, was the United States' most generous living philanthropist. By 1998, Annenberg had given away more than $2 billion and the assets of the Annenberg Foundation he had established in June 1989 with $1 billion had grown to $3 billion and ranked as the 12th largest in the U.S. Every weekday from May through November, Annenberg was driven from his home in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania
Wynnewood, Pennsylvania
Wynnewood, Pennsylvania is a suburban community located outside of Philadelphia in Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania and Haverford Township, Pennsylvania, United States. Wynnewood was named in 1691 for Dr. Thomas Wynne, William Penn's physician and the first Speaker of the Pennsylvania General...

 to his Annenberg Foundation headquarters in St. Davids, Pennsylvania
St. Davids, Pennsylvania
St. Davids is an unincorporated community in Radnor Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is served by its own train station. St. Davids is home to the main campus of Eastern University, a four-year, liberal arts university affiliated with the American Baptist Churches...

, where, as its sole director, he reserved virtually every decision for himself when making grants.

In June 1993, Annenberg announced he was making the largest individual gift to private education in history—$365 million to four schools: $120 million each to the communication programs at the University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

 and the University of Southern California
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, research university located in Los Angeles, California, United States. USC was founded in 1880, making it California's oldest private research university...

, $25 million to Harvard College
Harvard College
Harvard College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of two schools within Harvard University granting undergraduate degrees...

, and $100 million to his alma mater, the Peddie School
Peddie School
The Peddie School is a college preparatory school in Hightstown, New Jersey, United States. It is a nondenominational, coeducational boarding school located on a 280‑acre campus, and serves students in the ninth through twelfth grades, plus a small post-graduate class...

 in Hightstown, New Jersey
Hightstown, New Jersey
Hightstown is a Borough in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough population was 5,494.Hightstown was incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 5, 1853, within portions of East Windsor Township. The borough became...

.

In October 1993, Annenberg announced an unrestricted $25 million gift to Northwestern University
Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....

 bringing his total donations to Northwestern to $55 million, his last major gift to higher education for five years as he shifted the focus of his philanthropy to public K–12 education.

Annenberg told Newton Minow
Newton N. Minow
Newton Norman Minow is an American attorney and former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. His speech referring to television as a "vast wasteland" is cited even as the speech has passed its 50th anniversary...

, senior counsel of Sidley & Austin
Sidley Austin
Sidley Austin LLP, formerly known as Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, is one of the oldest law firms in the world. It is the sixth-largest U.S.-based corporate law firm with more than 1,650 lawyers, annual revenues of more than one billion dollars, and offices in 17 cities worldwide, with the most...

, chairman of the Carnegie Corporation
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York, which was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 "to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding," is one of the oldest, largest and most influential of American foundations...

 (1993–1997), Annenberg Professor of Communications Law and Policy at Northwestern University (1987–2003) and director of its Annenberg Washington Program (1987–1996): "Everybody around the world wants to send their kids to our universities. South America, Asia, Europe, all of them. But nobody wants to send their kids here to public school. Who would, especially in a big city? Nobody. So we've got to do something. If we don't, our civilization will collapse."

Annenberg sought recommendations on making a large gift to American public schools from his pro bono education advisors:
  1. Vartan Gregorian
    Vartan Gregorian
    Vartan Gregorian is an Armenian-American academic, serving as the president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. He is an ethnic Armenian, born in Iran....

    , president of Brown University
    Brown University
    Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...

     (1989–1997); president of the Carnegie Corporation (1997– ); former president of the New York Public Library
    New York Public Library
    The New York Public Library is the largest public library in North America and is one of the United States' most significant research libraries...

    ; former professor of Southwest Asia
    Southwest Asia
    Western Asia, West Asia, Southwest Asia or Southwestern Asia are terms that describe the westernmost portion of Asia. The terms are partly coterminous with the Middle East, which describes a geographical position in relation to Western Europe rather than its location within Asia...

    n history, dean, and provost of the University of Pennsylvania
  2. Ted Sizer
    Ted Sizer
    Theodore Ryland Sizer was a leader of educational reform in the United States, the founder of the Essential school movement and was known for challenging longstanding practices and assumptions about the functioning of American secondary schools...

    , founding chairman of the Coalition of Essential Schools
    Coalition of Essential Schools
    The Coalition of Essential Schools is an organization created to further a type of whole-school reform originally envisioned by founder Ted Sizer in his book, Horace's Compromise. CES began in 1984 with twelve schools; it currently has 600 formal members.-Horace's Compromise:Horace's Compromise...

     (CES) (1984–1997); professor of education at Brown University
    Brown University
    Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...

     (1983–1997); former headmaster of Phillips Andover
    Phillips Academy
    Phillips Academy is a selective, co-educational independent boarding high school for boarding and day students in grades 9–12, along with a post-graduate year...

     (1972–1981); former dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education
    Harvard Graduate School of Education
    The Harvard Graduate School of Education is one of the graduate schools of Harvard University, and is one of the top schools of education in the United States. It was founded in 1920, the same year it invented the Ed.D...

     (1964–1972)
  3. David Kearns
    David T. Kearns
    David Todd Kearns was an American businessman who was CEO of Xerox Corporation and Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education . He died on the 25th of February, 2011.-Early life:...

    , chairman of the Alexandria
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2009, the city had a total population of 139,966. Located along the Western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is approximately six miles south of downtown Washington, D.C.Like the rest of northern Virginia, as well as...

    -based New American Schools Development Corporation (NASDC)—a 1991 school reform initiative of President George H. W. Bush
    George H. W. Bush
    George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

    ; former Deputy Secretary of Education (1991–1993) under Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander
    Lamar Alexander
    Andrew Lamar Alexander is the senior United States Senator from Tennessee and Conference Chair of the Republican Party. He was previously the 45th Governor of Tennessee from 1979 to 1987, United States Secretary of Education from 1991 to 1993 under President George H. W...

     in the George H. W. Bush administration; former president, CEO and chairman of Xerox
    Xerox
    Xerox Corporation is an American multinational document management corporation that produced and sells a range of color and black-and-white printers, multifunction systems, photo copiers, digital production printing presses, and related consulting services and supplies...



On December 17, 1993, the 85-year-old Annenberg announced his five-year $500 million "Challenge to the Nation" at a ceremony in the Roosevelt Room
Roosevelt Room
The Roosevelt Room is a meeting room in the West Wing of the White House, the official home and principal workplace of the President of the United States. Located almost in the center of the West Wing, and near the Oval Office the room is named for two related U.S. presidents, Theodore Roosevelt...

 of the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 with President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

, Secretary of Education Richard Riley
Richard Riley
Richard Wilson Riley , American politician, was United States Secretary of Education under President Bill Clinton and the 111th Governor of South Carolina. He is a member of the Democratic Party....

, Gregorian, Sizer, Kearns, and Frank Newman, Illinois Governor Jim Edgar
Jim Edgar
James Edgar is an American politician who was the 38th Governor of Illinois from 1991 to 1999 and Illinois Secretary of State from 1981 to 1991. As a moderate Republican in a largely blue-leaning state, Edgar was a popular and successful governor, leaving office with high approval ratings...

 and Colorado Governor Roy Romer (the president, outgoing and incoming chairman, respectively, of the Denver
Denver, Colorado
The City and County of Denver is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is a consolidated city-county, located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains...

-based bipartisan Education Commission of the States
Education Commission of the States
The Education Commission of the States was founded as a result of the creation of the Compact for Education, an interstate compact approved by Congress in 1965 and currently entered by 49 U.S...

 (ECS).

Annenberg announced that he was giving $113 million over five years to three national school reform organizations:
  1. $50 million to a new Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) at Brown University that would incorporate the CES and be chaired by Sizer
  2. $57 million to the NASDC, chaired by Kearns
  3. $6 million to the ECS (chaired by Edgar and then Romer, with president Newman) to disseminate NASDC models for restructuring schools


The remaining $387 million was for: school reform in the largest urban school systems, attended by a third of the 47 million public school students in the U.S.; for school reform in rural schools which make up a quarter of all public schools, attended by 1 in 8 public school students in the U.S.; and for arts education.

Annenberg delegated how to spend the $387 million to his closest professional friend, Vartan Gregorian, whom he had known for twenty years—since Gregorian's tenure at the University of Pennsylvania where Annenberg was a trustee and its largest donor. Annenberg called Gregorian: "The best all-around executive I know. A man of great character and absolute integrity. The most outstanding human being I know." Gregorian oversaw everything involved in the Challenge and ensured that it was nonpartisan. Reflecting Annenberg's vision of the Challenge as a catalyst—not a yardstick—he did not require Gregorian to meet specific benchmarks, such as dispensing funds on the basis of the schools' raising their reading or math scores by certain percentage points.

Gregorian recruited university presidents and business leaders to assemble civic teams in various cities to pursue Challenge grants, and awarded grants to 18 locally designed projects:
  • Nine grants were awarded to major urban areas. These awards included matching grants ranging in size from $10 million to $53 million: New York City and Los Angeles in 1994; Chicago,










    Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area in 1995; South Florida, Boston and Detroit in 1996; and Houston in 1997.

  • Five smaller special opportunity grants ranging from $1 million to $4 million were awarded to Atlanta, Chattanooga, Chelsea, Salt Lake City, and West Baltimore.

  • $50 million was awarded to set up the national Rural Challenge that involved over 700 schools across the U.S.

  • Three arts education grants ranging from $3 million to $12 million were awarded to New York City, Minneapolis, and a national arts education program.

Beginnings


The three co-authors of Chicago's winning Annenberg Challenge $49.2 million grant proposal were:
  1. William Ayers
    Bill Ayers
    William Charles "Bill" Ayers is an American elementary education theorist and a former leader in the movement that opposed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He is known for his 1960s activism as well as his current work in education reform, curriculum, and instruction...

    , associate professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago
    University of Illinois at Chicago
    The University of Illinois at Chicago, or UIC, is a state-funded public research university located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Its campus is in the Near West Side community area, near the Chicago Loop...

    ; co-director of the Small Schools Workshop
    Small Schools Workshop
    Founded in Chicago in 1991, the Small Schools Workshop has become a premier resource for small schools creation, design and restructuring. The Workshop provides schools and school districts with an experienced team of school design coaches and teacher professional development experts that can guide...

    ; co-director of the Chicago Forum for School Change—an affiliate of the Coalition of Essential Schools
    Coalition of Essential Schools
    The Coalition of Essential Schools is an organization created to further a type of whole-school reform originally envisioned by founder Ted Sizer in his book, Horace's Compromise. CES began in 1984 with twelve schools; it currently has 600 formal members.-Horace's Compromise:Horace's Compromise...

    ;

    chairman of the Alliance for Better Chicago Schools (ABCs) coalition; former Chicago assistant deputy mayor for education (1989–1990); brother of John Ayers, executive director (1994–2004) of Leadership for Quality Education (an affiliate of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago) and former associate director (1987–1994) of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago; son of Thomas Ayers
    Thomas G. Ayers
    Thomas G. Ayers was president , CEO and chairman of Commonwealth Edison....

    , former president (1964–1980), chairman and CEO (1973–1980) of Commonwealth Edison
    Commonwealth Edison
    Commonwealth Edison is the largest electric utility in Illinois, serving the Chicago and Northern Illinois area...

     and former vice president (1980) of the Chicago School Board
  2. Anne Hallett, executive director and founder of the Cross-City Campaign for Urban School Reform; former executive director of the Wieboldt Foundation
    Wieboldt's
    Wieboldt Stores, Inc., also known as Wieboldt's, did business as a Chicago general retailer between 1883 and 1986. It was founded in 1883 by storekeeper William A. Wieboldt. The flagship location was located on Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago...

     (1986–1993); former executive director of the Citizens Education Center in Seattle (1983–1986); former executive director and founder of the Chicago Panel on School Policy (1982–1983); former chair, founder, and chief lobbyist for Citizens for Fair School Funding in Seattle (1976–1982)
  3. Warren Chapman, senior program officer for education at the Joyce Foundation
    Joyce Foundation
    The Joyce Foundation is a charitable foundation based in Chicago in the United States and operating principally in the Great Lakes region.The Foundation primarily funds organizations in the Great Lakes region .-Programs:* Education: Focuses on public schools in Chicago, Cleveland, and Milwaukee;...

    ; former state coordinator at the Illinois State Board of Education
    Illinois State Board of Education
    The Illinois State Board of Education administers public education in the state of Illinois. The State Board consists of nine members who are appointed by the Governor with the consent of the...

     for the Illinois Alliance of Essential Schools—a regional center of the Coalition of Essential Schools
    Coalition of Essential Schools
    The Coalition of Essential Schools is an organization created to further a type of whole-school reform originally envisioned by founder Ted Sizer in his book, Horace's Compromise. CES began in 1984 with twelve schools; it currently has 600 formal members.-Horace's Compromise:Horace's Compromise...

     (1986–1992)


On December 17, 1993, Ayers, Hallet and Chapman met to discuss how to win an Annenberg Challenge grant for Chicago. Hallett and Chapman were already informal pro bono advisors to the national Annenberg Challenge, and over the course of the following year they met repeatedly at Brown University with other Annenberg advisors and worked to ensure that Chicago would be one of the first cities selected to receive a grant.

In Chicago, Ayers, Hallett and Chapman gathered a 73-member Chicago School Reform Collaborative Working Group from organizations involved in school reform to help them draft a proposal, with Hallett's Cross-City Campaign for Urban School Reform donating its headquarters and providing staff support to the Working Group. In June 1994, Ayers and Hallett submitted a draft proposal to Gregorian on behalf of the Working Group.

The presidents of the three largest independent foundations active in Chicago school reform:
  1. Adele Smith Simmons, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (1989–1999); vice chair and senior executive of Chicago Metropolis 2020—a project of the Commercial Club of Chicago (1999– ); senior associate at the Center for International Studies at the University of Chicago
    University of Chicago
    The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

     (1999–2005); former president of Hampshire College
    Hampshire College
    Hampshire College is a private liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1965 as an experiment in alternative education, in association with four other colleges in the Pioneer Valley: Amherst College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of Massachusetts...

     (1977–1989); former assistant professor of East Africa
    East Africa
    East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

    n history at Princeton University
    Princeton University
    Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

     (1972–1977) and Tufts University
    Tufts University
    Tufts University is a private research university located in Medford/Somerville, near Boston, Massachusetts. It is organized into ten schools, including two undergraduate programs and eight graduate divisions, on four campuses in Massachusetts and on the eastern border of France...

     (1969–1972); former dean of students at Princeton University (1972–1977); former dean of Jackson College for Women
    Tufts University School of Arts and Sciences
    The School of Arts and Sciences is the largest of the eight schools and colleges that comprise Tufts University. Together with the School of Engineering, it offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the liberal arts, sciences, and engineering...

     of Tufts University (1970–1972); Ph.D. 1969, University of Oxford
    University of Oxford
    The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

    ; B.A. 1963, Radcliffe College
    Radcliffe College
    Radcliffe College was a women's liberal arts college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was the coordinate college for Harvard University. It was also one of the Seven Sisters colleges. Radcliffe College conferred joint Harvard-Radcliffe diplomas beginning in 1963 and a formal merger agreement with...

  2. Deborah Leff, president of the Joyce Foundation
    Joyce Foundation
    The Joyce Foundation is a charitable foundation based in Chicago in the United States and operating principally in the Great Lakes region.The Foundation primarily funds organizations in the Great Lakes region .-Programs:* Education: Focuses on public schools in Chicago, Cleveland, and Milwaukee;...

     (1992–1999); president and CEO of America's Second Harvest (1999–2001); director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library
    John F. Kennedy Library
    The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is the presidential library and museum of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. It is located on Columbia Point in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, USA, next to the Boston campus of the University of...

     (2001–2006); president of Public Welfare Foundation (2006– ); former senior producer at ABC News
    ABC News
    ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

     (1983–1989); former producer at WLS-TV ABC 7 News
    WLS-TV
    WLS-TV, virtual channel 7, is an owned-and-operated television station of the Walt Disney Company-owned American Broadcasting Company, located in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The station operates their full power digital operations on UHF channel 44, with their digital fill-in translator on VHF channel...

     in Chicago (1981–1983); former director of public affairs at the Federal Trade Commission
    Federal Trade Commission
    The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act...

     (1980–1981); former civil rights attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice
    United States Department of Justice
    The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

     (1977–1979); J.D. 1977, University of Chicago Law School
    University of Chicago Law School
    The University of Chicago Law School was founded in 1902 as the graduate school of law at the University of Chicago and is among the most prestigious and selective law schools in the world. The U.S. News & World Report currently ranks it fifth among U.S...

    ; A.B. 1973, Princeton University
    Princeton University
    Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

  3. Patricia Albjerg Graham
    Patricia Graham
    Patricia Albjerg Graham is an historian of American education. She began her teaching career in Deep Creek, Virginia, and went on to become a lecturer at Indiana University, professor of history and education at TC, Columbia University, dean of the Radcliffe Institute and of Harvard's Graduate...

    , president of the Spencer Foundation (1991–2000); professor of the history of education (1977–2006) and former dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education
    Harvard Graduate School of Education
    The Harvard Graduate School of Education is one of the graduate schools of Harvard University, and is one of the top schools of education in the United States. It was founded in 1920, the same year it invented the Ed.D...

     (1982–1991); former dean of the Radcliffe Institute (1974–1977) and vice president of Radcliffe College
    Radcliffe College
    Radcliffe College was a women's liberal arts college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was the coordinate college for Harvard University. It was also one of the Seven Sisters colleges. Radcliffe College conferred joint Harvard-Radcliffe diplomas beginning in 1963 and a formal merger agreement with...

     (1976–1977); former assistant professor (1965–1968), associate professor (1968–1972), professor (1972–1974) of the history of education at Barnard College
    Barnard College
    Barnard College is a private women's liberal arts college and a member of the Seven Sisters. Founded in 1889, Barnard has been affiliated with Columbia University since 1900. The campus stretches along Broadway between 116th and 120th Streets in the Morningside Heights neighborhood in the borough...

     and Teachers College
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    Teachers College, Columbia University is a graduate school of education located in New York City, New York...

    , Columbia University
    Columbia University
    Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

    ; former assistant professor of the history of education at Indiana University
    Indiana University
    Indiana University is a multi-campus public university system in the state of Indiana, United States. Indiana University has a combined student body of more than 100,000 students, including approximately 42,000 students enrolled at the Indiana University Bloomington campus and approximately 37,000...

     (1964–1966); former high school teacher, Norfolk, Virginia (1955–1956, 1957–1958), New York City (1958–1960); Ph.D. 1964, Columbia University
    Columbia University
    Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

    ; B.S. 1955, M.S. 1957, Purdue University
    Purdue University
    Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., is the flagship university of the six-campus Purdue University system. Purdue was founded on May 6, 1869, as a land-grant university when the Indiana General Assembly, taking advantage of the Morrill Act, accepted a donation of land and...


supported the Working Group's proposal, helped negotiate its approval by Gregorian, agreed in advance to provide matching funds, and smoothed negotiations with Chicago Mayor
Mayor of Chicago
The Mayor of Chicago is the chief executive of Chicago, Illinois, the third largest city in the United States. He or she is charged with directing city departments and agencies, and with the advice and consent of the Chicago City Council, appoints department and agency leaders.-Appointment...

 Daley
Richard M. Daley
Richard Michael Daley is a United States politician, member of the national and local Democratic Party, and former Mayor of Chicago, Illinois. He was elected mayor in 1989 and reelected in 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007. He was the longest serving Chicago mayor, surpassing the tenure of his...

's administration, the Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Public Schools, commonly abbreviated as CPS by local residents and politicians and officially classified as City of Chicago School District #299 for funding and districting reasons, is a large school district that manages over 600 public elementary and high schools in Chicago, Illinois...

 administration and the Chicago Teachers Union
Chicago Teachers Union
The Chicago Teachers Union is a labor union representing teachers in the Chicago public school system. It is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO and the American Federation of Teachers and has over 32,000 members...

, which had each submitted competing Annenberg Challenge grant proposals. In November 1994, Ayers and Hallett submitted a final proposal to Gregorian on behalf of the Working Group.

On January 23, 1995, in a ceremony attended by Mayor Daley, Governor Edgar, and other dignitaries at Washington Irving Elementary School (where the 1988 School Reform Act had been signed), Walter Annenberg's daughter, Wallis Annenberg, presented a symbolic $49.2 million check from the Annenberg Foundation to 11-year-old Amanda Morado, who accepted it on behalf of the nearly 410,000 Chicago public school children. The $49.2 million challenge grant over 5 years (a planned $3 million the first year, then $11.55 million per year for the next four years) was contingent on being matched 2-to-1 by $49.2 million in private donations and $49.2 million in public money. In recognition of preexisting strong support by local foundations—which were already spending more than $12 million per year on Chicago school reform (including $4 million per year from the MacArthur Foundation and nearly $3 million per year from the Joyce Foundation)—the Annenberg Foundation agreed that the Chicago Annenberg Challenge could draw upon existing commitments as a source of matching funds. The public match would come from public funds committed to implementation of the 1988 school reform law, including some of the $261 million per year state Chapter 1 antipoverty funds provided to Chicago public schools (an average of $500,000 per elementary school and an average of $800,000 per high school).

Supplemental educational programs provided by local and national school reform groups working with networks of schools expanded in Chicago in the six years after the 1988 School Reform Act devolved state Chapter 1 antipoverty discretionary funding from the Chicago Public Schools administration down to individual schools, and foundations increased their school reform funding from $2 million per year to over $12 million per year. These programs provided by existing groups working with networks of schools became models for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge's grants which were to go to external partners—such as the Coalition of Essential Schools
Coalition of Essential Schools
The Coalition of Essential Schools is an organization created to further a type of whole-school reform originally envisioned by founder Ted Sizer in his book, Horace's Compromise. CES began in 1984 with twelve schools; it currently has 600 formal members.-Horace's Compromise:Horace's Compromise...

 or the Algebra Project
Algebra Project
The Algebra Project is a national U.S. mathematics literacy effort aimed at helping low-income students and students of color successfully achieve mathematical skills that are a prerequisite for a college preparatory mathematics sequence in high school...





—working with networks of 5 to 10 schools, as opposed to going to system-wide initiatives or going directly to individual schools. The external partner could be anything from a school reform group to a teachers union to a community organization to a university to a local business.

An 8-member Board of Directors made up of representatives of organizations that had no vested interest in Annenberg money was recruited to approve grants, hire an executive director and project staff, and determine which funds could count towards the required $98.4 million match. The Board of Directors was handpicked by Adele Smith Simmons, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, who was asked by Gregorian to "work with foundation leadership to create a board that would be diverse, including people from the community, business interests and civic leaders, and include no more than nine people."

At a meeting with Simmons and Patricia Albjerg Graham, Deborah Leff suggested that Barack Obama would make a good board chairman. After meeting and being impressed by Obama, Graham told Obama that she wanted him to be chairman of the Board of Directors. Obama said that he would agree to serve as chairman if Graham would be vice chairman, to which Graham agreed.

A 23-member group of Chicago parents, teachers, activists, funders, administrators, local school council members and academics who were involved in school reform, called the Chicago School Reform Collaborative, was chosen to design the initial Request for Proposal
Request for Proposal
A request for proposal is issued at an early stage in a procurement process, where an invitation is presented for suppliers, often through a bidding process, to submit a proposal on a specific commodity or service. The RFP process brings structure to the procurement decision and is meant to...

s (RFPs), help publicize the Challenge and hold informational sessions for potential grantees, screen and rate the initial letters of intent, aid the Board of Directors in selecting an executive director, and work with the project's staff. Twenty of the 23 members of the Collaborative were elected by all Working Group members who had attended two or more of the drafting sessions during the first ten months of 1994 for the winning $49.2 million grant proposal; the other three members of the Collaborative were appointed representatives of the Office of the Mayor, the Chicago Public Schools administration, and the Chicago Teachers Union.

On June 22, 1995, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge announced the members of its Board of Directors and Chicago School Reform Collaborative and said that RFPs had been sent to all 550 Chicago public schools and to numerous community agencies.


Two-page letters of intent from schools were due by August 1; by August 23, schools would receive a letter either asking them to apply next year or inviting them to a meeting for further details on how to prepare a proposal to get funding that year, with proposals due by October 1, and grants announced December 4.

Board of Directors


The founding Board of Directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge as announced in 1995 were:
  1. Patricia Albjerg Graham
  2. Barack Obama
    Barack Obama
    Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

    , civil rights attorney at Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland; lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School
    University of Chicago Law School
    The University of Chicago Law School was founded in 1902 as the graduate school of law at the University of Chicago and is among the most prestigious and selective law schools in the world. The U.S. News & World Report currently ranks it fifth among U.S...

    ; member of the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation
    Joyce Foundation
    The Joyce Foundation is a charitable foundation based in Chicago in the United States and operating principally in the Great Lakes region.The Foundation primarily funds organizations in the Great Lakes region .-Programs:* Education: Focuses on public schools in Chicago, Cleveland, and Milwaukee;...

     and the Woods Fund of Chicago
    Woods Fund of Chicago
    The Woods Fund of Chicago is a private independent foundation in Chicago, whose goal is to increase opportunities for less-advantaged people and communities in the Chicago metropolitan area, including the opportunity to shape decisions affecting them....

    ; winner, Crain's Chicago Business 40 Under 40 award, 1993; former president of the Harvard Law Review
    Harvard Law Review
    The Harvard Law Review is a journal of legal scholarship published by an independent student group at Harvard Law School.-Overview:According to the 2008 Journal Citation Reports, the Review is the most cited law review and has the second-highest impact factor in the category "law" after the...

    (1990–1991); former executive director of the Developing Communities Project (June 1985–May 1988); current President of the United States
    President of the United States
    The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

  3. Stanley O. Ikenberry, president of the University of Illinois
    University of Illinois system
    The University of Illinois is a system of public universities in Illinois consisting of three campuses: Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield. Across its three campuses, the University of Illinois enrolls about 70,000 students. It had an operating budget of $4.17 billion in 2007.-System:The...

     (1979–1995); member of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago (1983–1995); former professor of education (1965–1971) and senior vice president (1971–1979) of Pennsylvania State University
    Pennsylvania State University
    The Pennsylvania State University, commonly referred to as Penn State or PSU, is a public research university with campuses and facilities throughout the state of Pennsylvania, United States. Founded in 1855, the university has a threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service...

  4. Arnold R. Weber
    Arnold R. Weber
    Arnold Robert Weber was the president of Northwestern University from 1985–1994. His tenure at Northwestern was remarkable for stabilizing the university's finances and enhancing the Evanston campus environment.-Biography:...

    , president of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago (1995–1999); member of the board of directors of the Arie and Ida Crown Memorial
    Henry Crown
    Henry Crown was an American industrialist and philanthropist. Among other things, he founded the Material Service Corporation, which merged with General Dynamics in 1959. At the time of his death, he was a billionaire...

     and the Tribune Company
    Tribune Company
    The Tribune Company is a large American multimedia corporation based in Chicago, Illinois. It is the nation's second-largest newspaper publisher, with ten daily newspapers and commuter tabloids including Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Hartford Courant, Orlando Sentinel, South Florida...

    ; former president of Northwestern University
    Northwestern University
    Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....

     (1985–1994) and the University of Colorado
    University of Colorado System
    The University of Colorado system is a system of public universities in Colorado consisting of three universities in four campuses: University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and University of Colorado Denver in downtown Denver and at the Anschutz Medical Campus in...

     (1980–1985); professor of labor economics and friend and colleague of George P. Shultz
    George P. Shultz
    George Pratt Shultz is an American economist, statesman, and businessman. He served as the United States Secretary of Labor from 1969 to 1970, as the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury from 1972 to 1974, and as the U.S. Secretary of State from 1982 to 1989...

     at MIT
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

    , the University of Chicago
    University of Chicago
    The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

    , and in the Nixon administration
    Richard Nixon
    Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

  5. Raymond G. Romero, vice president and general counsel of Ameritech
    Ameritech
    AT&T Teleholdings, Inc., formerly known as Ameritech Corporation , was a U.S. telecommunications company that arose out of the 1984 AT&T divestiture. Ameritech was one of the seven Regional Bell Operating Companies that was created following the breakup of the Bell System...

    ; Chicago School Finance Authority board member (appointed in 1992 by Governor Jim Edgar
    Jim Edgar
    James Edgar is an American politician who was the 38th Governor of Illinois from 1991 to 1999 and Illinois Secretary of State from 1981 to 1991. As a moderate Republican in a largely blue-leaning state, Edgar was a popular and successful governor, leaving office with high approval ratings...

    ); candidate in the 1996 Democratic primary for the 5th Congressional District of Illinois; winner, Crain's Chicago Business 40 Under 40 award, 1991; former Illinois Commerce Commission commissioner (appointed in 1985 by Governor Jim Thompson
    James R. Thompson
    James Robert Thompson, Jr. , also known as Big Jim Thompson, was the 37th and longest serving Governor of the US state of Illinois...

    ); former civil rights attorney as Midwest regional director of MALDEF
    Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
    The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund is a national non-profit civil rights organization formed in 1968 to protect the rights of Latinos in the United States...

     where he was lead counsel for Hispanic plaintiffs in the 1985 Chicago ward remap
  6. Wanda White, executive director of the Community Workshop on Economic Development; former policy director of the Women's Self-Employment Project; former deputy commissioner of economic development under Chicago Mayors Washington
    Harold Washington
    Harold Lee Washington was an American lawyer and politician who became the first African-American Mayor of Chicago, serving from 1983 until his death in 1987.- Early years and military service :...

    , Sawyer
    Eugene Sawyer
    Eugene Sawyer was an American businessman and politician who served as Mayor of Chicago, Illinois as a member of the Democratic Party. He was the second African American to serve as mayor of Chicago....

     and Daley
    Richard M. Daley
    Richard Michael Daley is a United States politician, member of the national and local Democratic Party, and former Mayor of Chicago, Illinois. He was elected mayor in 1989 and reelected in 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007. He was the longest serving Chicago mayor, surpassing the tenure of his...

  7. Susan M. Crown, president of the Arie and Ida Crown Memorial
    Henry Crown
    Henry Crown was an American industrialist and philanthropist. Among other things, he founded the Material Service Corporation, which merged with General Dynamics in 1959. At the time of his death, he was a billionaire...

    ; vice president of Henry Crown & Company
    Henry Crown
    Henry Crown was an American industrialist and philanthropist. Among other things, he founded the Material Service Corporation, which merged with General Dynamics in 1959. At the time of his death, he was a billionaire...

    ; daughter of Lester Crown
    Lester Crown
    Lester Crown is the son of Chicago financier Henry Crown , who created Material Service with two brothers in 1919, which merged with General Dynamics in 1959. He has been a perennial member of the Forbes 400 list since 1982...

  8. Handy L. Lindsey, Jr., executive director (1988–1997) then president (1997–2003) of the Field Foundation of Illinois; outgoing chairman of the Donors Forum of Chicago; former associate director of the Chicago Community Trust
    Community foundation
    Community foundations are instruments of civil society designed to pool donations into a coordinated investment and grant making facility dedicated primarily to the social improvement of a given place...

     (1986–1988)


The final Board of Directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge in 2001 were:
  1. Patricia Albjerg Graham
  2. Barack Obama
  3. Edward S. Bottum, managing director of Chase Franklin Corp.; former president and vice chairman of Continental Illinois Bank
    Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company
    The Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company was at one time the seventh-largest bank in the United States as measured by deposits with approximately $40 billion in assets. In 1984, Continental Illinois became the largest ever bank failure in U.S. history, when a run on the bank led to...

  4. Connie C. Evans, founder and president of the Women's Self-Employment Project
  5. Susan Blankenbaker Noyes, former labor attorney at Sidley & Austin
    Sidley Austin
    Sidley Austin LLP, formerly known as Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, is one of the oldest law firms in the world. It is the sixth-largest U.S.-based corporate law firm with more than 1,650 lawyers, annual revenues of more than one billion dollars, and offices in 17 cities worldwide, with the most...

    ; daughter of Republican former Indiana state senator Virginia Murphy Blankenbaker; goddaughter of Patricia Albjerg Graham
  6. Scott C. Smith, president, CEO and publisher of the Chicago Tribune
    Chicago Tribune
    The Chicago Tribune is a major daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, and the flagship publication of the Tribune Company. Formerly self-styled as the "World's Greatest Newspaper" , it remains the most read daily newspaper of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Great Lakes region and is...

    ; former president, CEO and publisher of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Fort Lauderdale is a city in the U.S. state of Florida, on the Atlantic coast. It is the county seat of Broward County. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 165,521. It is a principal city of the South Florida metropolitan area, which was home to 5,564,635 people at the 2010...

    ; former chairman of the South Florida Annenberg Challenge
  7. Nancy S. Searle, consultant to the Searle Funds
    G. D. Searle & Company
    G.D. Searle & Company or just Searle was a company focusing on life sciences, specifically pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and animal health. It is now part of Pfizer.- History :...

     at the Chicago Community Trust
    Community foundation
    Community foundations are instruments of civil society designed to pool donations into a coordinated investment and grant making facility dedicated primarily to the social improvement of a given place...

  8. Victoria J. Chou, dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago
    University of Illinois at Chicago
    The University of Illinois at Chicago, or UIC, is a state-funded public research university located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Its campus is in the Near West Side community area, near the Chicago Loop...

  9. John W. McCarter, Jr., president and CEO of the Field Museum
    Field Museum of Natural History
    The Field Museum of Natural History is located in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It sits on Lake Shore Drive next to Lake Michigan, part of a scenic complex known as the Museum Campus Chicago...

  10. James Reynolds, Jr., co-founder, chairman and CEO of Loop Capital Services

The Board of Directors met monthly for the first six months and quarterly thereafter.

Barack Obama, elected by the Board of Directors as founding chairman and president of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (1995–1999), resigned as chairman and president in September 1999 to run as a candidate in the 2000 Democratic primary for the 1st Congressional District of Illinois
Illinois' 1st congressional district
Illinois's 1st congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Illinois. Based in Cook County, the district includes much of the South Side of Chicago, extending into the city's southwest suburbs until reaching the border of Will County, and covers , making it one of the 40...

, and was succeeded by Edward Bottum (1999–2001).

Patricia Albjerg Graham, elected by the Board of Directors as founding vice chairman and vice president (1995–2000), resigned as vice chairman and vice president in 2000 when she retired as president of the Spencer Foundation and moved back to Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, in the Greater Boston area. It was named in honor of the University of Cambridge in England, an important center of the Puritan theology embraced by the town's founders. Cambridge is home to two of the world's most prominent...

, was succeeded by John W. McCarter, Jr. (2000–2001).

Ray Romero was initially elected as secretary-treasurer by the Board of Directors, but declined because of other commitments; Wanda White was then elected by the Board of Directors as founding secretary-treasurer (1995–1998), was succeeded by Edward Bottum (1998–1999), and then Victoria Chou (1999–2001).

Chicago School Reform Collaborative


The founding members of Chicago School Reform Collaborative announced in 1995 were:
  1. William Ayers
  2. Warren Chapman
  3. Anne Hallett
  4. Patricia Anderson, principal, Sullivan High School
  5. Sheila Castillo, coordinator, Chicago Association of Local School Councils
    Local School Councils
    Every Chicago public school has a Local School Council which consists of parents, community members, teachers, and the principal of the school. All members of the council are elected and conduct monthly meetings which the public can attend....

    ; LSC
    Local School Councils
    Every Chicago public school has a Local School Council which consists of parents, community members, teachers, and the principal of the school. All members of the council are elected and conduct monthly meetings which the public can attend....

     member, Inter-American Magnet School
    Inter-American Magnet School
    Inter-American Magnet School is one of the oldest and most comprehensive dual language schools in the Midwestern United States. Children learn to speak, read and write fluently in both Spanish and English...

  6. Jessica Clarke, education director, Chicago Urban League
    Chicago Urban League
    Chicago Urban League, Established in 1916 in Chicago, Illinois, is an affiliate of the National Urban League that develops programs and partnerships and engages in advocacy to address the need for employment, entrepreneurship, affordable commercial real estate and a quality education...

  7. Dolores Cross, president, Chicago State University
    Chicago State University
    Chicago State University is a state university of the U.S. state of Illinois, located in Chicago.-History:Cook County Normal School was founded in 1867, largely through the initiative of John F. Eberhart, the Commissioner of Schools for Cook County...

  8. James Deanes, president, Parent/Community Council; LSC
    Local School Councils
    Every Chicago public school has a Local School Council which consists of parents, community members, teachers, and the principal of the school. All members of the council are elected and conduct monthly meetings which the public can attend....

     member, Armstrong Elementary School
  9. Lafayette Ford, LSC
    Local School Councils
    Every Chicago public school has a Local School Council which consists of parents, community members, teachers, and the principal of the school. All members of the council are elected and conduct monthly meetings which the public can attend....

     member, Lucy Flower Vocational High School; former chairman, Chicago School Board Nominating Commission
  10. Adela Coronado-Greeley, teacher and founder, Inter-American Magnet School
    Inter-American Magnet School
    Inter-American Magnet School is one of the oldest and most comprehensive dual language schools in the Midwestern United States. Children learn to speak, read and write fluently in both Spanish and English...

    ; 1993–4 Illinois Teacher of the Year
  11. Patricia Harvey, executive assistant to the general superintendent (1993–5), chief accountability officer (1995–7), Chicago Public Schools
    Chicago Public Schools
    Chicago Public Schools, commonly abbreviated as CPS by local residents and politicians and officially classified as City of Chicago School District #299 for funding and districting reasons, is a large school district that manages over 600 public elementary and high schools in Chicago, Illinois...

    ; former principal, Hefferan Elementary School
  12. Brenda Heffner, director, Chicago office of the Illinois State Board of Education
    Illinois State Board of Education
    The Illinois State Board of Education administers public education in the state of Illinois. The State Board consists of nine members who are appointed by the Governor with the consent of the...

    ; former principal, Haven Middle School in Evanston
    Evanston, Illinois
    Evanston is a suburban municipality in Cook County, Illinois 12 miles north of downtown Chicago, bordering Chicago to the south, Skokie to the west, and Wilmette to the north, with an estimated population of 74,360 as of 2003. It is one of the North Shore communities that adjoin Lake Michigan...

    , and Haugan, Smyser, and Beethoven Elementary Schools in Chicago
  13. Sokoni Karanja, executive director and founder, Centers for New Horizons; 1993 MacArthur Fellow
    MacArthur Fellows Program
    The MacArthur Fellows Program or MacArthur Fellowship is an award given by the John D. and Catherine T...

    ; former member of the board of directors, Woods Charitable Fund
    Woods Fund of Chicago
    The Woods Fund of Chicago is a private independent foundation in Chicago, whose goal is to increase opportunities for less-advantaged people and communities in the Chicago metropolitan area, including the opportunity to shape decisions affecting them....

     (1987–1992)
  14. Peter Martinez, senior program officer for education, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (1991–2001); convenor of the Alliance for Better Chicago Schools (ABCs) coalition (Spring 1988)
  15. Coretta McFerren, executive director, West Side Schools and Communities Organizing for Restructuring and Planning (WSCORP); former staff coordinator and chief spokeswoman, People's Coaltion for Educational Reform (PCER)
  16. Eric Outten, co-chairman, Schools First; LSC
    Local School Councils
    Every Chicago public school has a Local School Council which consists of parents, community members, teachers, and the principal of the school. All members of the council are elected and conduct monthly meetings which the public can attend....

     member, Hirsch High School and Burnside Elementary School
  17. Migdalia "Millie" Rivera, executive director, Latino Institute
  18. Joan Jeter-Slay, associate director, Designs for Change; former member, Interim Chicago School Board (1989–1990)
  19. Bernard Spillman, consultant, the Comer Project; former assistant superintendent for academic and vocational instructional support, Chicago Public Schools
    Chicago Public Schools
    Chicago Public Schools, commonly abbreviated as CPS by local residents and politicians and officially classified as City of Chicago School District #299 for funding and districting reasons, is a large school district that manages over 600 public elementary and high schools in Chicago, Illinois...

    ; former principal, Westinghouse Vocational High School
  20. Lynn St. James, co-director, Chicago Forum for School Change—an affiliate of the Coalition of Essential Schools
    Coalition of Essential Schools
    The Coalition of Essential Schools is an organization created to further a type of whole-school reform originally envisioned by founder Ted Sizer in his book, Horace's Compromise. CES began in 1984 with twelve schools; it currently has 600 formal members.-Horace's Compromise:Horace's Compromise...

     (1994–5); chief education officer, Chicago Public Schools
    Chicago Public Schools
    Chicago Public Schools, commonly abbreviated as CPS by local residents and politicians and officially classified as City of Chicago School District #299 for funding and districting reasons, is a large school district that manages over 600 public elementary and high schools in Chicago, Illinois...

     (1995–7); former principal of Lindblom High School, King High School and Pirie Elementary School
  21. Carol Swinney, policy advisor, Office of the Mayor
    Mayor of Chicago
    The Mayor of Chicago is the chief executive of Chicago, Illinois, the third largest city in the United States. He or she is charged with directing city departments and agencies, and with the advice and consent of the Chicago City Council, appoints department and agency leaders.-Appointment...

  22. Beverly Tunney, president (1993–2003), Chicago Principals & Administrators Association (CPAA); vice president (1993–2003), American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA); principal, Healy Elementary School
  23. Deborah Lynch-Walsh, director, Chicago Teachers Union
    Chicago Teachers Union
    The Chicago Teachers Union is a labor union representing teachers in the Chicago public school system. It is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO and the American Federation of Teachers and has over 32,000 members...

     Quest Center (1992–5); teacher, Marquette Elementary School (1995–2001); president, Chicago Teachers Union (2001–4)

William Ayers and Warren Chapman were elected by the Collaborative as co-chairmen of the Collaborative in 1995.

Executive director and staff


Ken Rolling, the executive director
Executive director
Executive director is a term sometimes applied to the chief executive officer or managing director of an organization, company, or corporation. It is widely used in North American non-profit organizations, though in recent decades many U.S. nonprofits have adopted the title "President/CEO"...

 of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from September 1995 through 2001; then executive director of Parents for Public Schools (2003– ); was the former associate director and program officer for community organizing and school reform at the Woods Fund of Chicago
Woods Fund of Chicago
The Woods Fund of Chicago is a private independent foundation in Chicago, whose goal is to increase opportunities for less-advantaged people and communities in the Chicago metropolitan area, including the opportunity to shape decisions affecting them....

 (1985–1995). In September 1995, an office administrator was hired. In August 1996, a program director, a grants manager and a financial officer were hired. In 1997, a director of development, a communications director, a communications assistant, a clerical assistant and a data manager were hired, bringing Rolling's staff to nine. The University of Illinois at Chicago provided office space rent-free to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge staff.

Operation


By August 1, 1995, letters of intent were received from 177 networks—representing two-thirds of Chicago public schools—of which 89 networks were invited by the Board to submit full proposals. 77 networks—representing almost 300 schools—submitted proposals (32 for implementation grants and 45 for planning grants) by the October 1 deadline. On November 29, the Board approved grants for 35 networks—representing 170 schools—and identified and certified over $9 million in matching private donations which enabled the Chicago Annenberg Challenge to receive its first $3 million from the Annenberg Foundation
Annenberg Foundation
The Annenberg Foundation is a private foundation that provides funding and support to non-profit organizations in the United States and around the world...

 in early December 1995.

At a December 20, 1995 reception at First Chicago National Bank, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge presented $2.58 million in grant certificates to the first 35 networks winning grants.
One-year renewable grants of $100,000 to $200,000 were awarded to 13 networks to expand existing programs and 22 other networks received planning grants of $17,000 to $25,000.

The number of implementation networks grew from 13 at the beginning of 1996, to 25 in the 1996–7 school year, to 45 in 1999. The number of schools in a network ranged from 3 to 15, with the average network having 4 to 5 schools.

In 1996-7, half of the external partners were universities or professional education organizations (e.g., Chicago State University
Chicago State University
Chicago State University is a state university of the U.S. state of Illinois, located in Chicago.-History:Cook County Normal School was founded in 1867, largely through the initiative of John F. Eberhart, the Commissioner of Schools for Cook County...

, Columbia College Chicago
Columbia College Chicago
Columbia College Chicago is one of the largest art colleges in the United States with nearly 12,000 students pursuing degrees within 120 undergraduate and graduate programs...

, DePaul University
DePaul University
DePaul University is a private institution of higher education and research in Chicago, Illinois. Founded by the Vincentians in 1898, the university takes its name from the 17th century French priest Saint Vincent de Paul...

, the Erikson Institute
Erikson Institute
Erikson Institute is a graduate school in child development located in downtown Chicago, Illinois. It is named for the noted psychoanalyst and developmental psychologist, Erik Erikson.-History and mission:...

, Governors State University
Governors State University
Governors State University is a public university located in University Park, Illinois. The campus is located south of Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1969, GSU is an upper-division university, offering undergraduate courses at the junior and senior levels as well as graduate level coursework at...

, National-Louis University
National-Louis University
National–Louis University is a private non-profit American university. NLU has campuses in and near Chicago, Illinois, as well as in Wisconsin, Florida, and Nowy Sącz, Poland. Many NLU courses and programs are also offered at-a-distance. The university practices multi-campus, at-a-distance, and...

, Northeastern Illinois University
Northeastern Illinois University
Northeastern Illinois University is a public state university located in Chicago, Illinois. The main campus is located in the community area of North Park with three additional campuses in the metropolitan area. Tracing its founding to 1867, it was first established as a separate branch of a...

, Roosevelt University
Roosevelt University
Roosevelt University is a coeducational, private university with campuses in Chicago, Illinois and Schaumburg, Illinois. Founded in 1945, the university is named in honor of both former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The university's curriculum is based on...

, the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

). The other external partners represented a diverse mix of neighborhood organizations (e.g., the Logan Square Neighborhood Association), youth organizations (e.g., Youth Guidance—implementing the Comer Process), foundations (e.g., the Great Books Foundation
Great Books Foundation
The Great Books Foundation, incorporated in the state of Illinois and based in Chicago, is an independent, nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to help people think and share ideas. Toward this end, the Foundation publishes collections of classic and modern literature as part of a...

), education reform or advocacy groups (e.g., Designs for Change), museums (e.g., the Chicago Academy of Sciences
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum - The Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences is a nature museum located in Chicago, Illinois. The museum, which opened in a new facility in October 1999, is located at the intersection of Fullerton Parkway and Cannon Drive in Lincoln Park. The museum focuses on...

, the Chicago Children's Museum
Chicago Children's Museum
The Chicago Children's Museum is located at Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois. It was founded in 1982 by The Junior League of Chicago who were responding to programming cutbacks in the Chicago Public Schools...

, the Kohl Children's Museum
Kohl Children's Museum
Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago is a hands-on learning laboratory for children ages birth to 8. All of the exhibits and programs are aligned to the Illinois State Learning Standards and are designed to make learning fun and interesting for young children....

), parks (e.g., the Garfield Park Conservatory
Garfield Park Conservatory
Garfield Park is a site located in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on Chicago's West Side. It was designed as a pleasure ground by William LeBaron Jenney and is the oldest of the three great original Chicago West Side parks .It is home to the Garfield Park Conservatory, one of the largest and...

 and arts organizations (e.g., the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Chicago, Illinois. It is one of the five American orchestras commonly referred to as the "Big Five". Founded in 1891, the Symphony makes its home at Orchestra Hall in Chicago and plays a summer season at the Ravinia Festival...

, The Suzuki-Orff School of Music for implementation of Clap, Sing and READ!, teaching literacy-through-music in Chicago's underserved communities). Of external partners in the 45 networks funded in 1999: 35% were Chicago-area colleges and universities, 28% were education reform and education services organizations, 23% were arts and cultural institutions, and 14% were neighborhood and community-based organizations.

The Chicago Annenberg Challenge received its $49.2 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation over five calendar years from 1995 through 1999, but funded grants to its networks of schools for five and a half years from January 1996 through June 2001.
The total funding of implementation grants to networks of schools fell steeply in 2000 and 2001, and since the number of schools in networks receiving implementation grants remained steady at 206 schools, per school funding also fell steeply.

The exceptions were 18 "breakthrough schools" that the Chicago Annenberg Challenge identified to receive sustained funding during its last two years to further promote their improvement and encourage them to serve as models and sources of support to other schools.
The "breakthrough schools" selected in December 1999 and announced to the public in February 2000, received their grants directly, not through an external partner as part of a network of schools.
  • The number of schools in networks receiving Chicago Annenberg Challenge implementation grants rose from 138 in 1996, to 177 in 1997, to a peak of 211 in 1998, and then plateaued at 206 in 1999, 2000 and 2001.
  • The total annual amount of Chicago Annenberg Challenge funds provided in implementation grants to networks of schools rose from $2.1 million in 1996, to $6.8 million in 1997, to $7.8 million in 1988, to a peak of $9.6 million in 1999, and then fell to $5.9 million in 2000 and to $0.5 million in 2001.
  • The average annual amount per school of Chicago Annenberg Challenge funds provided in implementation grants to networks of schools rose from $15,000 in 1996, to $38,000 in 1997, to $37,000 in 1998, to a peak of $47,000 in 1999, and then fell to $29,000 in 2000 and to $3,000 in 2001—except in the 18 "breakthrough schools" where annual funding per school stayed at $50,000 in 2000 and 2001.


By December 31, 1999, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge had identified and certified $110,643,651 in matching funds—$50,655,505 in public matching funds and $59,808,146 in private donations—more than the $98.4 million required to earn the $49.2 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation. Less than $5 million in matching funds went to or through the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, most of the matching funds instead went to support school reform programs consistent with its vision and funding criteria.

Thirty-six foundations and corporations provided private matching funds for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, with foundations providing over three-quarters of the private donations. Ten foundations, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Joyce Foundation
Joyce Foundation
The Joyce Foundation is a charitable foundation based in Chicago in the United States and operating principally in the Great Lakes region.The Foundation primarily funds organizations in the Great Lakes region .-Programs:* Education: Focuses on public schools in Chicago, Cleveland, and Milwaukee;...

, the Polk Bros. Foundation
Polk Brothers
Polk Brothers was a large home appliance and electronics retailer in Chicago, Illinois that had 17 stores in the region at its peak in the 1980s....

, the Chicago Community Trust
Community foundation
Community foundations are instruments of civil society designed to pool donations into a coordinated investment and grant making facility dedicated primarily to the social improvement of a given place...

, the Spencer Foundation, the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund
DeWitt Wallace
DeWitt Wallace , also known as William Roy was a United States magazine publisher. He co-founded Reader's Digest with his wife Lila Wallace and published the first issue in 1922.Born in St...

 of New York, the McDougal Family Foundation, the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, the Prince Charitable Trusts, and the Woods Fund of Chicago
Woods Fund of Chicago
The Woods Fund of Chicago is a private independent foundation in Chicago, whose goal is to increase opportunities for less-advantaged people and communities in the Chicago metropolitan area, including the opportunity to shape decisions affecting them....

, and two corporations, IBM
IBM
International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

 and Bank of America
Bank of America
Bank of America Corporation, an American multinational banking and financial services corporation, is the second largest bank holding company in the United States by assets, and the fourth largest bank in the U.S. by market capitalization. The bank is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina...

 (which had acquired Continental Illinois Bank
Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company
The Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company was at one time the seventh-largest bank in the United States as measured by deposits with approximately $40 billion in assets. In 1984, Continental Illinois became the largest ever bank failure in U.S. history, when a run on the bank led to...

 in 1994), contributed more than $1 million each in private matching donations for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The MacArthur Foundation and the Joyce Foundation were two of seven foundations that contributed over $10 million in private matching donations for the Annenberg Challenge nationwide, and the Polk Bros. Foundation—led by president and CEO Sandra Polk Guthman, a former IBM executive, was one of a further eight foundations that contributed over $5 million in private matching donations for the Annenberg Challenge nationwide.

The Chicago Annenberg Challenge raised $3.5 million in research funds to support the largest urban school reform research project in the United States, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge Research Project by the Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR). The CCSR was created in 1990 to perform research on the Chicago Public Schools in the wake of the 1988 Chicago School Reform Act.

Chicago Public Education Fund


In 1997, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge Board of Directors and its fundraising Development Committee began development of Chicago's first community foundation for public education. In June 1998, the Board of Directors committed $2 million as the first donor to the Chicago Public Education Fund, which was incorporated as a non-profit organization on January 29, 1999.


The Chicago Tribune Charities became the second lead donor with a commitment of $500,000, with substantial gifts from the Pritzker Foundation and the Polk Bros. Foundation and a number of smaller donations boosting its funds to almost $4 million by March 2000. In September 1999, the Chicago Public Education Fund hired its first president, Janet M. Knupp, who was previously executive director of Chicago Communities In Schools
Communities In Schools
The Communities In Schools network is a federation of independent 501 organizations in 27 states and the District of Columbia that work to address the dropout epidemic. The organization identifies and mobilizes existing community resources and fosters cooperative partnerships for the benefit of...

 (where she was a successor of its founding executive director Alice Palmer
Alice Palmer (Illinois politician)
Alice J. Palmer is an American educator and former Democratic member of the Illinois Senate. Known as a longtime progressive activist, Palmer represented the state's 13th senate district from June 6, 1991 until January 8, 1997...

);

and in the fall of 1999 issued its first RFPs.

The Chicago Public Education Fund and its first grants of $1.5 million were announced to the public on March 28, 2000; its 12-member Board of Directors was chaired by CAC board member Scott C. Smith, president, CEO and publisher of the Chicago Tribune and chairman of the Chicago Tribune Charities, and included CAC board member John W. McCarter, Jr., as well as Anne Hallett, Adele Smith Simmons, Penny Pritzker
Penny Pritzker
Penny Sue Pritzker is an American business executive, and a member of the Pritzker family of Chicago, one of America's wealthiest business families...

, Golden Apple Foundation founder and chairman Martin J. Koldyke, and six other members; with a supplemental advisory Leadership Council of dozens of business and civic leaders, including CAC board members Barack Obama, Edward S. Bottum, Susan Blankenbaker Noyes, James Reynolds, Jr., Nancy S. Searle, and CAC executive director Ken Rolling.Chicago Public Education Fund 22-member Leadership Council in March 2000 included: John Ayers, Thomas G. Ayers, Edward S. Bottum, Sandra Polk Guthman, Iris Krieg, Alfred L. McDougal, Zoe Mikva, Newton Minow, Susan Blankenbaker Noyes, Barack Obama, Jerry Reinsdorf, James Reynolds, Jr., John W. Rogers, Jr., Ken Rolling, and 8 other business and civic leaders; the Leadership Council expanded to 54 members in 2001, including R. Eden Martin, Andrew J. McKenna, Jr. and Nancy S. Searle.

Although the Chicago Public Education Fund grew out of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, it differed in having a broad base of contributors instead of just one contributor, and in making fewer, larger, system-wide grants instead of many smaller grants to small networks of schools. The initial focus of the Chicago Public Education Fund was on improving the recruitment, retention and effectiveness of principals and teachers, with:
  • The LAUNCH program, led by the Chicago Principals & Administrators Association (CPAA), to develop management and leadership skills of principals through a rigorous program including summer sessions at the Kellogg School of Management
    Kellogg School of Management
    The Kellogg School of Management is the business school of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, downtown Chicago, Illinois and Miami, Florida. Kellogg offers full-time, part-time, and executive programs, as well as partnering programs with schools in China, India, Hong Kong, Israel,...

     of Northwestern University
    Northwestern University
    Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....

    .
  • National Board Certification
    National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
    The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting excellence in education. Founded in 1987, NBPTS improves teaching and student learning by enhancing overall educator effectiveness and recognizing and rewarding highly...

    , to provide a rigorous and consistent standard for assessing and rewarding experienced and accomplished teachers; with the Chicago Public Schools
    Chicago Public Schools
    Chicago Public Schools, commonly abbreviated as CPS by local residents and politicians and officially classified as City of Chicago School District #299 for funding and districting reasons, is a large school district that manages over 600 public elementary and high schools in Chicago, Illinois...

    , Chicago Teachers Union
    Chicago Teachers Union
    The Chicago Teachers Union is a labor union representing teachers in the Chicago public school system. It is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO and the American Federation of Teachers and has over 32,000 members...

    , Chicago Principals & Administrators Association, and National-Louis University
    National-Louis University
    National–Louis University is a private non-profit American university. NLU has campuses in and near Chicago, Illinois, as well as in Wisconsin, Florida, and Nowy Sącz, Poland. Many NLU courses and programs are also offered at-a-distance. The university practices multi-campus, at-a-distance, and...

     working to increase the number of Chicago teachers with this certification.
  • Alternative Certification, to attract talented individuals in math, science, and other fields into public education:
    • The Golden Apple Foundation's GATE program, to bring mid-career math and science professionals into the classroom.
    • Teach For America
      Teach For America
      Teach For America is an American non-profit organization that aims to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting the nation's most promising future leaders to teach for two or more years in low-income communities throughout the United States...

      , to recruit talented college graduates into some of the neediest schools.
    • The Financial Research and Advisory Committee's (FRAC) Teacher Recruitment Initiative, to assess the quality of teachers recruited into the system.


Upon its dissolution in 2002, the CAC donated its records (132 boxes containing 947 file folders) to the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago to be made available for public research. The CAC records in the Special Collections department of the Daley Library were briefly closed to public access for two weeks from August 12, 2008 through August 25, 2008 over concerns by the university about their ownership of the records and the confidentiality of some of the information in the records.

Evaluation


The Annenberg Challenge was criticized from its outset in 1994 and 1995 by conservative proponents of vouchers for private schools, including James Pierson, executive director of the John M. Olin Foundation
John M. Olin Foundation
John M. Olin Foundation was a grant-making foundation established in 1953 by John M. Olin, president of the Olin Industries chemical and munitions manufacturing businesses. Unlike most non-profit foundations, the John M. Olin Foundation was charged to spend all of its assets within a generation of...

, Chester E. Finn, Jr.
Chester E. Finn, Jr.
Chester Evans Finn, Jr., is a former professor of education, an educational policy analyst, and a former United States Assistant Secretary of Education. He is currently the president of the nonprofit Thomas B. Fordham Foundation in Washington, D.C...

, former Assistant Secretary of Education (1985–1988) under Secretary of Education William Bennett
William Bennett
William John "Bill" Bennett is an American conservative pundit, politician, and political theorist. He served as United States Secretary of Education from 1985 to 1988. He also held the post of Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under George H. W...

 in the Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 administration, founding partner and senior scholar of Chris Whittle
Chris Whittle
H. Christopher "Chris" Whittle is an American media and education entrepreneur. He is the chief executive officer of Avenues: The World School, a planned international system of independent pre-K-12 schools. Avenues will open its first campus in New York City in fall 2012. Whittle founded Edison...

's Edison Project
Edison Schools
EdisonLearning Inc., formerly known as Edison Schools Inc., is a for-profit education management organization for public schools in the United States and the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1992 as The Edison Project, largely the brainchild of Chris Whittle...

 new chain of for-profit private schools (1992–1994), then John M. Olin fellow at the Hudson Institute
Hudson Institute
The Hudson Institute is an American think tank founded in 1961, in Croton-on-Hudson, New York, by futurist, military strategist, and systems theorist Herman Kahn and his colleagues at the RAND Corporation...

 (1995–1998),

and Diane Ravitch
Diane Ravitch
Diane Silvers Ravitch is an historian of education, an educational policy analyst, and a research professor at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Previously, she was a U.S...

, former Assistant Secretary of Education (1991–1993) under Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander
Lamar Alexander
Andrew Lamar Alexander is the senior United States Senator from Tennessee and Conference Chair of the Republican Party. He was previously the 45th Governor of Tennessee from 1979 to 1987, United States Secretary of Education from 1991 to 1993 under President George H. W...

 in the George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

 administration, then senior research scholar at New York University
New York University
New York University is a private, nonsectarian research university based in New York City. NYU's main campus is situated in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan...

, nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution
Brookings Institution
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C., in the United States. One of Washington's oldest think tanks, Brookings conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and...

, adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute
Manhattan Institute
The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research is a conservative, market-oriented think tank established in New York City in 1978 by Antony Fisher and William J...

, and co-founder with Finn in 1981 of the Education Excellence Network housed at the Hudson Institute.

Annenberg ignored criticism from conservatives that he was wasting his money on public schools—he believed that government had a responsibility to educate its citizens and that the nation could not walk away from its public schools. Annenberg also ignored criticism from within the education and philanthropic worlds that after five years the Challenge had not produced measurable reform—he hoped that good would come of his gift, but was realistic and doubted he would ever see any concrete, measurable results. For Annenberg that was not the point—his goal was to spur communities and other donors into action—and in that he was not disappointed, with the Challenge raising an additional $600 million from foundations, businesses, universities and individuals.

On June 12, 2002, the Annenberg Foundation released its final report on the Annenberg Challenge to the press and an audience of education leaders and policymakers at a luncheon in Washington D.C., a few blocks from the White House, with Annenberg's wife, Leonore
Leonore Annenberg
Leonore Cohn Annenberg , also known as Lee Annenberg, was an American businesswoman, government official, and philanthropist. She is former Chief of Protocol of the United States . Annenberg was married to Walter Annenberg, who was an Ambassador to the United Kingdom and a prominent businessman...

, on hand to represent her 94-year-old husband.




The keynote speaker was the George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 administration's Secretary of Education Rod Paige
Rod Paige
Roderick Raynor "Rod" Paige served as the 7th United States Secretary of Education from 2001 to 2005. Paige, who grew up in Mississippi, built a career on a belief that education equalizes opportunity, moving from classroom teacher to college dean and school superintendent to be the first African...

, who had been Houston
Houston Independent School District
The Houston Independent School District is the largest public school system in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States. Houston ISD serves as a community school district for most of the city of Houston and several nearby and insular municipalities...

superintendent of schools (1994–2001); in 1997, Houston had become the last of nine cities to win a large urban Annenberg Challenge grant over five years. Paige said he had witnessed the good that came from Annenberg's gift and had no doubts about the Annenberg Challenge's accomplishments. The June 2002 final report listed nine lessons learned over the course of the Annenberg Challenge. The first two were:
  • Lesson 1: Every child benefits from high expectations and standards.
    • In Chicago, where the Challenge sought out the most racially isolated and impoverished schools, the elementary students the Challenge worked with went from a half-grade behind the city average to a quarter-grade ahead of peers in other schools.
  • Lesson 2: Even large gifts like ours are no substitute for adequate, equitable and reliable funding.
    • Although the Challenge made multimillion-dollar grants, nearly every site reached out to hundreds of schools. In Chicago, where the Challenge helped more than 300 schools, the typical grant was $39,000 to an elementary school with an annual budget of $3.8 million.


An August 2003 final technical report of the Chicago Annenberg Research Project by the Consortium on Chicago School Research said that while "student achievement improved across Annenberg Challenge schools as it did across the Chicago Public School system as a whole, results suggest that among the schools it supported, the Challenge had little impact on school improvement and student outcomes, with no statistically significant differences between Annenberg and non-Annenberg schools in rates of achievement gain, classroom behavior, student self-efficacy, and social competence." "Breakthrough Schools," which received special financial and professional support from the Challenge between 1999-2001, a time during which the Challenge began withdrawing funds from other schools, "began to develop in ways that distinguished them from other Annenberg schools and sustained or strengthened aspects of teacher professional community school leadership, and relational trust while other Annenberg schools did not."

External links