OVERVIEW: The Laura and John Arnold Foundation invests in criminal justice, education, evidence-based policy, research integrity, healthcare and sustainable public finance. Its education program centers on the portfolio model of school governance.
IP TAKE: The Laura and John Arnold Foundation's education program centers on the portfolio model of school governance and has invested heavily in a pilot of this model in New Orleans. The foundation also invests in organizations that promote charter schools and the school choice movement. It does not accept unsolicited proposals but posts RFPs on its website.
PROFILE: The Houston, Texas-based Laura and John Arnold Foundation was established in 2008 by former hedge fund manager John Arnold and his wife, Laura. the foundation aims to strengthen the social, governmental and economic systems that improve people's lives through its criminal justice, education, evidence-based policy, research integrity, healthcare and sustainable public finance initiatives.
The foundation's education program centers on the portfolio model of school governance, a system in which schools have curricular and instructional freedom but are evaluated by independent auditors on a regular basis. Generally applied to charter schools, this model has been piloted in New Orleans, Louisiana, with some positive school outcomes in its first ten years. At Tulane University, Arnold established and provides ongoing support to the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans, which evaluates school- and student-level achievement in schools using the portfolio model. The Arnold Foundation has also partnered with the Hastings Fund to establish City Fund, an organization that aims to expand the portfolio model of school management across the U.S.
The Laura and John Arnold Foundation supports organizations of all sizes that align with its initiatives; grants range from $10,000 to over $10 million. A complete list of past recipients is available on the foundation's grants webpage.
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