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With $100 Million Donation, Broad Center Moves Education Leadership Programs to Yale University

Eli-Broad-Prize-600.jpgThe Broad Center will move to the Yale University School of Management, using a $100 million gift from the foundation of powerful Los Angeles philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad to continue its educational leadership programs in perpetuity, the center announced Thursday.

The donation, the largest ever for the Yale School of Management, will fund successors to The Broad Residency in Urban Education, which will become a new master's program for "emerging public education leaders," and The Broad Academy, a training program for "top school system executives. The new program will also develop policy initiatives, and it will complete research focused on education leadership, the announcement said.

"I'm very proud of what we've accomplished in the last 20 years, and I can think of no better future for The Broad Center than Yale University," Eli Broad said in a statement.

The center's competitive leadership programs have trained more than 850 education leaders since they were created in 2002 and 2003. They've drawn praise from those who share Broad's vision of education transformation, and leaders and former leaders of many large urban districts are among the programs' alumni.

But critics say Broad-trained superintendents "use corporate-management techniques to consolidate power, weaken teachers' job protections, cut parents out of decisionmaking, and introduce unproven reform measures," Education Week wrote in 2011.

The Broad Center will finish programs for its current cohorts of the academy in 2020 and of its residency program in 2021, and the next cohorts will launch through successor programs at Yale, Executive Director Becca Bracy Knight said in a phone interview.

Broad's approach to philanthropy "has always been to launch and incubate and support institutions that wouldn't otherwise exist," Bracy Knight said.

Broad Center leadership has been exploring for about a year to find a new partner to sustain the program, she said. They considered other universities with schools of education, but they concluded that Yale's management school has enough similarities and enough new strengths that it seemed like the right fit for the programs to evolve and grow.

Those strengths include the research capacity of a major university, a focus on interdepartmental learning, and a shared vision of "good management to lead and improve society, not just business," Bracy Knight said.

Broad leaders hope envision students participating in the free master's program will learn from other Yale institutions, like the Yale Law School or the Yale Child Study Center, which researches children's mental health and development. 

The benefits of the partnership for Yale include an expanded footprint in the education world. The university's school of management already hosts an annual education leadership conference.

"We have long recognized public education as critical to the health of our communities, and we believe that our distinctive approach to management education and research can have tremendous impact," School of Management Dean Kerwin Charles said in a statement.

Photo: Eli Broad speaks at a ceremony announcing the 2013 Broad Prize for Urban Education in Washington --Diane Bondareff/Invision for The Broad Foundation/AP-File

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