Eli and Edythe L. Broad Foundation

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The Eli and Edythe L. Broad (rhymes with "road) Foundation was established by entrepreneur and philanthropist Eli Broad. Its mission is to "transform K-12 urban public education through better governance, management, labor relations and competition." The Broad Foundations, which together include The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and the Broad Art Foundation, have assets of $2.1 billion.[1]

Eli Broad made his fortune through the creation of KB Home (a homebuilding company) and SunAmerica, Inc., a financial company. He and his wife, Edythe, both attended Detroit Public Schools, and then he attended Michigan State University. Eli graduated with a degree in accounting and become the youngest Certified Public Accountant in Michigan history. After working as an accountant for two years, Eli Broad noticed that his homebuilding clients were making far more than he was, and he and Edythe’s cousin’s husband decided they could build houses, too. Eli Broad and Donald Kaufman together founded Kaufman and Broad with the idea that if they built houses without basements (since by then, the widespread use of gas heating rendered basements to store coal unnecessary), they could offer homes with mortgage payments lower than the rent for a two-bedroom apartment. The first weekend in 1956, they priced their houses at $13,740. They sold out that same weekend and that was the start of a successful business. In 1971, Kaufman and Broad acquired a small life insurance company for $65 million that they eventually turned into a retirement savings empire. In 1999, SunAmerica merged into AIG, which purchased the business for $18 billion, and Eli Broad stepped down as CEO and became a full-time philanthropist.[2]

The Broads live in Los Angeles.[3]


A 2011 article in Dissent Magazine closely examined the state of educational philanthropy in the U.S. and said the Broad Foundation is one of the Big Three foundations that are pouring money into influencing educational systems throughout the U.S. The "Big Three" includes the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Microsoft), the Walton Family Foundation (Wal-mart), and the Broad Foundation. The Broad's philanthropy, the article says, promotes market-based goals for overhauling public education, by emphasizing choice, competition, deregulation, accountability, and data-based decision-making. They vehicles they fund to achieve their goals are: charter schools, high-stakes standardized testing for students, merit pay for teachers whose students improve their test scores, firing teachers and closing schools when scores don’t rise adequately, and longitudinal data collection on the performance of every student and teacher. "The education reform movement’s success so far has depended on the size and clout of the Gates-Broad-Walton triumvirate," the Dissent article states.[4]

Board of Governors (2010)

Accessed February 2011: [5]

Sourcewatch resources

External resources


  1. The Eli and Edyth L. Broad Foundation About the Broad Foundations, organizational web site, accessed February 4, 2011
  2. Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation About the Broads, organizational web site, accessed February 4, 2011
  3. Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation About the Broads, organizational web site, accessed February 4, 2011
  4. Joanne Barkan Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools, Dissent Magazine, Winter, 2011
  5. 2009/10 Annual Report, Eli and Edythe L. Broad Foundation, accessed February 4, 2011.