June 22, 2010; Source: Boston Globe | Foundations kicking in to support public (or sometimes not quite so public) education is the “in” thing in philanthropy right now. In Boston, a number of foundations have ponied up $27 million as the first phase of a partnership between philanthropy and the school system to, as the Globe put it, “greatly accelerate student achievement across the city, from ‘cradle to career.’”

This philanthropic partnership—the Boston Opportunity Agenda—is led by the Boston Foundation, Catholic Charities, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, and the United Way. Other philanthropies or philanthropists involved in this program include Fidelity Investments chairman Peter Lynch, the Red & Blue Foundation, the Barr Foundation, the Beal Companies, Eos Foundation, the Myra & Robert Kraft Family Foundation, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, and New Profit Inc.

“The overarching goal,” according to the Boston Foundation’s Paul Grogan, “is to make Boston the leading city for upward mobility.’’ Among the programmatic components are Thrive in Five, a United Way-linked effort to build school readiness for babies and toddlers, Success Boston, to help local students get ready for college, and Boston After School & Beyond, to prevent “learning loss” that occurs during summer vacations.—Rick Cohen