Foundation History

Dedicated to strengthening teaching and improving student learning

Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an act of Congress, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has a long and distinguished history. It is an independent policy and research center, whose primary activities of research and writing have resulted in published reports on every level of education.

Nine presidents, including its current president, Anthony S. Bryk, have guided the Foundation through its history, each bringing unique shape to its work. Influential Foundation achievements include development of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA), publication of the Flexner Report on medical education, creation of the Carnegie Unit, founding of the Educational Testing Service, establishment of the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, and introduction of ideas around the scholarship of teaching and learning.

The Carnegie Foundation was also a leader in the effort to provide federal aid for higher education, including Pell Grants, which assist low- and middle-income students. The current work of the Foundation is focused on using the tools and tenets of improvement science in Networked Improvement Communities to accelerate how the field learns to improve.