$1 million for work with public schoolsLandau gift to support Center for School Improvement The University has received a $1 million gift from Chicago developer and philanthropist Howard Landau (Ph.B.'24) for the Center for School Improvement to support its work in aiding Chicago Public Schools.
The endowment will support several projects of the center, which was established in 1989 to help Chicago Public Schools benefit from changes made possible by school reform.
"We are very pleased with this generous gift," said Anthony Bryk, Professor in Education and Director of the Center for School Improvement. "Mr. Landau is a wonderful citizen of Chicago, a man committed to helping its people. This endowment will help improve the futures of public-school children in the city he cares so much about. Reforming this city's schools requires a long-term commitment by individuals and institutions to this effort. Mr. Landau's gift will help the center to be one of those institutions."
Landau has a long history of involvement in business and civic activities in the Chicago area. With his partner, Herbert Heyman (Ph.B.'31), Landau developed some of the first shopping centers in the Chicago area.
In recent years, the two have turned their attention to affordable housing. They established the Community Ventures program in 1989 to provide funds for community-based not-for-profit organizations interested in building low- and moderate-income housing in Chicago.
Working with the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, the Community Ventures program has helped groups create single-room-occupancy units and other types of housing for disadvantaged people in neighborhoods throughout the city.
Landau's interest in the work of the Center for School Improvement stems from his desire to help strengthen educational programs for elementary and high school students in the city. The center assists Chicago Public Schools by working directly with individual schools, by providing professional-development opportunities for teachers, principals and other school leaders, and by conducting research on school reform. Projects have included helping local school councils more effectively manage local school affairs, launching an urban literacy initiative to improve reading instruction, and offering a leadership program to help Chicago principals adapt to the new demands of school reform.