This utterly fascinating article from the NY Times covers many issues in private giving. I almost don't know where to start.
I'll just say that I always wished the Alliance for Education had turned out differently. I thought it was either going to be a fundraising arm for the district or something like what is described in this article, a foundation to oversee giving. I'm not sure I fully understand (despite having read the Alliance's website) how they pick their focus and much the district is involved. Maybe I can get an interview with their new leader (I'm not a journalist, of course, but as an involved parent and blogger maybe he might want to spread the word of what the Alliance's focus and goals are).