This text identifies roles for foundations and civic groups in defining strategies for big-city school reform and in ensuring that promised changes are implemented. According to the contributors, the current system of public education governance prevents creation of reform strategies that are bold enough to transform a troubled school system. It is also unable to sustain any consistent line of action long enough for it to work. The governance system also leaves critical issues to chance, such as the freedom of schools to select staff, make strategic use of funds and allocate time. The contributors assert that non-governmental institutions can remedy these deficiencies, formulating bold strategies and making sure they are implemented. To accomplish these ends, the authors suggest the establishment of several independent institutions to support the reform of big-city schools.