Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ed Reform - Who Are These People? Part One

A reader asked a simple question - who are the ed reformers? 

That's a more complicated question than it seems.  But let's break it down by who's who nationally, at the state level and in our city. 

Let me just say that there are education bloggers out there who have done the lion's share of work to compile this information so credit goes to them. 

The real top gun is, of course, the Gates Foundation.  Nearly every single ed reform flows from their money in one way or another.  They even help fund the also-wealthy Broad Foundation (another major player).  The third member of this trifecta would be Alice Walton of the Walton Foundation (but I think she gets her guidance from Gates). 

(The Gates Foundation just got a brand-new CEO and most of her qualifications seem to be on the health-care end - at least that how the Times touted her - but she seems to have some background in education.  No matter - she's not going to be directing any education ideas at the Gates Foundation.) 

Below covers some of Gates and Common Core (but wait! Gates also funds other ed reform entities as well.)

Diane Ravitch, in the Huffington Post from Oct of this year, salutes writer Mercedes Schneider who went through and researched who gets Gates dollars.  As Diane says, it almost becomes "who didn't get Gates money?"  This link has ALL of Schneider's posts in one handy place. 

In short, the organizations included in Parts One thru Six are a comprehensive listing of the $173.5 million in Gates funding designated for CCSS as of October 4, 2013.

 To whit:

This is her first post, where she shows that the Gates Foundation underwrote the organizations writing the Common Core standards: the National Governors Association, Student Achievement Partners (David Coleman), the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve. She sums up what she found: "In total, the four organizations primarily responsible for CCSS -- NGA, CCSSO, Achieve, and Student Achievement Partners -- have taken $147.9 million from Bill Gates." This first post also includes a list of think tanks and major education organizations that received funding from Gates to promote the CCSS.

Her second post lists organizations that influence state and local decisions, to encourage them to promote CCSS.



"I showed also that other key education organizations have taken millions from Gates in order to promote CCSS, not the least of which are both national teachers’ unions, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) ($5.4 million) and the National Education Association (NEA) ($4 million)."

The third post lists the state education departments and local school districts that have received grants from the Gates Foundation to implement CCSS.

The fourth post lists 16 universities that received Gates' funding to promote CCSS. 

University of Washington Foundation  $610,819 

The fifth post lists the foundations and institutes that have received Gates' funding to promote CCSS.

In her sixth and final post in the series, Schneider lists the businesses and nonprofits that have received Gates' funding to promote CCSS.




Part Two of my series will cover more  of Common Core.  

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