Friday, February 17, 2017

Gates' Annual Letter To Buffet Doesn't Mention Education Efforts

For the second year in a row, Bill and Melinda Gates' letter to Warren Buffett on his donation to their foundation doesn't mention what any of their policy and advocacy work in public education.   From fellow public education activist, Leonie Haimson:
..whether related to funding and promoting the Common Core, test-based teacher evaluation, charter schools,  online learning, or data-mining students' personal information. 

Perhaps that's because these policies have failed to improve student outcomes and instead have provoked real anger and resistance among parents and teachers nationwide.
Not one single word.

Buffett, in his letter to them on December 12, 2016 even says:
I also believe it's important that people better understand why success in philanthropy is measured differently from success in business or government.  Your letter might explain how the two of you measure yourselves and how you would like the final scorecard to read.
I have to believe that Buffett is aware that the Gates are not revealing the full story.  You have to wonder why.

To explain (via NPR in 2006):
Warren Buffett, billionaire investor and founder of Berkshire Hathaway, has announced he is donating much of his fortune to charity. Over time, most of Buffett's $44 billion in stock holdings will be given to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In the form of Berkshire Hathaway shares, Buffett signed papers that give $31 billion of his fortune to fund the Gates Foundation's work in fighting infectious diseases and reforming education.
As for the Gates' letter, they do say one revealing thing right from the start (bold theirs):
Ten years ago, when we first got word of your gift to the foundation, we were speechless. It was the biggest single gift anyone ever gave anybody for anything.
True, if how you measure a "gift" in dollars.  Not everyone does.  For example, some might say one of the greatest gifts is a great teacher.

They go onto say:
But in this letter, we’re going to tell you about our work in global health—because that was the starting point of our philanthropy, and it’s the majority of what we do.
Oh, they may started there, but  I'm sure they spend his donation dollars on their ed reform work as well.  Why not talk about that?

Quite telling but the wealthy like to shape history to their vision and not reality.  (See Donald Trump.)

2 comments:

Patrick said...

Andrew Carnegie built over 2500 libraries, many in the U.S. and some in other countries. Without trying to compare prices, that probably did much more for education and literacy than Gates and Buffet. Everyone I know who became an avid reader started with public library books.

Watching said...

The last thing Gates needs is more money.