Gates Foundation Going All In to Support Charters in Washington State

From the Gates Foundation website:

LEV Foundation
Date: October 2013
Purpose: to build capacity for a state-wide public charter school support organization in Washington State
Amount: $4,200,000
Term: 24
Topic: College-Ready
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Seattle, Washington

So let's review.

Lisa Macfarlane co-founded the League of Education Voters.  She now works as the Washington State Director of DFER (Democrats for Education Reform).   (Their advisory committee membership is telling:  Chris Eide, Dan Grimm, Erin Kahn, Robin Lake, Steve Sundquist and Megan Wyatt.  It's kind of funny how these people all serve on each others' boards.)

Chris Korsmo is CEO of LEV but also a Board member of the Washington State Charter Schools Association.  Mary Beth Lambert who is the press person for LEV is also the press person for the Washington State Charter Schools Assn. 

LEV is evolved just as the Alliance for Education has - in less of a cheerleading role for public education to more of a hard-nosed ed reform agenda.   While they have several items on their agenda, it looks like more of their work leans towards charters.   LEV was one of the lead plaintiffs on the McCleary case and bless them for that.  But their work is all over the place and it's hard to pin down what it is they are truly doing. 

And, it looks like the Gates Foundation (and their money) is driving that work. 


And More said…
Gates gave LEV $7
97K for charter schools in April:
More said…

Gates gives dollars to California group for feasibility study regarding Washington State charters.
That's why I said - all in for Gates.
Anonymous said…

In NY State
Education reform backed by the wealthy

Some educators fear Regents Research Fund has its own agenda, is unaccountable to public.

A team of two dozen well-paid analysts embedded in the State Education Department is having a dramatic impact on a reform agenda that's causing controversy throughout New York.

None are public servants.

Supported with $19 million in donations from some of the nation's wealthiest philanthropists, the Regents Research Fund team makes up a little-known think tank within the education agency. It is helping drive reforms that affect the state's 3.1 million public school students and employees of almost 700 school districts.

The three-year-old operation, which now comprises 27 full-time staffers and a half-time intern, is unique in public education systems nationwide.

The group is an institute charged with helping the state Board of Regents and Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. find ways to improve student performance and ensure graduates are ready for college or careers.

Barely heard of outside education circles and a mystery even within them, the "Regent fellows" are paid from entities such as the Gates Foundation and some salaries approach $200,000 a year. The arrangement is stirring concern in some quarters that deep-pocketed pedagogues are forcing their reform philosophies on an unwitting populace, and making an end run around government officers.

"We're a public education system," said Carol Burris, principal of South Side High School in Long Island's Rockville Centre. "Having the wealthy pay for it, you're seeing an agenda that is being pushed ... at a rapid pace, and outside the system of public accountability."

-- Dan Dempsey
What?! said…
McFarlane heavily pushed I 1240. I 1240 passed and Macfarlane was qoted as saying:

Macfarlane says she has a hard time getting her "head around" all the hypotheticals.

Why didn't Macfarlane try and get her "head around" hypotheticals BEFORE pushing I 1240?

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