The “Gates-led” Common Core

In 2006, Bill Gates said to a group of elites at the Aspen Institute,

The business of philanthropy is thinking through the way to change something.It’s just this simple: You have some money, and you have some things you’d like to see different.”

And that is exactly what Gates did with the Common Core.   Thankfully, some lawmakers are doing their homework and catching on to the Gates game.

Fordham Institute President, Chester Finn was invited to testify today at the House sub-committee on Common Core.  The subject of Gates’ money came up when Rep. Tom McMillin challenged  Finn on Gates’ money and influence at Fordham.

McMillin said a review of Gates Foundation records showed the Fordham Institute had received $6 million from the foundation, while Finn said the number was closer to $2 million.

While the Gates Foundation website lists donations to the Fordham Institute totaling more than $6.7 million, only about $2 million of that was directed toward Common Core review and research, while an additional $1.5 million was targeted at general operating costs. The remaining funds were directed at the institute’s charter school efforts in Ohio.

According to a link via Diane Ravitch’s blog today, the Gates influence goes far beyond just Fordham to the four principal organizations of the Common Core.

The four principal organizations associated with CCSS– NGA, CCSSO, Achieve, and Student Achievement Partners– have accepted millions from Bill Gates. In fact, prior to CCSS “completion” in June 2009, Gates had paid millions to NGA, CCSSO, and Achieve. And the millions continued to flow following CCSS completion.

Prior to June 2009, NGA received $23.6 million from the Gates Foundation from 2002 through 2008. $19.7 million was for the highly-disruptive “high school redesign” (i.e., “small schools”) project, one that Gates abandoned.

After June 2009, NGA received an additional $2.1 million from Gates, the largest payout coming in February 2011,

Years ago, Gates paid NGA to “rethink policies on teacher effectiveness…..

….”One man, lots of money, nationally shaping a profession to which he has never belonged.”

The whole laundry list of Gates influence is much too long to reprint here.  But the author correctly concludes that these are “Gates-led” not “state-led” standards.

“Can Bill Gates buy a foundational democratic institution? Will America allow it? The fate of CCSS will provide crucial answers to those looming questions.”

Will Michigan allow it?  We have a chance to finally tell Bill Gates and his money, no thanks.   It’s time lawmakers stand up to Bill Gates and tell him our children and their education are NOT for sale.

Rep. Kelly said the committee will provide a recommendation on common core in the coming weeks.   Given that the common core standards are privately owned by the NGA and the CCSSO, two organizations that received a considerable amount from Gates, I look forward to how they will address the Gates influence in their final report.