To achieve their corporate reform goals the Gates Foundation gives over 3,000 grants per year, ranging from tens of thousands of dollars to millions, spread out across a myriad of organizations designed to push this corporate reform agenda.
The NYT dissected the Foundations IRS 990 tax return to highlight some of the organizations receiving this largesse and the purpose of it. Further analysis, by JTF, of the latest IRS return reveals some of the corporate education reform grants the Foundation made in Ohio
|OHIO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION||TO SUPPORT A PROJECT THAT WILL FOCUS ON KEY AREAS OF THE SYSTEMIC EDUCATION REFORM RECOMMENDED BY THE 2006 POLICY STUDY ENTITLED CREATING A WORLD-CLASS EDUCATION SYSTEM IN OHIO CONDUCTED BY ACHIEVE, INC||$447,500|
|OHIO GRANTMAKERS FORUM||TO SUPPORT THE WORK OF A COORDINATED, COMMON COLLEGE READY AGENDA AND ADVOCACY STRATEGY FOR OHIO'S STATEWIDE EDUCATION ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS||$1,000,000|
|OHIO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION||TO DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A MODEL COMMON DEFINITION OF TEACHER OF RECORD AND STANDARD BUSINESS PROCESS FOR LINKING AND VALIDATING TEACHER AND STUDENT DATA AT THE SEA LEVEL AND A REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE OF DISTRICTS||$300,000|
|BALTIMORE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION INC||TO MOBILIZE THE FAITH COMMUNITY IN THE STATE OF OHIO TO INSIST ON A QUALITY COLLEGE-READY EDUCATION FORALL STUDENTS||$197,880|
|CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY||TO IDENTIFY WAYS TO HELP HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS OVERCOME THE COMPLEXITY OFTHE FAFSA AND ENROLL IN POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION||$345,024|
|OH ALLIANCE PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS||TO CREATE A SUSTAINABLE STATE CHARTER SCHOOL MEMBERSHIP ORGANIZATION||$181,964|
|BATTELLE FOR KIDS||TO SUPPORT A NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EXISTING EFFORTS TO CREATE DIFFERENTIATED COMPENSATION SYSTEMS FOR TEACHERS BASED ON PERFORMANCE||$50,000|
|BATTELLE MEMORIAL INSTITUTE||TO LAUNCH AND CONNECT STEM PLATFORM SCHOOLS, BUILD A NETWORK-BASED EDUCATION INNOVATION INFRASTRUCTURE, AND DRIVE SCALEABLE AND SUSTAINABLE STEM SCHOOLS AND INNOVATIONS||$4,549,556|
|SINCLAIR COMMUNITY COLLEGE||TO SUPPORT COORDINATED COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS TO INCREASE POSTSECONDARY COMPLETION RATES||$250,000|
From teacher merit pay based on test results, to charter schools, the Gates Foundation hits all the hot button issues, just this year alone.
So much money, with so little oversight. Millions of dollars are being poured into public education reform initiatives with little or no input from tax payers, parents or teachers. Many are rightly becoming concerned by the impact this money is having on the public education debate
"It's Orwellian in the sense that through this vast funding they start to control even how we tacitly think about the problems facing public education," said Bruce Fuller, an education professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who said he received no financing from the Foundation.
The perception is one that is growing, as NPR reports
It's about setting agendas, framing debates, advocating the Foundation's point of view and taking action. Palmer says the Foundation has changed the perception of what a private organization can do.
"And that is a good thing," she says. "Because it's getting more people involved. But if you don't like what their agenda is - then it's an unchecked way of getting things done and that bothers a lot of people."
Right now, for example, there's a lot of talk about the Foundation's effort to improve public schools. It's focusing on better classroom instruction and is using data - including student test scores - to gauge how well teachers are doing.
"I have no doubt that the movement Bill Gates has launched has created enormous hostility toward teachers," says Diane Ravitch, who has been studying American education for 40 years.
The New York University professor has emerged as the most outspoken critic of the Foundation's approach.
"It's like all accountability for educational failure is suddenly plopped on the heads of teachers, and this is wrong," she says.
Gates, despite what might be honest and noble intentions is playing Russian Roulette with teachers careers. Those desperately seeking some financial assistance should think long and hard, and twice, before deciding to play with this Foundations loaded gun.