NOTE: It is important to know that think tanks, CCSS developers, teachers unions and reform organizations have all received large grants from the Gates Foundation to promote Common Core. These Gates funded organizations span the political spectrum. Bottom line: Who asked Bill Gates to take over my child’s education anyway? What is his real interest in this?
Mercedes Schneider’s EduBlog
This is a post about Bill Gates and his money, a brief audit of his Common Core (CCSS) purchases. Before I delve into Gates accounting, allow me to set the stage with a bit of CCSS background.
A Bit of CCSS Background
It is important to those promoting CCSS that the public believes the idea that CCSS is “state-led.” The CCSS website reports as much and names two organizations as “coordinating” the “state-led” CCSS: The National Governors Association (NGA), and the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Interestingly, the CCSS website makes no mention of CCSS “architect” David Coleman:
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce.[Emphasis added.]
Nevertheless, if one reviews this 2009 NGA news release on those principally involved in CCSS development, one views a listing of 29 individuals associated with Student Achievement Partners, ACT, College Board, and Achieve. In truth, only 2 out of 29 members are not affiliated with an education company.
CCSS as “state-led” is fiction. Though NGA reports 29 individuals as involved with CCSS creation, it looks to be even fewer:
NGA first directly involved governors in nationalizing education standards in June 2008, when it co-hosted an education forum with the Hunt Institute, a project of former North Carolina Gov. James Hunt Jr. In December 2008, NGA, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and Achieve Inc. released a report calling for national standards. The report recommended “a strong state-federal partnership” to accomplish this goal.
Those three nonprofits answered their own call the next few months, deciding to commission Common Core. NGA and Hunt’s press releases during that time, and a paper describing NGA’s Common Core process by former NGA education director Dane Linn, provide no endorsement of such activity from more than a handful of elected officials. [Emphasis added.]
Also involved in creation of CCSS is Student Achievement Partners, the company David Coleman started in 2007 in order produce national standards. Student Achievement Partners has no work other than CCSS.
Now to Bill Gates and his money.
Gates Buys NGA, CCSSO, Achieve, and Student Achievement Partners
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,
…to work with state policymakers on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, with special attention to effective resource reallocation to ensure complete execution, as well as rethinking state policies on teacher effectiveness
Amount: $1,598,477 [Emphasis added.]
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.