We have long known on this site that Bill Gates’ foundation underwrote every aspect of the Common Core standards. Mercedes Schneider has documented nearly $200 million in grants specifically for the writing, evaluation, review, implementation, and advocacy for the Common Core standards.
Jack Hassard, a retired professor of science education, has scoured the Gates search engine and concluded that the investment of the Gates Foundation in the Common Core is actually $2.3 billion.
Why is Bill Gates so concerned about those that have taken on Achieve’s Common Core State Standards?
The answer is that the Gates Foundation has invested about $2.3 billion into the Common Standards and related efforts. Please read ahead.
In public speeches, Gates has called out those who try to interfere with the implementation of the Common Standards. When Gates first used his billions to reach out to eduction, there was some glimmer of hope. The Gates Foundation idea of funding smaller high schools appeared to be a plausible conception. But things changed, and as we’ve seen, someone with a lot of money can influence organizations in ways that ordinary classroom educators can not.
Soon the Gates Foundation began to fund efforts that, in my view, undermined the work of professional teachers. Gates own simple conception of “measuring” student learning, has been accepted by many politicians and state education bureaucrats. Test the students when they come into your class. Test them when they go out to summer play. Subtract the scores, and there you have it. A measure of what student learned.
This idea that teacher quality can be easily measured by value-added has not worked out so well.
But then there are the Common Core standards, which the Gates Foundation has heavily funded as its biggest bet of all.
I did a search of the College-Ready grants for 2009 – 2013 using the terms Common Core, and the search returned 161 results. The largest grant was awarded to the Kentucky Department of Education for $9,800,877, and the smallest grant was awarded to Benchmark Education Company for $25,000. Using an Excel spreadsheet of the 161 programs that focused on the Common Core, I found out that the Gates Foundation has awarded grants totaling $204,350,462. That’s $269 million for 161 programs. The average grant was for $1,269,258.
Then he finds another classification in the Gates search engine:
But the truth is that the Gates Foundation has provided much more money than the $204,350,462. This figure is based on only 161 of the grants from the College-Ready category of grants. The Gates Foundation awarded more than 1800 projects in the group of College-Ready grants, which is one of the main goals of the Common Core. I’ve not downloaded the data from the 1800 grants into Excel. You might want to go to the Gates website and take a look at the data for these grants. But we can do a rough estimate based on the 161 grants that were analyzed.
If we use the average grant of $1,269,258., then the estimated amount funded to support Common Standards and related education programs by Gates is $2,306,241,786 (that $2.3 billion).
And finally, he asks,
Is Gates and his Foundation’s influence what will improve education in the American democracy? Or has the influence of power and money brokers been accepted, with little criticism, by the general public? Is the unrest about the Common Standards in the interests of the future of education, or is it just a few people complaining? What are your ideas?