Bill Gates Insists that His Common Core Philanthropy is Not For Any Self-Interest
Bill Gates insists in a Washington Post article that his philanthropy is not for any personal gain. Maybe it’s for the destruction of a representative government? That’s how the Common Core State Standards Initiative adoption and implementation occurred: it was the circumvention of the political process and certainly transformed the way our public education systems operated. They are now in the control of private organizations unaccountable to voters and legislatures.
The veil has been lifted on how the Common Core State Standards Initiative was anything but state led and voluntary. The Washington Post published an article on an interview with Bill Gates and his involvement in the Initiative. From How Bill Gates pulled off the swift Common Core revolution:
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation didn’t just bankroll the development of what became known as the Common Core State Standards. With more than $200 million, the foundation also built political support across the country, persuading state governments to make systemic and costly changes.
Bill Gates was de facto organizer, providing the money and structure for states to work together on common standards in a way that avoided the usual collision between states’ rights and national interests that had undercut every previous effort, dating from the Eisenhower administration.
The Gates Foundation spread money across the political spectrum, to entities including the big teachers unions, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, and business organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — groups that have clashed in the past but became vocal backers of the standards.
Money flowed to policy groups on the right and left, funding research by scholars of varying political persuasions who promoted the idea of common standards. Liberals at the Center for American Progress and conservatives affiliated with the American Legislative Exchange Council who routinely disagree on nearly every issue accepted Gates money and found common ground on the Common Core.
It’s a fascinating article on how a “philanthropist” could help create educational policy and circumvent the roadblock of the political process. He insists he is only shoveling money into this because:
“I believe in the Common Core because of its substance and what it will do to improve education,” he said. “And that’s the only reason I believe in the Common Core.”
Bill and Melinda Gates, Obama and Arne Duncan are parents of school-age children, although none of those children attend schools that use the Common Core standards. The Gates and Obama children attend private schools, while Duncan’s children go to public school in Virginia, one of four states that never adopted the Common Core.
If he truly believes in his statement, shouldn’t he and the Secretary of Education insist their childrens’ private schools implement Common Core State Standards Initiative and teacher evaluation policies? If he knows what works for his children, why doesn’t he insist and pay for think tanks to create adoption of systems for public schools to align themselves more with private school educational delivery?
He says education reform is “complicated stuff”. Apparently his children’s school educational plan isn’t that complicated. So why has he poured millions of dollars into organizations trying to push Common Core on parents and legislators when he should mirror what his children have in their education? Wouldn’t that be the “philanthropic” plan of action for the kids who can’t afford private school? After all, the private schools do what works for their students. If they didn’t, they would soon be out of business. Why doesn’t he just expand on those systems instead of creating a system that creates increased technology which conveniently mandates all products be Microsoft based?
Mercedes Schneider writes that this interview was released after state 2014 legislative sessions were concluded. Is this a coincidence? If state legislators had read the connections between private non-governmental organizations and the Department of Education, confirmed by Bill Gates himself, would they still be so keen to keep it in their states?
The full interview can be found here from the Washington Post. He keeps insisting the reason he likes the Common Core is because of its substance and it will improve education. Around the 15:00 mark the interview becomes a bit heated when the reporter asks if he is in this reform movement for self interest. Throughout the interview, he tells the reporter she is making the questions political vs substantive. I wish we had a body language expert to determine what he is really thinking when he answers the self interest question.
His remarks starting around 25:00 are stunning. We need someone like him to fund the R & D on education reform on what he apparently thinks is appropriate. There is no mention that education development/direction is a state’s responsibility, not Bill Gates or other philanthropists. Why has he never asked the parents or legislators who have to pick up the unfunded mandates what they wanted?
Bill Gates’ response to the claim he is “the unelected superintendent of the country”.
The full video here.