ALEC and Bill Gates, the Mask Comes Off

The Cramps, “What’s Behind the Mask” (click to listen or download)

This morning a friend tweeted me a grant listing from the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).    Gates is giving ALEC $375,000

[T]o educate and engage its membership on more efficient state budget approaches to drive greater student outcomes, as well as educate them on beneficial ways to recruit, retain, evaluate and compensate effective teaching based upon merit and achievement

While bankrolling some of the worst market and profit driven, privatizing, “choice,” teacher and union bashing, data-obsessed, “reforms,” all the while leveraging public money for private ends,  Gates and the Gates Foundation have tried to preserve the illusion that they are “friends” of public education.  The mask is off.  No friend of public education or America’s children supports ALEC and their mission to destroy the public sector (see ALEC Exposed).

A few words from Susan Troller’s farewell column are in order (goodbye and good wishes  Susan, you’ll be missed):

Not all “reformers” actually want reform.

There’s a well-funded national campaign made up of conservative think tanks, public relations firms and big-money donors whose mission is to discredit public schools. Some of them just hate the teacher unions and disdain teachers and all public workers.

Others are ideologically opposed to the notion of public education and would like to privatize everything; their releases provide a steady litany about the advantages of “choice” schools, from private voucher schools to for-profit charters that operate with public dollars.

Had their been any doubt that Gates was part of this, there is no longer.

For more see:

Mark Pocan, “ALEC Watch: What I did on My Summer Vacation.”

Doug Merlino, “Bill Gates and the Shadow Department of Education.”

Anthony Cody, “Bill Gates’ Big Play: How Much Can Money Buy in Education?”

Beth Slovic, Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation” (from Seattle Education blog).

Dr. Roy Schestowitz, “Gates Monitor: February 2011 on Bill Gates-Funded Lobbyists Who Drive US Education Agenda.”

Nancy Flanagan, “Microsoft wins TEACH campaign from Education Department.”

Thomas J. Mertz



Filed under Accountability, Arne Duncan, Best Practices, education, Gimme Some Truth, National News, Scott Walker

4 responses to “ALEC and Bill Gates, the Mask Comes Off

  1. Noel Radomski

    Shocking. Will they retract the grant once the flashlight shines?

  2. mike vidal

    Bill Gates Sr. was advocating for higher taxes for the rich I think. Father not like son I guess –

  3. James Scarlett-Lyon

    There was a very extensive study released about 3 weeks ago funded by the Gates Foundation and the Charter Schools Coalition. The stunning thing is the report found almost no difference between public schools and charter schools. No surprise…the report was released at the dead end of the weekly news cycle late Friday afternoon and then buried by the Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation has gone from actually being interested in public schools to trying to get rid of them.

  4. It is unfortunate, we’ve allowed people who have never lived on less than $50K or even $100K to represent us in our government. Greedy millionairs with their eye on the billionaire prize rather than representing we the people.

    Some of us do not have the luxury to afford private school tuition, and property taxes, and, some of us do not have the luxury of homeschooling.

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