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Education Opinion

Funding Frenzy

By Eduwonkette — February 19, 2008 1 min read

On the heels of my small world post, many readers have written and asked for more discussion of the mega-education funders.

Who are they funding? How broad is their influence? Should the funding priorities of a small number of foundations drive local education policy? Is Bill Gates our national superintendent, as Diane Ravitch has suggested?

For those clamoring for disclosure, academic institutions where I have worked and studied have received grants from the Gates Foundation, and I have undoubtedly benefited from those grants. My intent is not to villainize these foundations, but to wonder out loud whether it is a good thing for American education when local reform strategies are shaped so strongly by a small number of private, uber-wealthy foundations.

To get us started, here’s a link to a spreadsheet with the grantees of the Gates, Broad, and Walton Foundations. I pulled these from data from the Foundation Center‘s database; these are not real-time data, so grants from 2006-2007 are not exhaustively represented here. You can follow these links for a more up to date list of Gates, Broad, and Walton grantees. I’ll hit this myself tomorrow, but in the meantime, may a thousand blog posts bloom...

P.S. Be sure to check out this A-Rus post about the growing role of foundations in American education.

The opinions expressed in eduwonkette are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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