College & Workforce Readiness

Gates Foundation’s Role in Ed Policy: An Addendum

By Catherine Gewertz — May 27, 2011 1 min read

You might recall that The New York Times recently took a look at the hefty influence the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation exerts on education policy. We blogged briefly about it. That story hit some nerves, and we wanted to update you about those responses.

Susan Ohanian, a vocal education gadfly, composed a lengthy missive that offers a portrait of Gates Foundation influence that’s much farther-reaching than the one depicted by The Times. She celebrates the story because she and others have been “screaming about the Gates Foundation buying up education policy” for years, she writes. But she said the Times story didn’t go far enough, so she endeavors to fill in the missing pieces, listing people and organizations that receive Gates funding and making connections between them, including EdWeek.

American Enterprise Institute wonk (and EdWeek blogger) Rick Hess takes The Times to task for misrepresenting a key point he made in the story, and in so doing, tries to get people thinking about what dynamics of cooperation are created by the acceptance of philanthropic dollars, not just from Gates, but from any foundation.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.