Monday, September 5, 2011

Education’s Ruling “Plutocracy” of Billionaires | Scathing Purple Musings

Education’s Ruling “Plutocracy” of Billionaires | Scathing Purple Musings:

Education’s Ruling “Plutocracy” of Billionaires

Quickly emerging as one of the nation’s most important education writers, Walt Gardner cautions that America should be concerned that billionaires are investing so much in education policy. Referencing the recent donation of NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg and others to save the state’s Regent Exam, Gardner writes:

I’m glad that the Regents exam was reinstated, but I’m concerned that it took the efforts of billionaires to do so. Whenever money is handed out to schools, it comes with strings attached. These aren’t always obvious. But it is naive to believe that a tacit quid pro quo is not established. It’s more than mere coincidence that over the past decade during which time some $4.4 billion annually was poured into school reform by the Big Three foundations (Gates, Broad, and Walton), the tools of the boardroom were adopted.

This kind of giving buys influence. The Broad Foundation has already received a nice return on its investment by virtue of two training programs it underwrites. The Broad Superintendents Academy