Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Are the uber wealthy influencing education policy?

First of all, I am not against the very rich donating money for education; they have it we need it. However, the question has arisen about how they might be pushing their own agenda with that money, or how systems might become too dependent on that check.

“AFT Says It Will No Longer Accept Gates Funding”

“The American Federation of Teachers, to date the recipient of more than $11 million in Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation largesse, will no longer accept Gates funding, Politico has reported, citing increasing criticism from members.”

“AFT officials said the union's President, Randi Weingarten, made the announcement at the Network for Public Education conference last week in Austin, Texas. NPE is an advocacy group begun by Diane Ravitch and other critics of so-called "corporate education reform."” 

“Education Week took a long look at Gates funding for teacher-quality efforts last year, and at that time Weingarten hinted that pushback from members might effect a change in its willingness to accept cash from the Seattle-based philanthropy.” 

“Much of the cash has supported AFT's innovation fund, which supports local projects. Politico also says that the AFT will seek ways of funding the initiative through a dues surcharge, which would have to be approved by members at this year's biennial AFT convention in Los Angeles.”

Do you think there could be strings attached to this money or is it true altruism?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

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