Concerns Over Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Influence On Education Policy

Education Week (11/6, McNeil, Sawchuk) reports that there are growing concerns about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s influence on education policy partly “because so many policy actors,” including the US Department of Education, “have amplified ideas it espouses.” The Race to the Top competition “and federal waivers conditioned on similar principles are credited with influencing most of the states to revamp their teacher-evaluation policies, often in ways that mirror the Gates agenda.” Additionally, several top ED officials came from the foundation, and Education Secretary Arnie Duncan “lured many to work for him from other private-sector organizations that receive significant funding from Gates. “Brad Jupp, a senior program adviser on teacher initiatives at the Education Department, said the foundation should be credited “for influencing us, but there were many other factors that influenced us,” adding, “We share common goals and share some theories of action.” The article also says Jupp “praised the foundation’s teacher-quality focus, saying its work built a logical argument for focusing on teacher effectiveness.”