Monday, July 12, 2010

Power philanthropy at its worst

Which of the world's 2 richest men should run our public schools?

The world's second richest man is essentially running public ed through his foundation, says the Washington Post. But the Gates Foundation is accountable to no one. It is socially irresponsible and invests 95% of its money in polluting or socially-destructive companies like BP. His tax-sheltered "investments" in ed reform have left a path of destruction in their wake. No better example is needed than the crash of the once vibrant small schools movement.

"It has influence everywhere," said Tom Loveless, an education analyst at the Brookings Institution, "in absolutely every branch of education, whether you're talking about the federal, state or local levels of government, schools, the press, politicians or think tanks. Their motives could be 100 percent pure. But any time you have one big player that is influencing all of these groups, it is cause for concern."

If indeed, Bill Gates' influence over public schools and public decision-making comes only as a result of his concentrated wealth, why not let Carlos Slim run our schools. He's richer than Gates by $2 billion and better educated.

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