Thursday, September 23, 2010
OWNERSHIP SOCIETY NEWS
Bill Gates is back on top of the Billionaire Boys Club* this year, with $54 billion in personal wealth. Then there's $30b more (tax free) in his foundation to use for investments in things like BP Oil as well as in school "reform."
According to Forbes, other big school reform players in the BBC include: Warren Buffet, Bill's $30b partner in the Gates Fund, #2; N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, #10; the Walton's, #4,7,8,9, 98, 136 ; ultra, ultra conservative, Philip Anschutz, who bankrolled Waiting for Superman, #34; Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who just bailed out Newark's school system and strengthened mayor control over the city's schools, #35; Eli Broad, whose training academy fellows run most big city school systems, #44; George Lucas, #98; Oprah Winfrey (sign the petition to get Ravitch on her show), #130; Michael Milken, #170; and Meg Whitman, California charter school player and candidate for governor, #332,
I know there are other BBC members who are local school reform players, voucher advocates, union busters, and charter cheerleaders, like DFER's Ravenel Boykin Curry IV (I just like saying his name) and Whitney Tilson. Sorry if I overlooked any of you. But you didn't quite make the Forbes 400 list. Better luck next year.
I also wanted to mention the Koch brothers (no pun intended), who share the #5 position. They aren't players in public school reform. In fact they hate the very idea of public anything. But they do bankroll the Tea Party.
* Yes, I know there are a few women on the list and one African-American. But c'mon. It's still a white, male club. Oh, and yes, this is just the U.S. version of the Boys Club. In fact, Gates still trails Mexican tycoon, Carlos Slim in the international race to the top.