Behind Grass-Roots School Advocacy, Bill Gates
Here's an article on the front page of today's NYT about how the Gates Foundation is funding ed reform advocacy work across the country. At points, the article makes it seem nefarious, but it's not – it's absolutely necessary to counter the enormous political power of the unions to block any and all reform.
"We've learned that school-level investments aren't enough to drive systemic changes," said Allan C. Golston, the president of the foundation's United States program. "The importance of advocacy has gotten clearer and clearer."
The foundation spent $373 million on education in 2009, the latest year for which its tax returns are available, and devoted $78 million to advocacy — quadruple the amount spent on advocacy in 2005. Over the next five or six years, Mr. Golston said, the foundation expects to pour $3.5 billion more into education, up to 15 percent of it on advocacy.