The new curriculum driven into law by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the Common Core Standards, is a product of massive spending on an unprecedented historical level by Bill Gates.
Guerin Lee Green at the North Denver News reports that Gates has spent $2.3 billion pushing the Common Core. More than 1800 grants to organizations running from teachers unions to state departments of education to political groups like the National Governor’s Association have pushed the Common Core into 45 states, with little transparency and next to no public review.
The Common Core now represents a de facto and de jure national school curriculum, something theoretically prohibited by federal law. But the Common Core comes with common high-stakes tests and common textbooks, making the standards far more than standards.
The Gates involvement, profiteering by testing publishers like Pearson and the heavy-hand of federal coercion in the Common Core has aroused political opposition from right and left, as well as from education experts who have called the standards inappropriate developmentally, pushing young children into material they aren’t ready for.According to NDN, private groups like the Aspen Institute, the Colorado Legacy Foundation, Colorado Children’s Campaign, and Stand for Children received millions in Gates grants at a time when Colorado schools were facing massive budget cuts.
The Colorado Department of Education is one of the largest Gates recipients in the nation, receiving more than $22 million to push the new standards, text books, PARCC testing and charter schools.
*Also see Lyndsey Layton's Washington Post piece: How Bill Gates pulled off the swift Common Core revolution