Video: Gates-Funded "Get Schooled" In Chicago


Blonde-wigged rapper Niki Minaj showed up at Collins High School last week as part of a program to encourage kids to come to school and graduate. Via Gapers Block and Huffington Post. The initiative is funded by Get Schooled, one of a long list of Gates Foundation-funded advocacy groups whose work is chronicled in this New York Times story (along with Teach Plus and several others).What do you think about the Gates effort to fund advocacy groups to get out the word about education's importance, even if you don't like its policy choices?  

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  • Sam Dillion's NYT piece on the Gates connection is a very good example of investigative journalism. But, I must say what Bill Gates is doing is little different than the most powerful amongst us have done in America since the turn of the century. Bill Gates like the robber Barons of the past have a direct interest in creating or re-creating a productive and low cost work force. Mr. Gates is also not bad person, his intentions are consistent with the basic values of our nation which are driven by our competitive market economy, he wants public sector education to be in sync with our nation's economy.

    If there are some people, like me for instance and Mr. Dillion possibly, who have some real qualms over Mr. Gates power in the field of public education, then we really have a larger issue. We have qualms over how the foundations of our economic system dictate public policy, effectively we question what is the moral fiber of American capitalism. Very dangerous thoughts indeed.

    Mr. Gates like the Foundation for Educational Choice, which is the leading supporter of private school vouchers in the nation, is deeply influenced by Nobel Laureate economist Milton Friedman's arguments over the relationship between economic competition and what Dr. Freidman called liberty. As Friedman put it:

  • You know, Gates has donated a lot of his own money to public schools. He could have just funded scholarships to parachute the aspiring students out of the public schools, but he seems to have a desire to improve public education. I think he ought to be given some credit for that, even if you don't approve of his means of improving it.

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