Ed in 08


Billionares to start $60M Education Issue Presidential Campaign PR Effort.

David Herszenhorn

Eli Broad and Bill Gates, two of the most important philanthropists in American public education, have pumped more than $2 billion into improving schools. But now, dissatisfied with the pace of change, they are joining forces for a $60 million foray into politics in an effort to vault education high onto the agenda of the 2008 presidential race.
Experts on campaign spending said the project would rank as one of the most expensive single-issue initiatives ever in a presidential race, dwarfing, for example, the $22.4 million that the Swift Vets and P.O.W.s for Truth group spent against Senator John Kerry in 2004, and the $7.8 million spent on advocacy that year by AARP, the lobby for older Americans.
Under the slogan “Ed in ’08,” the project, called Strong American Schools, will include television and radio advertising in battleground states, an Internet-driven appeal for volunteers and a national network of operatives in both parties.
“I have reached the conclusion as has the Gates foundation, which has done good things also, that all we’re doing is incremental,” said Mr. Broad, the billionaire who founded SunAmerica Inc. and KB Home and who has long been a prodigious donor to Democrats. “If we really want to get the job done, we have got to wake up the American people that we have got a real problem and we need real reform.”

I’m glad they are doing this. However, top down rarely works, particularly with an issue this broad.
www.edin08.com. Former LA Superintendent and Colorado Governor Roy Romer is Chair. [118K PDF]
Ed Policy 08 is a “A non-partisan blog focused on Educational Policy in the 2008 election for President of the United States.” The site is written anonymously by a classroom teacher. RSS feed.

2 thoughts on “Ed in 08”

  1. Jim:
    Is it your view that a Nation at Risk and the enacting of NCLB have had no impact on public schooling? Talk to school superintendents, almost anywhere in the country, and they will likely tell you that NCLB has forced their school boards, administrators, teachers and the broader community to think more seriously about academic achievement, standards, achievement gaps, teaching methodology, assessment, and curriculum than alot of “reform” that’s come down the pike in the past decade or so.
    Lots of folks deride NCLB; it has its flaws, no question. But…it is forcing a debate — a debate that might otherwise not have taken place, or taken place with a lot less urgency, had it not been enacted.
    Show me the last grass-roots, from-the-ground-up reform movement in education that had any staying power. And by the ground up, I mean — emanating from a classroom.

  2. Hi Phil:
    Thanks for posting your words.
    I agree with you about NCLB’s impact, at least with respect to perceptions. There is also more data floating around, though there’s no shortage of discussion on what it means. You’ve previously pointed out that the states are allowed to set their own standards, some of which are weak.
    I think the long term grass roots education change has been population movement. Madison’s schools, despite the community’s growth have experienced flat enrollment for many years. Milwaukee, Kansas City, St. Louis and many other cities have lost thousands of students to charters, private schools and the burbs.
    Perhaps Milton Friedman’s decades long choice advocacy was simply following the parent’s selections:

Comments are closed.