Critics of public school “reform” say that it looks too much like a business model with education foundations that have big wallets taking control away from local communities.
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, along with his wife, Melinda Gates, founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which had an endowment of $33.5 billion as of 2009. The foundation is “driven by the passions and the interests of the Gates family,” with an education goal to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology.
Another notable figure is Los Angeles entrepreneur and philanthropist Eli Broad (rhymes with road). With his wife Edythe, Broad founded The Broad Foundations, which have assets of $2.1 billion with a mission to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts.
“Priorities of some of these foundations nationally have taken precedence over parents and community members,” said Pam Grundy, co-founder of Mecklenburg Acts, the local affiliate of Parents Across America. “They’re trying to do a lot of things that have never been proven to work. We feel like our kids are like an experiment.”