Liam and I were out enjoying an evening of dinner and a movie, when some astonishing news came over Twitter: the Gates Foundation just made a grant to ALEC. Yes, more than $375,000 to the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization my husband has called a self-proclaimed “free market, limited government” non-profit, which is really just a spout of Republican policy ideas. They push an agenda “focused on pet approaches to privatizing education, firing teachers and enabling home schooling that likely have little bearing on student outcomes and that have little basis in research.”
As a fellow Gates grantee, colored me disconcerted.
As a professor in public higher education in Wisconsin, where ALEC has worked to intimidate the scholarship of faculty like Bill Cronon, color me outraged.
Tomorrow, watch this blog for what my colleague Robin Rogers of Queens College and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York has to say about the educational policy activities of billionaires. It’ll be the first in a two part series. Clearly, it’s something we all need to start discussing.