An article published by the New York Times on
The article explained that the educational philanthropists donate their money because 1) they need a tax break and 2) educational issues are currently a popular cause. Unlike educational philanthropists of the old days like Carnegie and Rockefeller who were satisfied by providing supplemental help to the system, this new breed considers themselves to be school reformers. They want to see evidence that their money has produced specific types of output. To control this, they actively seek to have a strategic influence over the school districts which are the recipients of their largess. It's crystal clear that their gifts come with quite a few thick strings attached.
The first thing the educational philanthropists do is to deploy a “disruptive force.” Once the established school system is destroyed, they are poised to insert whatever model they think is better. Aren’t they nice?
For a number of years now, these philanthropists have been playing a huge role in changing school districts in many cities, including my own. Of course, they don’t send their kids to those public schools, nor live among the many members of those communities. They have no experience as educators of the masses, and certainly have not had significant personal contact with schools for the commoners, i.e. the public ones. But these qualifiers which would restrain the cockiness of a normal individual don't seem to carry weight for those arrogant and wealthy individuals with an urge to “fix" the problems, undoubtedly driven to do so for various personal reasons.
The educational philanthropists hunt for weak districts because they need a place to test their ideas.
The force arrived as graduates from billionaire Eli Broad’s training ground, headed by the first State Administrator Randy Ward. They set up shop quickly and went to work creating their own special system for managing our large, urban school district. Some members have left, but others have replaced them. As an organized force from the outside, they have been applying their system for nearly five years now (the “Expect Success” program). The whole operation was paid for by the foundations of Gates, Broad, Rogers, and others. Oakland Unified still isn't “fixed” and with their approach it will never be.
Of course, assisting us with our fiscal recovery, the reason they were supposedly sent here in the first place, was never their primary goal.
Their undertaking was quite easy to do because the conduit for public input had been completely eliminated. Information to the public about what was really going on was scant. It was sometimes alluded to in the promotional materials for “Expect Success.” Many experienced and savvy administrators who questioned features of this new program, or showed resistance, either gave up in disgust and left, or were pressured out.
With the return of our local control, the powers of the “disruptive force” will be diminished, or lost – but not if the educational philanthropists can get a toe-hold by becoming a part of the publicly elected power body. Currently, Brian Rogers is running for a School Board seat in
“Gary Rogers was the chief executive of Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream in June 2003 when the company signed a $2.8 billion deal with Nestle SA, giving the Swiss food giant majority control.