Gates Foundation failures show philanthropists shouldn’t be setting America's public school agenda

Editorial, L.A. Times, Jun 09, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

So this is interesting. Contained in a recent report we read "This has been a challenging lesson for us to absorb, but we take it to heart. The mission of improving education in America is both vast and complicated, and the Gates Foundation doesn’t have all the answers." The L.A. Times draws the appropriate conclusion: "Philanthropists are not generally education experts, and even if they hire scholars and experts, public officials shouldn’t be allowing them to set the policy agenda for the nation’s public schools." This is all the more true because philanthropists typically reward the best fundraisers, and not the best projects.

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