Bill Gates is a big supporter of Common Core education system in the US and his foundation spent millions in making the system accepted by lots of states after many years. In fact, this idea of Common Core came from Gene Wilhoit, director of a national group of state school chiefs, and David Coleman, an emerging evangelist for the standards movement. Washington Post journalist in an interview to Bill Gates accused him that his support for Common Core system is because of his business interests. Like any other technology company, Microsoft has signed a deal with Pearson for making Common Core education content on Microsoft platforms. I’m pretty sure, even if Bill Gates was not backing Common Core, Microsoft Education team would have done the same. Also, I think accusing people like Bill Gates who have pledged their wealth for public welfare is really cheap.
Here is the excerpt from the interview,
Layton: Let me ask you about … your belief in the Common Core. There are some people who, when they hear the speech that you just gave where you were talking about standardization and common standards will help drive innovation and help us have this, the online revolution in a way that, that this part of the economy has really been untouched; that it’s important that if we have common standards, then we can really open up the online, the benefits of the online revolution in education. There are people who hear that and think, ‘That’s what he’s doing. He really wants this because he wants to encourage the technology industry because he’s the co-founder of Microsoft. It’s, it’s, he’s being driven by business interests here.’ What, how would you respond to that?
Gates: Uh, I think, you’re, you’re sticking to the political side of this thing. Uhh…
Layton: I’m from The Washington Post. We’re in Washington….
Gates: …Okay, so give me the, give me the logic here.
Layton: The logic is…
Gates: What is it that you’re saying? It’s all a lot of self-interest? It’s…
Layton: That, no, that that’s, that that’s one of the driving forces behind your embrace of the Common Core.
Gates: Meaning what?
Layton: Meaning Microsoft and Pearson just signed a deal to, to put the Common Core curriculum on the surface. So, you’ve got a product, Microsoft has a product now that it’s, that it’s selling…
Gates: Yeah, we had the old Pearson stuff. I, it, it, there’s no connection, there’s no connection to Common Core and any Microsoft thing…..
Layton: But it’s a question when people know, when people learn that you are promoting the Common Core…
Gates: Do you seriously think that the reason I like the Common Core is for some self-interested reason? That’s what you’re saying….
Layton: …. That’s kind of a pertinent question that a lot of people who, uh, who don’t know you … are wondering, and I would just like some response….
G: …. I hope I can make this clear, I believe in the Common Core because of its substance and what it will do to improve education, and that’s the only reason I believe in the Common Core. And I have no, you know, this is giving money away. This is philanthropy. This is trying to make sure students have the kind of opportunity I had. You, you’ve, there is nothing, uh, it’s so, almost… outrageous to say otherwise in my view.
Source: Washington Post