No organization has given more money to support the roll out of the Common Core State Standards than the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In the last four years, more than $200 million has been distributed to nearly every corner of the country to either implement the English and math standards or support those who are doing so.
Colorado is no exception.
According to this database just published by progressive magazine Mother Jones tracking the foundation’s gifts, organizations with direct or indirect ties with Colorado have received more than $10 million. Here’s a few we spotted in the database:
- $9.7 million went to the Colorado Education Initiative, formerly the Colorado Legacy Foundation.
- $5 million went to the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC., that also has a campus in Colorado.
- $30,000 went to WestEd, a California-based consultant that has done a great deal of consulting for the Colorado Department of Education.
The $9.7 million grant to the Colorado Education Initiative was among the foundation’s largest one-time gifts. Its was awarded the grant to provide the foundation “organizational support” for its work on the standards, teacher effectiveness, and new standardized tests, according to the Gates website.
The Colorado nonprofit works on multiple education fronts including healthy schools; teacher effectiveness; science, technology, engineering and math curriculum; and most recently, helping develop new learning models based on the state’s updated graduation requirements.
The Aspen Institute has received multiple grants from the foundation. More than $3 million is going toward the institute’s Urban Superintendents Network, which develops resources to integrate the standards and teacher effectiveness policies. And $185,000 is being used to develop public relations strategies for schools and districts to talk about the standards and their improvement efforts.
WestEd is using its grant dollars to research how teachers use data to inform instructional practice.
Speaking of “the Core,” in its September/October issue, Mother Jones tracks how the state-based initiative to boost student achievement in the 21st century became the third-rail of America’s public education system.
(Disclosure: Chalkbeat is a grantee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.)