NEWSLETTER: 15 Years of Bill Gates’s Experimentation

by Carol Burris and Anthony Cody

In his October 7 speech as he ruminated on how his foundation shaped educational policy and practice for the past fifteen years, Bill Gates spoke of the importance of what he called “high impact” strategies. His speech contained only one acknowledgement of error on his and Melinda’s part – and it was an error of the most innocent sort. He said they had been “naïve” in the way in which they rolled out the Common Core. Apparently they did not anticipate that democracy might get in the way of their plans.

For Bill Gates this has all been a grand experiment, one that he believes he is entitled to conduct on our children, our teachers and our schools. It is astounding that a man, who has no qualifications to guide our nation’s educational system has been allowed, by virtue of his fortune, to meddle in it as he has.

Although he spoke of the importance of continuous learning, (even admitting that the Gates Foundation still had a great deal to learn), Bill Gates did not show any signs of veering from the checkered record of their past 15 years of pushing the United States to adopt his vision of K12 education reform.

We at the Network for Public Education, however, will not let Mr. Gates, his wife or his Foundation off the hook. And so we bring you this special report on the grand experiment of Bill Gates. The breadth and scope of meddling is breathtaking. The evidence of success is not.

NPE is proud to share this interactive infographic detailing the last 15 years of Bill Gates’s public education experiments. It contains links to 13 reports from 12 of the nation’s leading pro-public education advocates (which you will also find in the “Around the States” entries below.)

Click on the infographic to be taken to our website, then hover your cursor over the green, yellow, and red entries to reveal links to the reports. You’ll also find a video of Gates embedded in the center quote. Please share widely to let others know the full extent of the destructive influence Bill and Melinda Gates have had, and continue to have, on the democratic institution of public education.

Create free infographics with Venngage


Carol Burris: Executive Director, Network for Public Education, former New York principal

In 2008, Florida’s Hillsborough School District received a $10 million grant to revamp their teacher evaluation system and salary system. In 2015, the experiment ended with the district footing the bill for $50 million in cost overruns and student achievement goals not met.

Read more here

Mike Klonsky: Chicago Educator and Community Activist

Bill Gates’s attempt to remake Chicago High Schools turned a vibrant, teacher-led reform movement into a top-down reform. Arne Duncan welcomed Gates Foundation help—the community did not.

Mike tells why here.

Leonie Haimson: NYC parent activist and Executive Director of Class Size Matters

Bill Gates credits the small class sizes of the private school he attended for helping him to be successful today. But he urged the Council of Chief State School Officers increase class size and spend the funds on the reforms he pushes instead.

Leonie tells the story the story here.

Leonie Haimson: NYC parent activist and Executive Director of Class Size Matters

Bill Gates has had an enduring fixation on the need to expand the collection and disclosure of personal student data.

Read about the rise and fall of Gates’s inBloom here.

Colleen Wood: Florida parent activist and founder of

Gates came to Florida with the funding so many non-profit groups need. But there were strings attached and a clear agenda.

Colleen explains what she discovered here.

Bill Mathis: Managing director of the National Education Policy Center and former Vermont Superintendent

Charter schools, which have been pushed and amply funded by Bill and Melinda Gates, began as places to try out new ideas with students who were failing. Today they are something quite different.

Bill Mathis explains here.

Tanaisa Brown: Student, Newark New Jersey

As a student, Tanaisa feels the effects of Gates’s reforms in the public schools of Newark.

Find out why this student wants billionaires to keep their hands off her education here.

Curt Dudley-Marling: Author and retired teacher educator from Boston College

The Gates Foundation has waged a war against traditional teacher preparation programs and public school teachers, according to Curt Dudley-Marling.

Read about it here.

Susan DuFresne: Teacher from the State of Washington

Gates impact on the teachers, students and schools in his home state of Washington has been immense.

Susan gives a personal account of the toll that it is taking here.

Gary Rubinstein: NYC math teacher, trained by Teach for America

Gary joined TFA in 1991 to help combat teacher shortages. He has observed an organization he once supported morph into a massive public relations campaign whose main accomplishment is fueling its own growth and power.

Read about TFA’s descent here.

John Thompson: Oklahoma history teacher and blogger

The heavy hand of Gates’s evaluation on the teachers of the city of Tulsa has ruined the relationship between teachers and the city.

Read about the negative impact of Gates’s reforms in Oklahoma, a state now facing a massive teacher shortage here.

Aaron Lowenkron: Denver teacher

Aaron describes the Gates’s evaluation system in Denver as punitive and opaque.

Read about what the result in Denver have been here.

Anthony Cody: Retired California teacher and co-founder of the Network for Public Education

Gates’s strategic funding means that to get money you must be aligned with the Foundation’s policy agenda.

Anthony Cody explains how that works here.


NPE recently announced the location for our 3rd Annual National Conference, which will be in Raleigh, NC the weekend of April 16th – 17th. Mark your calendars now to hear keynote speaker Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II.

Rev. Barber is the current president of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, the National NAACP chair of the Legislative Political Action Committee, and the founder of Moral Mondays.

You can read more about Rev. Barber and #NPE16NC on our website.

cropped-NPE-logo-ORIGINAL.pngThe Network for Public Education is an advocacy group whose goal is to fight to protect, preserve, and strengthen our public school system, an essential institution in a democratic society.

Over the past two years, donations to The Network for Public Education helped us put on two National Conferences, and the first PUBLIC Education Nation. In the coming year, we will hold more events, and work on the issues that our members and donors care about the most!

To make a tax deductible donation, go to the NPE Fund website. We accept donations using PayPal, the most trusted site used to make on-line payments.

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