Billionaire philanthropists are spending hundreds of millions of dollars annually in schools in an attempt to reshape America's education system. But certain parent activist groups say they are doing it at the cost of students' academics.
According to a recent report by Parents Defending Education, during 2017-2021, philanthropic organizations donated over $200 million to about 70 school districts. Still, students at these schools are not performing well and failing at math and reading.
The study says grants were being awarded to advance initiatives promoting equitable grading, Social Emotional Learning (SEL), and Critical Race Theory instead of academics.
The organization created the Consultant Report Card to expose how school districts have spent money to implement divisive teaching practices such as critical race theory, gender, queer theory, and social and emotional learning.
Large philanthropic foundations use grant money to advance these practices in public schools.
The organization's research was based on five philanthropic foundations that donated funds to the school districts.
Those were the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, run by Bill Gates and his ex-wife Melinda Gates; the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, run by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan; the Wallace Foundation; the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Windward Fund.
The District of Columbia Public Schools received $5,000 in 2019 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Battle Creek Public Schools in Michigan was given $31,219,073 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to "address structural bias and segregation in Battle Creek, Michigan, by providing quality and equitable opportunities," according to the report.
Some grant money was dispersed for academic-focused improvements, however, most went toward administrator and principal development, student behavioral programming, and social and emotional learning implementation, according to the report.
In four years, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Wallace Foundation granted a combined total of $9,043,866 directly to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).
The grant requirements dictated that school districts contract with specific consultants such as CASEL.
The parents' group alleges the teaching philosophy has become another way to implement race and gender ideology.
According to the Nation's Report Card, due to the COVID pandemic, math and reading testing scores have dropped significantly as schools were shut down for fourth through eighth graders. The reading scores for 9-year-olds dropped to their lowest level in 30 years.
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