The Gates Foundation and the Future of US “Public” Schools: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Gates Foundation and the Future of US “Public” Schools

1st Edition

Edited by Philip E. Kovacs


232 pages

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There has been much public praise for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s efforts to reform public education. However, few scholars have engaged substantively and critically with the organization’s work. While the Gates Foundation is the single largest supporter by far of "choice" initiatives particularly with regard to charter school formation, it is pushing public school privatization through a wide array of initiatives and in conjunction with a number of other foundations. What are the implications for a public system as control over educational policy and priority is concentrated under one of the richest people on the planet in ways that foster de-unionization and teacher de-skilling while homogenizing school models and curriculum? The Gates Foundation and the Future of US "Public" Schools addresses this crucial, unanswered question while investigating the relationships between the Gates Foundation and other think tanks, government, and corporate institutions.


Winner of the 2011 Critics Choice Book Award of the American Educational Studies Association

Table of Contents

Foreword Deron Boyles. Acknowledgments. 1. From Carnegie to Gates: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Venture Philanthropy Agenda for Public Education Kenneth J. Saltman 2. Power Philanthropy: Taking the Public Out of Public Education Michael Klonsky 3. The Gates Foundation’s Interventions into Education, Health, and Food Policies: Technology, Power, and the Privatization of Political Problems David Hursh 4. Marketing New Schools for a New Century: An Examination of Neoliberal School Reform in New York City Jessica Shiller 5. Corporatism, KIPP, and Cultural Eugenics Jim Horn 6. Disabusing Small-Schools Reformism: An Alternative Outlook on Scaling Up and Down Aimee Howley and Craig B. Howley 7. Governing Identity Through Neoliberal Education Initiatives: "Get[ting] Schooled" in the Marketplace Leslee Grey 8. The Gates’ Foundation and the Future of U.S. Public Education: A Call for Scholars to Counter Misinformation Campaigns Philip E. Kovacs and H.K. Christie 9. The Giving Business: Venture Philanthropy and the NewSchools Venture Fund Jim Horn and Ken Libby 10. Dear Bill: "Grokking’ Education Patti Lather 11. An Open Letter to Bill Gates, Jr. (With a Message to My Colleagues) David Gabbard 12. Why Current Education Reform Efforts Will Fail Marion Brady

About the Editor

Philip E. Kovacs is assistant professor of education at UAHuntsville.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Education, Neoliberalism, and Marxism

Neoliberalism is degrading and destroying public education systems globally. The local characteristics may vary, the results are common - increased inequalities in schooling, vocational and higher education, inferior work conditions for teachers and faculty, and detheorized and technicized delivery systems of increasing conservative curricula at all levels of education. Neoliberalism - marketization, privatization, pre-privatization, commodification - is increasingly accompanied by forms of authoritarian conservatism - secular in some countries, religious in others - with increased control, surveillance, and forced abandonment of critique. Such neoliberal and conservative assaults on public education and on broader aims than those which are couched purely in terms of economic/human capital - meet with increased resistance by students, teachers, communities, social movements, and in some countries, political parties.

The Routledge Studies in Education, Neoliberalism, and Marxism series features books by new as well as established scholars that throw a harsh spotlight on the conditions under which education currently labors and offers analysis, hope, and resistance in the name of more collective, egalitarian education for social and for economic justice.

Please send inquiries and proposals to: Dave Hill ( and Elsbeth Wright (


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General
EDUCATION / Organizations & Institutions