Philanthropy: Different Takes On NYT's "Paid Advocacy" Story
Here's what I've seen so far in response to the NYT story from over the weekend: Gates' little-seen education chief Vicki Phillips touted the foundation's [IRS-required] transparency, noted that the Gates spending is a drop in the bucket compared to the $600B spent every year over all, and highlighted the collaboration taking place in its "deep dive" districts (or whatever they're calling them now). Celine Coggins, the ED from Teach Plus, complained that its and its members' motivations were misattributed to Gates rather than to the issues themselves. (She also noted that Gates doesn't fund TeachPlus' work in Indiana.) Diane Ravitch focused on the fact that Gates et al have picked questionable policy solutions (small schools, value-added, charters). Jim Horn argued that the article represented a fledgling effort by the Obama administration to break free from its reformy friends. (The Obama administration controls the NYT, apparently.) Sherman Dorn noted in comments that Dillon left out the Center on Education Reform's new Media Bullpen, which is getting nearly $300K to comment on media stories from a charter/choice perspective. Ken Libby noted in comments and on Twitter that Dillon should have included$4M going to Stand For Children in 2009 and 2010. DFER co-founder Whitney Tilson sent out an email calling reform advocacy "absolutely necessary to counter the enormous political power of the unions to block any and all reform." Though he hasn't addressed the funding he himself has received, Bellwether's Andy Rotherham debunked the notion that funders should give money without strings in a recent post. AEI's Rick ("Everyone's implicated") Hess finally weighed in publicly this morning, claiming that he'd been quoted out of context, noting that he's "raised questions about various Gates Foundation enthusiasms," and demanding equal time for organizations and individuals that take funding from non-Gates sources.