Speaking to a largely conservative audience at the American Enterprise Institute this week, Microsoft magnate Bill Gates defended the new Common Core standards. He criticized the same people who normally support competition and innovation for taking a negative stance regarding the Common Core requirements.
When asked by the AFI's Michael McShane why Gates was in favor of the standards, he responded that he felt they were necessary to break up the "monopoly" states have over education standards. Gates appeared visibly agitated as he pointed out the reasons Common Core is good for students, teachers and the future economy as a whole. Common Core critics point out that a state monopoly on education is certainly better than a federal one.
Gates is no stranger to education realm. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has poured $28.3 billion into education initiatives since its inception in 1997. When it comes to Common Core, Gates has personally fronted 75 million in pro-lobbying dollars.
It would seem that from a business perspective, Gates' positive outlook on Common Core would be in line with the audience he was speaking with -- but he still drew criticism. Despite Gates' admirable business savvy, his association with the Democratic party and progressive approach to education reform have earned him some naysayers from the other side.
Though Common Core was actually developed through the National Governor's Association, the standards are inextricably linked to President Obama -- reason enough for some of the conservative mindset to disapprove of them.
What do you think? Is Bill Gates right in his defense of Common Core?
This article originally appeared on www.theedadvocate.org