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The United Way Now Promotes the Common Core

June 23, 2014

United Way Worldwide offers the following as its mission statement:

United Way envisions a world where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through education, income stability and healthy lives.

Our mission: To improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.

The goal of the United Way is to “advance the common good.”

As of June 2014, it is an organization that is “advancing” a new “common”:

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Yep. That’s right.

And one guess who forked over $1.2 million to make that happen.

Bill Gates.

Straight from the Gates Grants search engine:

United Way Worldwide

Date: June 2014
Purpose: to build support for the Common Core State Standards by engaging stakeholders and community leaders nationally and locally
Amount: $1,212,571

In a March 2014 interview,  Lyndsey Layton of the Washington Post questioned Gates’ motives in financing CCSS. After some tense interaction, here is his response:

I’m saying, and I’ve, I hope I can make this clear, I believe in the Common Core because of its substance and what it will do to improve education, and that’s the only reason I believe in the Common Core. And I have no, you know, this is giving money away. This is philanthropy. This is trying to make sure students have the kind of opportunity I had. [Emphasis added.]

Gates had an education that defies the agenda he promotes for public education.

Both he and his children attended a private school in Seattle, Lakeside School.

Read here to see the utter absence of anything resembling CCSS at Lakeside.

And yet, Gates continues to enlist major organizations to “build support” for that which he and his children will never know firsthand.



Like my writing? Read my newly-released ed “reform” whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education







  1. Gerri K. Songer permalink

    Reblogged this on We Are More and commented:
    No more United Way contributions for me!

  2. SpecialEducator permalink

    What’s funny (in a sad way) here is that, if Gates actually promoted Lakeside’s education as a model for all public schools to achieve, he’d get laughed into oblivion, even with all his billions. Nobody–NOBODY–in the elite class believes for a second that Lakeside is an appropriate school for the masses. Lakeside is Lakeside for the rich; the commoners need the common core. If the general population understood the profound differences between schools like Lakeside and the average public school, then the common core cloud would dissipate at once. They’d ask, “Why’s it okay for their kids but not for ours?” Why, indeed.

  3. Hannah permalink

    … Perhaps United Way should have taken the Gates money and put it more toward the OTHER aspects of people reaching their full potential: income stability and healthy lives.

    • Mary K. Bellisario permalink

      The National United Way didn’t have that option. With the Gates money came the mandated obligation “to advocate for Common Core.”

    William H. Gates, Sr.
    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
    Seattle, Washington

    Enough said…..

  5. Here in L.A. United Way is the nexus for all of the ‘astroturf’ parent and student groups. They work closely with the Broadite superintendent, John Deasy. Very cozy.

  6. Angela permalink

    I won’t be contributing either. We do give to charities, but it won’t be United Way.

  7. Laura Chapman permalink

    Love the photo. I am grateful for one thing about this billionaire, the foundation website still allows some discovery of where the money goes, not detailed, but enough to start and investigative trail.


  8. Eve Degen permalink


    Can you provide more concrete evidence that the United Way is promoting and /or funding CCSS? I don’t see that specifically in your post, below, or in the mission statement of United Way.


    Eve Degen

    Executive Assistant for Labor Relations
    Madison Teachers Inc.
    821 Williamson Street
    Madison WI 53703
    608-257-1168 (fax)

  9. Doug Selwyn permalink

    We as educators can take the step to help the public know the difference between the schools that Gates, Rahm, the Obamas, and other swells wend their children to and the programs they are advocating for “other people’s children.” For example, here is the website for Lakeside School, in Seattle. Scroll through their program and see if you can find the differences between them and your basic inner city public school…..
    Here is the sidwell friends site:
    Or Woodland Hill Montessori, where commissioner king sends his children:

    The list goes on. Since schools are not like they were when many of us went to school, and since they are not at all like where the swells send their children, we can’t be angry that the public is still ignorant; we have to help them get educated.

  10. Gates’ comments underscore his complete lack of understanding about education and the role of standards in it. His small schools initiative failed because “Vander Ark and Gates ignored the research; they ignored the advice of the successful practitioners; and they acted with arrogance and contempt toward the existing high school faculties, whom they assumed would do what they were told in the academy model.” The only ideas to improve education that matter to him are his own.

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