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Big foundations are major players in today's educational field, and many worry about the lack of American checks and balances as the "billionaire boy's club" controls the education of our youth.

"Philanthropy today plays an outsized role in schooling and the efforts to improve America’s education system. Indeed, one can say that, in ways good and bad, the story of 21st-century school reform is in many ways a tale of education giving.

"The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pushed hotly debated reforms like Common Core and test-linked teacher evaluation. The Walton Family Foundation has been a crucial force in supporting the growth of charter schools. A leaked memo from the Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation suggesting that Los Angeles needs many more charter schools was enough to convulse that city’s politics. The experiences of Facebook’s co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, in giving $100 million to Newark, N.J., attracted national attention — and the critiques of his work clearly influenced the plan he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced in December to devote 99 percent of his Facebook shares to good causes."--Frederick M. Hess, Jeffrey Henig, and Jenn Hatfield, The Chronicle of Philanthropy

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