Bill and Melinda Gates have launched an education-based lobbying group. This move comes right after the initiation of negotiations in Congress in relation to the reauthorisation of the Higher Education Act, the integral federal law dealing with student financial aid.
The Gates Foundation has also launched a commission to access the value of a college degree or certificate in the US. If the Gate’s lobbyist succeeds in convincing the legislators to understand and embrace the agenda of the Gates foundation, then congress may make it difficult for students in certain disciplines to secure financial grants or loans.
The Gates Foundation’s Postsecondary Value Commission provides an insight into what educational outcomes mean for the Gateses and aims to develop ways through which the value of US degrees and certificates can be gauged so that legislators can fund programmes that may lead to immediate economic payoff.
These lobbyists or the Gateses can help in revamping universities and colleges that presently offer a diversified range of courses into vocational training centres that emphasise on developing marketable skills. The objective behind this effort is to emphasise on the educational outcomes available for Latino, black and students hailing from rural backgrounds and how people can be moved from poverty to employment.
“If we can provide that clear definition about college value, we definitely are hoping that it will affect the higher ed reauthorization act,” Millie García, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and co-chair of the Gates Commission, stated recently.
The Gates Foundation funds and coordinates the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which centres on building an education centre that focuses on reading, writing and mathematics that can be evaluated on computers. The Gates Foundation has also been shaping K-12 policy for years. The group has expended millions of dollars in the forms of grants to different education groups, teacher unions, parent-teacher organizations, think-tanks and state departments of education.