Gates Foundation bankrolling Common Core support campaign in TN

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation made three significant donations in Tennessee near the end of 2013 to help the push implementation of the controversial Common Core education standards and related testing, according to The Tennessean.

One of those, a $400,000 grant in November to the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce for “improving college and career readiness,” came ahead of the chamber’s recent announcement of a group called Business for Tennessee Prosperity. The coalition, which consists of 400 businesses, already has kicked off a public relations push in support of Common Core that began last week with a statewide radio advertisement blitz.

The radio ad says it was paid for by the Tennessee Association of Business Foundation, a branch of the chamber that the Gates foundation lists as the grant recipient.

“We’re proud to call them a partner,” said Bradley Jackson, a Tennessee chamber lobbyist, who estimated that the first statewide ad buy cost between $50,000 and $100,000.

…Gates’ financial support in Tennessee is just a small fraction of the overall dollars the foundation has poured into organizations nationwide that support Common Core — more than $20 million last year, according to the Washington Post,on top of $170 million to support its development.