Two of America's most accomplished entrepreneurs are joining forces to raise the alarm about what they say is the country's deteriorating education system, the New York Times reports. Bill Gates of Microsoft and Eli Broad of Sun America plan to spend $60 million during the upcoming presidential campaign to advocate for educational measures ranging from lengthening the school day and calendar to offering some form of merit-pay for teachers to revising curriculum standards.
The planned advertising spending is unprecedented for an advocacy group, the Times observes. The Swift Boats for Truth campaign, which bedeviled John Kerry's presidential bid spent less than half of what Broad and Gates hope to spend, the paper says.
"If we really want to get the job done, we have got to wake up the American people that we have got a real problem and we need real reform," Broad told the Times. (To read the article, click here.)
At Inc., we have been interested to see that entrepreneurs now routinely place education at the top of their lists of important political and policy issues, higher than immigration and higher than taxes, which was in the past thought to be the only issue business owners really cared about. What do you think? Is education at a crisis point? And is it important for business leaders like Gates and Broad to spotlight education on the national political stage? Or do you think that, to make change, they could invest their money in a better way?
Last updated: Apr 25, 2007
MIKE HOFMAN was previously editor of Inc.com and a deputy editor at Inc. magazine, which he joined in 1996. The site was nominated for a National Magazine Award for Digital Media in 2010, and was named the best business website by Folio Magazine. In 2006, Hofman was part of a team of writers nominated for a Webby Award for best business blog. He lives in New York City. @mikehofman