Bill Gates has been pumping billions of dollars into education programs and initiatives for more than two decades now. His investments and donations have done a lot of good for the world, but some of his dealings have drawn criticism from parents, teachers, and decision-makers who question his true intentions in the K-12 space.  

‘A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction’ Curriculum

One of those controversial dealings was Bill Gates’ recent funding of a curriculum called ‘A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction.’ The curriculum is run by The Education Trust-West – an organization committed to improving racial equity in education. 

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Under the ‘Acknowledgements’ section on their website, The Education Trust-West expressed its gratitude to Bill Gates and his foundation. “We also wish to thank the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for their generous financial support of this project,” the organization wrote. 

‘Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction’ Curriculum

The curriculum consists of five initiatives, one of which – dubbed ‘Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction’ – is causing quite the outrage among parents and teachers who don’t believe in what the curriculum teaches.

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For example, the curriculum offers tips and tricks to educators to turn mathematicians in K-12 schools into antiracist math educators, as well as exercises for educators to reflect on their own biases to transform their instructional practice. 

Dismantling White Supremacy In Math Classrooms

The curriculum goes one step further in claiming that teachers play a central role in ‘deconstructing racism in mathematics’ and ‘dismantling white supremacy in math classrooms by making visible the toxic characteristics of white supremacy culture with respect to math.’

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The curriculum defines white supremacy culture as the ideology ‘that White people and the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions of white people are superior to People of Color and their ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions.’ 

Nicole Neily Calls Gates ‘Perverse’ 

In an interview with Fox News Digital, Nicole Neily – the President and founder of Parents Defending Education – blasted Bill Gates and his foundation for a curriculum that she describes as ‘perverse’ and ‘awful.’ 

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“I mean, [the part where it says] showing your answer in math class is White supremacy culture. I have to take a step back and think – the people who are teaching this, is that what they’re teaching their own children? I have to think not,” she said.

Gates Has Donated Billions Of Dollars To Education

According to Education Week, nearly 40% of Bill Gates’ K-12 education budget is pumped into the mathematics sector. In 2022, his foundation announced a $1.1 billion, four-year investment in hopes of achieving ‘exponential change for math instruction.’

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“Math helps students make sense of the world,” Robert L. Hughes, the foundation’s director of K-12 education, told reporters at the time – adding that it gives children and students valuable ‘critical thinking and problem-solving skills they can use later as adults.’

$500,000 To Develop RULER Curriculum At Yale University

It’s not just math, though. The Gates Foundation also pumps millions of dollars into social and emotional learning (SEL) – which is responsible for teaching students the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills necessary to succeed in this world. 

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In 2020, the foundation spent $500,000 to fund a new SEL-inspired curriculum at Yale University. The approach was dubbed ‘RULER’, and it centered on the ‘emotions, personal relationships, traumas, beliefs, and psychological triggers’ of students today.

Encouraged Use Of Emotionally-Charged Imagery

Many parents expressed their concern over some of the teachings in the RULER curriculum. For example, the curriculum encourages students to be ‘enraged by social justice issues’ and even encourages teachers to use emotionally charged imagery to cultivate rage. 

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The curriculum reads, “To shift your students into the red, consider showing them controversial photographs or news headlines, or consider prompting them with a thought-provoking topic where they are required to choose a side.” 

Yale Says Gates No Longer Funds Curriculum

It’s important to note that Bill Gates and his foundation are no longer funding the RULER program – and some of the curriculum’s initiatives have changed in the four years since the Gates Foundation committed $500,000 to the program.

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A spokesperson for Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence confirmed this, adding that the ‘curriculum cited above is not part of the current curriculum.’ It’s unclear why, but it could have something to do with the level of concern coming from parents. 

Neily Likens It To Psychological Experimentation On Kids

Nicole Neily is one of the curriculum’s harshest critics. She, along with millions of parents in the United States, are worried that the approach is ‘turning kids into raging social justice activists through emotional manipulation’ – likening it to ‘psychological experimentation on kids.’

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“Where is the evidence for this, right, that putting children into a state of emotional distress can make them learn better. I think it’s sick that they’re doing this to little kids,” Neily said in her recent interview with Fox News Digital. 

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)

When Bill Gates isn’t funding math education and SEL initiatives, he’s influencing the role teachers have in sex education. Just last year, the Gates Foundation announced an investment of $80 million into the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

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The nongovernmental organization is comprised of more than 120 independent organizations across 146 countries. It’s also funded by the World Health Organization and plays a primary role in global sex education – sometimes to a fault. 

Children Under 10 Should Be Taught Sex Education

The IPPF believes sex educators should have an ‘understanding of young people as sexual beings’ and that children under the age of 10 should be taught that, as they grow older, they ‘might start to be interested in people with diverse gender identities.’

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“Sexual activity may be part of different types of relationships, including dating, marriage or commercial sex work, among others,” the IPPF says. “Sexuality is a part of you from the moment you are born. Your sexuality develops and changes throughout your life.” 

Bill Gates Discusses AI’s Impact On Education

Last year, Bill Gates spoke about the state of the education sector at an Economic Club of New York dinner. According to Gates, ‘this is the best time ever’ to be a student because everyone has access to a high-quality education through both in-person and online learning.

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“AI is the most profound change of this era,” he added. “You could say it’s even greater than digitisation, and digitisation is a huge thing. It’s hard to overstate what a profound change that was. Now, AI sits on top of all that.”

How Much Is Bill Gates Worth? 

With Bill Gates pumping billions of dollars into the education sector, many people might be curious as to how much money Bill Gates has these days. Despite his philanthropic efforts, he’s still one of the richest people on the planet.

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As of April 2024, Gates is worth $130.7 billion (according to Forbes) and $150 billion (according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index). Forbes has him rated as the seventh-richest man in the world, while Bloomberg lists him at No. 5 worldwide.