Bill Gates speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York on Sept. 27. (EPA/RAY STUBBLEBINE)

You can say this about Bill Gates: When he likes something, he sticks to it (at least for a while, until he decides he doesn’t like it anymore).

Through his exceedingly wealthy foundation, Gates has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to create and promote the Common Core State Standards over the years. When the initiative ran into opposition from critics across the political spectrum, Gates remained steadfast. Not only did he continue to pour money into Core implementation and promotion, but, according to a new article in Fortune, he dined with conservative billionaire Charles Koch in February 2014 to try to persuade him to stop funding tea party groups that were fighting the Core. Koch didn’t budge, but Gates has kept up his support, and in 2015, he donated more than $42 million to several dozen organizations to support the Core.

[How Bill Gates pulled off the Common Core revolution]

In October 2015, Gates made a speech in which he said he was pushing on with his controversial education initiatives, on which he has spent several billions of dollars since 1999. He has funded a number of efforts, including a small-schools initiative in New York City that he abandoned after deciding it wasn’t working, controversial teacher-evaluation systems that use student standardized test scores to determine the “effectiveness” of educators, and the Core. As the world’s biggest philanthropist, Gates has been at the center of a national debate about whether democracy is well served when private individuals fund pet projects with so much cash that public policy is affected — without real public input.

[Principal: Why I once liked Common Core but changed my mind]

The Core standards were initially approved in full by 45 states, but a handful of states have dropped out and adopted new standards, some of them similar to the Core.

Below are the 37 grants that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given in 2015 to efforts involving the implementation and promotion of Common Core, totaling just over $42 million. The range of recipients is wide, including nonprofit organizations, universities and journalists.

For example, the nonprofit publisher of Education Week — Editorial Projects in Education — received a $750,000 grant “to support reporting on issues related to the implementation of the Common Core, next-generation assessments, personalized learning, and college and career readiness in Education Week.” (Gates has supported Ed Week for a long time.)

The National Congress of Parents and Teachers won $999,276 in October to “support the training and engagement of parent volunteers around Common Core assessments and forthcoming assessment results.” So the PTA got nearly $1 million to help with Common Core tests.

The largest grant, $10.8 million, went to the New Venture Fund “to support Common Core implementation.” Among the fund’s projects is the “Collaborative for Student Success,” which the website describes as “a multi-donor fund that seeks to invest in national, regional, and state communications and messaging efforts that build support among parents, teachers, administrators, and policymakers for implementing Common Core state education standards.”

What kind of efforts? The website says: “The collaborative will invest in grants to education groups that support messaging and polling activities, the development of communications toolkits, and convenings to advance the implementation of the Common Core standards.”

Many of the pro-Core organizations are interconnected. For example, the New Venture Fund is a supporter of the nonprofit Center for American Progress, a think tank based in Washington that is also supported by Gates and many other groups. CAP has consistently supported the Core, as evidenced in a recent poll it just released in conjunction with High Achievement New York. Peter Greene, a Pennsylvania teacher who writes the always interesting Curmudgucation blog, eviscerated the poll in this post, which says in part:

In an era in which even Jeb Bush has stopped saying the name out loud, no group has cheered harder for the Common Core than the Center for American Progress (theoretically left-leaning holding pen for interregnum Clinton staffers). No argument is too dumb, no data set too ridiculous. If that dog won’t hunt, CAP ties a rope around its neck and drags it.

So it’s no surprise that CAP is back with yet another Pubic Policy Polling poll announced with the breathless headline “NEW POLL: WHEN NEW YORKERS SEE SPECIFIC COMMON CORE STANDARDS, THEY SUPPORT THE COMMON CORE.” Partnering up on this raft of ridiculousness is High Achievement New York, a coalition of business groups like the Business Council of New York State and reformster groups like StudentsFirstNY.

The poll, found here in its entirety, is as fine an example of scrambled thinking used to fuel PR as you’ll find anywhere. In the world of polling, there are two types of polls: a poll that seeks to find out what people are really thinking, and a poll that tries to make it look like people are thinking what I want them to think. This would be the second type of poll.

There are 2 questions that cover basically three areas.

Math and ELA Standards

This is the basis for the headline, and it would make an excellent exercise in critical thinking for sixth-graders. Here’s the format. The pollster says, “I’m going to read you a list of possible language arts standards for 4th grade students, and then ask if you support or oppose students learning that standards.” Then five specific goals are read, such as “Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation and spelling when writing.” The math portion follows the same technique.

And it turns out that people support these particular standards! Huzzah! So they really DO support the Core! They like it. They really like it!

This is artful use of a forest-tree fallacy. If you like this standard, you must love Common Core. If you like this tree in your yard, you must want to live in the forest. If you like tigers, you must love zoos. If you love cheese, you must like anchovy and pineapple pizza. If you like bears, you must want a bearskin rug. If you like blond hair on men, you must want to marry Donald Trump.

Here are the Gates grants related to Common Core released in 2015 as described on the foundation’s website:

Metis Associates Inc.

Date: November 2015
Purpose: To support critical education reform initiatives in New York City and throughout the United States, including Common Core State Standards and robust teacher evaluation and reporting systems.
Amount: $150,000
Term: 24
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: New York, N.Y.
Grantee Website: www.metisassoc.com/contact/contact_us.html

 

Preva Group LLC

Date: November 2015
Purpose: To deliver increased data quality and response rates for data collection from educators resulting in lower administrative cost and time burden, automated measurement of alignment to Common Core for classroom teachers resulting in better implementation of Common Core lessons, and automated measurement of indicators of sustainability for education reform initiatives resulting in shorter surveys and rapid measurement.
Amount: $715,415
Term: 9
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Bainbridge Island, Wash.
Grantee Website: www.prevagroup.com

 

Aspire Public Schools

Date: November 2015
Purpose: To support Common Core implementation, professional development or personalized learning.
Amount: $50,000
Term: 5
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Oakland, Calif.
Grantee Website: www.aspirepublicschools.org

 

Uplift Education

Date: November 2015
Purpose: To support Common Core implementation, professional development or personalized learning.
Amount: $50,000
Term: 6
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Dallas, Tex.
Grantee Website: www.uplifteducation.org

 

Unbounded Learning Inc.

Date: November 2015
Purpose: To promote capacity-building focused on Common Core supports for teachers, schools and districts.
Amount: $926,667
Term: 8
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.

 

Editorial Projects in Education Inc.

Date: November 2015
Purpose: To support reporting on issues related to the implementation of the Common Core, next-generation assessments, personalized learning, and college and career readiness in Education Week.
Amount: $750,000
Term: 12
Topic: Communications, Strategic Partnerships
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: Communications
Grantee Location: Bethesda, Md.
Grantee Website: www.edweek.org

 

The Match Foundation Inc.

Date: November 2015
Purpose: To support Common Core implementation, professional development or personalized learning.
Amount: $50,000
Term: 6
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Jamaica Plain, Mass.
Grantee Website: www.matcheducation.org

 

Green Dot Public Schools California

Date: November 2015
Purpose: To support Common Core implementation, professional development or personalized learning.
Amount: $50,000
Term: 6
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Grantee Website: www.greendot.org

 

Success Academy Charter Schools Inc.

Date: November 2015
Purpose: To support Common Core implementation, professional development or personalized learning
Amount: $50,000
Term: 6
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: New York, N.Y.
Grantee Website: successacademies.org

 

New Paradigm for Education Inc.

Date: October 2015
Purpose: To support Common Core implementation, professional development or personalized learning
Amount: $50,000
Term: 6
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Detroit, Mich.
Grantee Website: http://npfenow.org

 

Learning First Alliance

Date: October 2015
Purpose: To broaden the existing showcase of innovations that can improve U.S. K-12 public education through continued support for effective implementation of Common Cores State Standards. Through a robust, collaborative communications plan, successful implementation strategies — and the educators who lead them — will be shared more broadly.
Amount: $686,682
Term: 13
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Alexandria, Va.
Grantee Website: www.learningfirst.org

 

United Way of New York City

Date: October 2015
Purpose: To build United Way of New York City’s capacity as an advocate, school-based technical assistance provider and community-based organization trainer in support of Common Core in New York City and New York state.
Amount: $1,200,000
Term: 17
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: New York, N.Y.
Grantee Website: www.unitedwaynyc.org

 

Partnerships to Uplift Communities Lakeview Terrace

Date: October 2015
Purpose: to support common core implementation, professional development or personalized learning
Amount: $50,000
Term: 7
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Burbank, Calif.
Grantee Website: www.pucschools.org

 

Summit Public Schools

Date: October 2015
Purpose: To support common core implementation, professional development or personalized learning
Amount: $50,000
Term: 7
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Redwood City, Calif.
Grantee Website: www.summitps.org

 

Stand for Children Leadership Center

Date: October 2015
Purpose: To support capacity building and increased public will around Common Core standards and aligned assessments in four states, as well as positive teacher effectiveness policy changes.
Amount: $3,580,000
Term: 25
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Portland, Ore.
Grantee Website: http://standleadershipcenter.org

 

Idea Public Schools

Date: October 2015
Purpose: to support common core implementation, professional development or personalized learning
Amount: $49,840
Term: 7
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Weslaco, Tex.
Grantee Website: www.ideapublicschools.org

 

Council for a Strong America

Date: October 2015

Purpose: To educate and engage stakeholders around the Common Core and high quality preschool.
Amount: $4,250,000
Term: 35
Topic: Pacific Northwest: Early Learning
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Washington, D.C.
Grantee Website: www.councilforastrongamerica.org/

 

Military Child Education Coalition

Date: October 2015
Purpose: To develop and support an advocacy campaign in support of the implementation of Common Core and on behalf of the interest of military-connected students by leveraging the voices and actions of its military-connected network.
Amount: $498,027
Term: 25
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Harker Heights, Tex.
Grantee Website: www.militarychild.org

 

The Boston Foundation Inc.

Date: October 2015
Purpose: To support a strategic planning and restructuring effort by the Massachusetts Department of Education that will lead to sustained Common Core and Educator Effectiveness implementation and impact post-Race to the Top.
Amount: $150,000
Term: 2
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Boston, Mass.

 

National Congress of Parents and Teachers

Date: October 2015
Purpose: To support the training and engagement of parent volunteers around Common Core assessments and forthcoming assessment results.
Amount: $999,276
Term: 26
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Alexandria, Va.
Grantee Website: www.pta.org

 

GreatSchools Inc.

Date: September 2015
Purpose: To support Great Schools’ development of online tools that help parents understand their children’s scores on Common Core-aligned assessments and engage further with their children’s education.
Amount: $800,439
Term: 22
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Oakland, Calif.
Grantee Website: www.greatschools.net.

 

Parent Institute for Quality Education Inc.

Date: September 2015
Purpose: To promote parent engagement and increased knowledge of educational shifts in areas such as the Common Core, local funding, and teacher quality through trainings, seminars and coaching.
Amount: $307,048
Term: 13
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: National City, Calif.
Grantee Website: www.piqe.org

 

MassChallenge Inc.

Date: September 2015
Purpose: To support initial launch activities for a Massachusetts-based teacher practice network dedicated to Common Core aligned professional development.
Amount: $50,000
Term: 2
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Boston, Mass.
Grantee Website: www.masschallenge.org

 

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Inc.

Date: September 2015
Purpose: To support states in their efforts to implement high quality, college and career-ready assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards
Amount: $1,250,000
Term: 12
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL | NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: New York, N.Y.
Grantee Website: www.rockpa.org

 

National Louis University

Date: September 2015
Purpose: to support a one-day symposium during which leading higher education and Common Core practitioners and thinkers discuss and generate shared knowledge on linkages and opportunities between P-12 and postsecondary education
Amount: $49,502
Term: 2
Topic: Postsecondary Success
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Chicago, Ill.
Grantee Website: http://www.nl.edu/

 

New Leaders Inc.

Date: August 2015
Purpose: to support this internal program redesign – and to provide support to the broader field around how principals enable teachers and students to excel in the Common Core era – New Leaders will conduct an intensive research study of principals whose schools are demonstrating success in implementing the Common Core standards and aligned instruction. New Leaders will examine the practices of school leaders that are increasing student success in meeting rising academic expectations established under the Common Core. Based on that research, New Leaders will develop two key resources that will be publicly available to the field: 1. A white paper that identifies what great principals are doing right to bolster teacher effectiveness and better prepare students for college, careers and citizenship; and 2. A set of case studies that can be used in training principals to achieve similar success when implementing new standards in their own schools
Amount: $315,000
Term: 23
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: New York, N.Y.
Grantee Website: http://www.nlns.org

 

National Writing Project

Date: August 2015
Purpose: to support teacher network organizations to: build effective Common-Core aligned tools, resources, and professional development opportunities; connect teachers to one another to share and refine best practices; develop teacher leaders to scale and spread tools and training; measure the spread and impact of the work
Amount: $1,599,980
Term: 32
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Berkeley, Calif.
Grantee Website: http://www.nwp.org

 

New Venture Fund

Date: August 2015
Purpose: to support Common Core implementation
Amount: $10,800,000
Term: 10
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Washington, D.C.
Grantee Website: http://www.newventurefund.org

 

American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences

Date: July 2015
Purpose: to support Common Core
Amount: $267,749
Term: 14
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Washington, D.C.
Grantee Website: http://www.air.org

 

CSU Fullerton Auxiliary Services Corporation

Date: May 2015
Purpose: to convene large numbers of teachers on a single day in regions across the state of California to generate momentum around the singular impact of teachers on college and career readiness and directly impact teacher exposure to materials, resources and strategies for Common Core implementation
Amount: $1,257,526
Term: 10
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Fullerton, Calif.
Grantee Website: http://www.csufasc.org/

 

New Teacher Center

Date: May 2015
Purpose: To convene large numbers of teachers on a single day in regions across the state of California to generate momentum around the singular impact of teachers on college and career readiness and directly impact teacher exposure to materials, resources and strategies for Common Core implementation
Amount: $1,066,403
Term: 4
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Santa Cruz, Calif.
Grantee Website: http://www.newteachercenter.org

 

Loyola Marymount University

Date: May 2015
Purpose: To convene large numbers of teachers on a single day in regions across the state of California to generate momentum around the singular impact of teachers on college and career readiness and directly impact teacher exposure to materials, resources and strategies for Common Core implementation
Amount: $1,195,581
Term: 10
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Grantee Website: http://www.lmu.edu

 

West Ed

Date: April 2015
Purpose: RFP for teacher networks, designed to deepen the implementation of the Common Core by leveraging effective tools and strategies; teacher leaders capable of scaling them to teachers in national and local networks; and network/system partnerships
Amount: $3,510,000
Term: 21
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: San Francisco, Calif.
Grantee Website: http://www.WestEd.org

 

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Inc.

Date: March 2015
Purpose: to provide support for the Common Core Teaching and Learning conference
Amount: $100,000
Term: 3
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Arlington, Va.
Grantee Website: http://www.nbpts.org/

 

Children Now

Date: March 2015
Purpose: to provide support to parents in California to understand the transition to new Common Core aligned assessments
Amount: $150,000
Term: 6
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Oakland, Calif.
Grantee Website: http://www.childrennow.org

[Children Now also received a grant in March 2015 for $700,000 for general operating support. It has received more than $2 million from the foundation since 2011.

 

LearnZillion Inc.

Date: March 2015
Purpose: to support conferences to deepen teacher understanding of the Common Core standards
Amount: $500,000
Term: 4
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Washington, D.C.
Grantee Website: http://learnzillion.com

 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Date: March 2015
Purpose: to support Common Core implementation
Amount: $3,701,180
Term: 24
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Washington, D.C.
Grantee Website: http://education.uschamber.com