Sunday, March 8, 2009
Lifestyles Of The Well-Heeled
Some CEO's have a pretty narrow scope of what to do with all that cash. Larry Ellison likes to keep his America's Cup yacht in the reflecting pool at Oracle where it resembles an over sized remote control toy. Juxtapose Reed Hastings CEO of Netflix- our own local rockstar hitech titan who awarded a grant of $1.25 million to help Rocketship Education start seven additional elementary schools to serve children from low-income families in San Jose. Rocketship's goals strive to help all students achieve above grade level by fifth grade. Lofty goals by any school standard.
This makes Reed Hastings a bit of a philanthropic underdog in my book. He also supplied seed funding when the charter school was starting out in 2006. Education is front and center for him as the former president of the state Board of Education. What's so great about this? A lot.
It enables more charter schools coming to Silicon Valley with the help of more than $5 million in grants. The charter school is opening its second school in San Jose this August, with a third planned for the next year.
The beauty of charter school litmus test holds San Jose-based Rocketship Education as the shining example of "if there's a will there's a way" mentality receiving $3.8 million from the Charter School Growth Fund. Other visionaries for funding for the Charter School Growth Fund comes from a number of foundations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. The question looms? Why have no other hitech titans kicked in cash for these local endeavors?
You can't open a gull winged Ferrari around here without hitting deep pocketed geeks yet only one local name comes to the rescue. Lucky us to have such a generous soul locally and lucky us as a society to have these low-income children to receive an amazing education. Maybe Mr. Ellison could offer underprivileged children sailing lessons?