Lakeside is leading the charge for the new elite ‘Global Online Academy’

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In her role as Chair of the Lakeside School Board of Trustees, Connie Ballmer announced that the Seattle institution is partnering with nine other private schools to form the Global Online Academy, which will initially feature distance learning opportunities for rich kids.

In addition to Lakeside, which graduated Bill Gates and Paul Allen, other schools in the exclusive alliance include Sidwell Friends School, currently attended by President Obama’s daughters and the alma mater of the ‘Waiting for Superman’ director. Davis Guggenheim; Punahou School, attended by President Obama from 1971 to 1979; Cranbrook Schools, whose graduates include presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and BillG’s friend Michael Kinsley; and The Dalton School, the $35,300-a-year Manhattan school whose alumni include Sean Lennon and Anderson Cooper.

“Independent schools have traditionally struggled to provide their educational models and resources to a larger student population in order to serve a public purpose,” says Connie Ballmer. “While the initial lessons will be reserved for students from member schools, there is an opportunity to share them with the wider community and help reduce the disparity in educational opportunities.”

Education by streaming, one might say.

Last year Connie Steve Ballmer’s wife spent $425,000 to help defeat a Washington state income tax bill, which coincidentally also had the potential to help reduce the disparity of educational opportunities for WA public school students. Bill Gates Sr., the father of Microsoft’s chairman, led the campaign for the tax.

In March, Connie Ballmer noted that Lakeside’s tuition was $8,446 a year lower than the school’s per-student spending, thanks to fundraising magic. Records show that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave Lakeside $34 million in 2008 and $40 million in 2005, mostly to support the school’s fundraising campaigns.

Global Online Academy is currently conducting a national search for its Director. The first classes are scheduled for September.

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Previously: Full Text: Advice from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to USC graduates

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