Audrey Young at NZ Herald reports:
That year, Mr Robertson fought New York auditors who claimed he owed US$26.7 million in city tax for the year 2000 because he had crossed the 183-day threshold as a resident. He won.
Less money spent on taxes means more for charity, and Mr Robertson has joined Warren Buffett and Bill Gates in The Giving Pledge – billionaires who pledge to give away half their wealth to philanthropic causes.
Mr Robertson has given $5 million to the Christchurch earthquake recovery effort, according to New Zealand sources.
His next foray into charitable causes in New Zealand promises to be a little more controversial.
His charitable vehicle, the Robertson Foundation, is planning to set up a version of Teach for America in New Zealand – Teach for All – a programme that encourages bright university graduates to attach themselves to a school for two years.
John Hood, the former vice chancellor of the University of Auckland and Oxford University, now heads the Robertson Foundation.
Sounds excellent. Wikipedia reports on TFA:
Teach For America recruits recent college graduates and professionals to teach for two years in urban and rural communities throughout the United States. The goal of Teach For America is for its corps members not only to make a short-term impact on their students, but also to become lifelong leaders in pursuing educational equality. Corps members do not have to be certified teachers, although certified teachers may apply.
I sense some opposition from unions. If you can’t have less than 100% qualified for playschool. how can you for primary and secondary school?
Since the founding of the organization, several independent studies have been conducted to gauge the effectiveness of Teach For America corps members relative to teachers who entered the teaching profession via other channels. Recent teacher pathway studies in three states — Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee — suggest that Teach For America corps members have a greater impact on student achievement than new teachers from more traditional certification programs.
This means there will definitely be entrenched opposition!
The founder, Wendy Kopp, was only 22 when she proposed the creation in her thesis at Princeton University, and went on to make it a reality. Someone who has really made a difference.