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Gates Ed. Official: Protesters Raise 'Legitimate Concerns,' But OK To Disagree

Education, Labor & Workforce Committee Democrats
Vicki Phillips, who heads education programming for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, testifying before Congress in 2009.

More than 150 skeptics of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation protested in front of the philanthropy's Seattle headquarters on Thursday, objecting to the foundation's support of, among other things, the Common Core academic standards.

On the afternoon before that protest, a top Gates official told KPLU that the foundation has been open to teachers' concerns about the new standards.

"Teachers are the first to say that we want to be sure that kids exit high school and graduate able to succeed in life and in their community, and I think that's why so many teachers do support the standards," said Vicki Phillips, the Gates Foundation's director of education. "At the same time, they have some really legitimate concerns about assessment, accountability and poverty."

Listen to Phillips' full interview above.

Here's our wrap-up story from the protest:

Kyle Stokes covers the issues facing kids and the policies impacting Washington's schools for KPLU.