There’s so much bad news about public schools. When one article makes you want to pop the cork and dance in the streets, it is easy to get excited.
Don’t. The tables haven’t really been turned.
The LA Times Editorial criticizes the Gates Foundation for their poor philanthropic use of billions of dollars spent on school reforms.
They disparage them for failing in three areas:
- Small Schools
- Teacher Effectiveness
- Common Core
They just now figured this all out?
We’ve been here before. Remember the 2006 Business Week article “Bill Gates Gets Schooled” by Jay Greene and William J. Symonds?
That article described how difficult Gates found it to break up schools. But they still did their damage.
Then there was the American Enterprise’s criticism of the Gates Foundation and their failed involvement with the Philadelphia School of the Future. The school threw away books, along with the library, and was an abysmal disaster.
A few weeks later the school was left to reinvent itself.
Gates went on to supply teachers in Tampa and Memphis and other places earbuds so they could learn to be more effective by listening to directions from the back of the room.
Now and then the print media, usually partly funded by Gates and his ilk, will look like it finally understands Bill Gates and his ineffective influence on teachers, students and public schools.
To have such reporting by the LA Times, a news outlet which,–as Anthony Cody who follows Gates and has written a book about his influence on education reminded us, was the newspaper that first printed teachers student test performance–is false hope.
We also can’t help but remember the death of Rigoberto Ruelas, a caring teacher who taught in Los Angeles who commit suicide and was said to be despondent after those scores were printed.
The newspaper analyzed seven years of student test scores in English and math to determine how much students’ performance improved under about 6,000 third- through fifth-grade teachers. Based on The Times’ findings, Ruelas was rated “average” in his ability to raise students’ English scores and “less effective” in his ability to raise math scores. Overall, he was rated slightly “less effective” than his peers.
I think it is more than the Times suddenly seeing the error of their ways. I think it’s a distraction. The Times makes no mention of all the other areas where Gates-backed influence is felt.
He is supporting reform groups a-plenty. There are so many Gates backed nonprofits destroying public education it is hard to keep track.
Gates helps fund Relay Graduate School of Education, which is out to destroy teacher preparation programs.
Gates has always been for charters, like KIPP, despite the array of problems they display.
Even more worrisome—could the article be diverting our attention from Gates’s support of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning known as iNacol and Competency, Proficiency-Based, Personalized Learning, etc., otherwise known as constant mastery testing of basic skills for all students?
While many parents deserve praise for their efforts to opt their children out of the old-fashion draconian standardized testing, this new online continuous assessment is the wave of the future. Read all about it and don’t be deceived. These drastic changes to schooling are not proven.
Competency-Based education is a real threat to public schools and it is happening much faster than those of us who support public schools can fathom.
How many years will it take? How many teachers will lose their jobs or quit because there is no more role for them to play in a child’s learning?
How long will it be before teachers are no more and students sit online all day to learn? How many more public schools will close to make way for online charters?
How many more children will have their schooling disrupted by unproven experiments funded by the Gates Foundation—without any expert feedback by real educators and parents?
This article is right in what it prints, but it leaves a whole lot out. It means nothing. Most of us already know all it says. It says nothing new.
The real news is that Gates won’t be done until there are no more public schools or real educators.
Unless the U.S. government investigates his influence, which is hardly likely since Gates has his people embedded in the U.S. Department of Education, public schools will continue to go down the road to extinction. No major news article will stop it at this point.
It will take a miracle. No. Wrong word.
“It will take all of us paying attention and speaking out to push back on harmful reforms.”