In a democracy, all powerful institutions that affect our lives need vigilant oversight.
~David Callahan, The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age (p. 304)
As grills get fired-up for the 4th of July, dark clouds hang over the country.
We learned through a RAND report, that the Bill & Melinda Gates’s Effective Teaching initiative has failed. It failed like their other education experiments.
It didn’t raise student scores, graduation rates, or help schools keep effective teachers.
Business Insider says this:
The Gates Foundation believes that while the initiative fared poorly overall, it led to “critical conversations” and “drove change” across the country.
It drove change.
The Gates Foundation always fails, but their changes bring us closer to the end of public education and professional teaching. Our tax dollars also pay for these changes.
Soon, they will be bankrolling another project. Few Americans will approve it. But we will see more change towards the ultimate end they want to see.
This recent project hurt the teaching profession. Remember the negative headlines?
From the Chalkbeat: Gates Foundation study paints bleak picture of teaching quality. Whoever gave him the right to criticize teachers so dramatically?
To recap (from the Rand report):
Beginning in 2009–2010, three school districts — Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) in Florida; Memphis City Schools (MCS) in Tennessee (which merged with Shelby County Schools, or SCS, during the initiative); and Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) in Pennsylvania — and four charter management organizations (CMOs) — Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, Aspire Public Schools, Green Dot Public Schools, and Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC) Schools — participated in the Intensive Partnerships initiative.
Many reported last week about Gates’s most recent failed project. Here the Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss writes a post titled: Bill Gates spent hundreds of millions of dollars to improve teaching. New report says it was a bust.
The project began at a time when the newly elected Obama administration was supporting school reforms that used student test scores to evaluate teachers, despite warnings from assessment experts of big problems with doing so.
Wendy Lecker wrote Bill Gates’ failed experiment in the Stamford Advocate.
Gates has failed at breaking schools into small schools. He failed with inBloom. He has failed with Common Core and charter schools, and the Philadelphia School of the Future, and other initiatives.
In 2016, the LA Times Editorial read Gates Foundation Failures Show Philanthropists Shouldn’t Be Setting America’s Public School Agenda.
Still, with every failure, public schools and the teaching profession are weakened. Schools close when test scores are lackluster, the teacher shortage increases, but the Gates Foundation gets to keep reinventing itself, moving their agenda forward.
In a PBS interview in 2015, they stated this goal clearly.
Now it’s focus has turned, in part, to the role technology can play in tailoring education for every child.
Without Congressional oversight, they will march on to their ultimate prize.
All of this will lead to:
- No more teachers.
- No more public schools.
- Students using technology anyplace, anytime.
- Technology in charter schools.
- Continuous online assessment.
- No more privacy rules.
- Connecting children with workforce needs.
Here’s what Gates announced he is going to work on next.
- Collecting Data (Won’t there be more privacy concerns?)
- Working Locally (Does this mean high school students will be pushed out of school before they’re ready?)
- Improving Curriculum (This sounds like more technology.)
- Helping Students with Special Needs (Watch for more segregated charter schools, only this time for students with disabilities.)
- Funding Research (This can only mean more propaganda about what Gates does to schools.)
Think of what this money could be used for.
Destroying public schools and the teachers who humanize education will not turn out well. It will destroy the democratic fabric of our society.
The next time Gates comes to town with his new ideas and checkbook, ask what is he really about? Then get out your checkbook too, because you will continue to pay for his ideas, including his mistakes. Especially when your children have no more teachers and no more schools.
Be careful this 4th of July. Keep children safe.
Sue Bursztynski says
I read about this recently. It’s weird to think our governments have tried to copy from your country’s education playbook and the UK’s, which are far worse than ours(not that ours is wonderful). The fact is, EVERYONE thinks they know more about education than those wh9 are actually doing it, as a glance at any newspaper letters page will show. Th difference is, we don’t have anyone with Bill’s money here throwing it into schools, for whatever reason. Now, if he’d spend it on giv8ng every child access to technology…
Nancy Bailey says
How interesting, Sue. So the U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos claims we need to learn from other countries, and other countries are learning the reforms from us.
There’s some confusion with this, or is there?
Thanks for commenting!
Just wait. They will be there and already are if you look harder.
Rick Bobrick says
Think again, Bill. please understand that your “critical conversations” did nothing more than to misdirect untold amounts of teacher time, teacher energy, and taxpayer dollars. One of the great tragedies of the “school reform” movement is often overlooked: what could have been – with all the resources expended by the Resistance that could have been otherwise used to actually improve schools; all of the ideas that never had a chance, smothered by five years of trying to defend against the wealthy amateur meddlers and the pernicious forces of privatization. Bill Gates did not just waste hundreds of millions of his own dollars, but his uninvited interference has forced school districts nation wide, to waste billions of dollars and tens of millions of teacher hours. And let’s not forget the time students were forced to waste while sitting through confusing and inappropriate CC lessons, listening to scripted lessons, test prep, and watching their teachers ring every ridiculous bell in the crappy Marzano/Danielson rubrics. All of this while twisting, and distorting, and corrupting the meaning of what should be, a holistic K to 12 education experience..What an utter and complete waste on every level, .
It’s sad that children are the “New” experimental group; later, then when they don’t grow up to be model citizens because they didn’t receive the knowledge necessary to decode information they are deemed – expendable. SMH
ciedie aech says
Truest and most prescient statement: “The Gates Foundation always fails, but their changes bring us closer to the end of public education and professional teaching.”
Nancy Bailey says
Yes. Thanks, Ciedie!