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.
- 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.