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Bill and Melinda Gates Are Not Discouraged by Failure of Their Education “Reforms”

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Author: dianeravitch

Bill and Melinda Gates told Nicholas Kristof that they have poured billions into education reform, but there’s been “no dramatic change.”

Although the Gates’ normally pay attention to results, in the case of education reform they are unfazed by failure.

As Inside Philanthropy reports:

This is significant for a bunch of reasons, not the least of which is that the Gateses still have not tapped the bulk of their personal fortune for philanthropy, as we’ve discussed in the past. While the Gates Foundation lists assets of $43 billion, Forbes pegs Bill Gates’ personal fortune at nearly $80 billion—most of which will likely go to philanthropy eventually.

This is actually a fatuous and unknowing article, as it praises the widespread adoption of the Common Core standards without mentioning how many states have dropped them or dropped the tests aligned with them or how they have become an issue in state and national campaigns. It also states that Gates spent “tens of millions” on the CCSS, when it was long ago reported by the Washington Post that Gates paid about $200 million to underwrite the effort, and some think it may have been ten times that amount. To discuss CCSS without referring to the controversy surrounding the standards is lazy (or star-struck) journalism.

The writer predicts that the Gates will shift their focus to early childhood programs, like the one run by Illinois Governor Rauner’s wife (Ounce of Prevention), and to teacher preparation programs. Again, no mention of the meager results from the Gates Foundation’s efforts to quantify teacher quality.

More testing on the way. If it can’t be measured, it doesn’t count. But don’t expect accountability; accountability is for the little people, as the super-wealthy Leona Helmsley once said about paying taxes.

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