Cuomo Taps Bill Gates as NY’s New Education Consultant. Sadly, the Times Are Not a Changing

Bill Gates seems to have become this spring’s go-to gazillionaire.  Over the years his foundation has undertaken to fund medical work in Africa and public school policy and governance experiments across the United States.  And so… soon after the coronavirus pandemic reached American shores, Judy Woodruff had Bill Gates on the PBS NewsHour as an […]

Even Though ESSA Dropped the Requirement, 34 States Still Evaluate Schoolteachers by Students’ Test Scores

Chalkbeat‘s Matt Barnum reports this week that 9 of the 43 school districts which adopted the use of students’ standardized test scores to evaluate teachers have stopped using students’ scores for teacher evaluation. This is an important development because all sorts of research has shown that students’ scores are unreliable as a measure of the […]

Melinda Gates and the Blindness of Privilege

Last Sunday, the New York Times Magazine published an interview—David Marchese talking with Melinda Gates—about the enormous power of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for shaping our lives.  Marchese asks Ms. Gates directly about the Gates Foundation’s role in driving today’s neoliberal public education policy. Doesn’t a giant foundation—“Its endowment at $50.7 billion… the […]

Rand Corp. Report Says Grading Teachers by Student Scores Doesn’t Work; Ohio Law Will Diminish Use of Student Scores for Evaluating Teachers

In 2009, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched a huge project to demonstrate that evaluating teachers by their students’ standardized test scores would improve education and especially the education of “low-income, minority” students. Now the Gates Foundation has paid for a huge Rand Corporation study that showed its original experiment didn’t work. Although the […]

Even $1.7 Billion from the Gates Foundation Won’t Address Our Public Schools’ Deepest Needs

Last week Bill Gates announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will launch a new five-year, $1.7 billion initiative in education. In the Washington Post, Valerie Strauss explains that all but 15 percent will go to public schools, with the rest to charter schools: “He said most of the new money—about 60 percent—will be […]

Gates Foundation’s Mega Philanthropy Keeps on Colliding with Democracy

In her annual letter summing up the year’s accomplishments of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Foundation’s CEO, Sue Desmond-Hellmann, offers a sort of mea culpa to explain what has happened in the organization’s philanthropy in education. Gates has been at the forefront of strategic philanthropy, by which a foundation sets the priorities and […]

Phew! At Least Bill Gates Didn’t Announce Another Big Experiment on Our Children

Bill Gates presented the keynote at the U.S. Education Learning Forum, an event this week described by Education Week‘s Alyson Klein as “meant to mark the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s 15th year playing in the education field.”  In his remarks Bill Gates is reported by Liana Heitin of Education Week to have, “recommitted the […]

Why Do So Few College Students Want to Be Teachers?

At the end of a wise and eloquent article Mike Rose, UCLA professor and expert on teaching, wonders how things would be different if—since the No Child Left Behind Act was signed into law in 2002 as the culmination of a love affair with testing, data, and business accountability—we had instead invested in supporting teachers, […]

That Sinking Feeling: The Way We Are Thinking About Teachers Is All Wrong

Occasionally I wake in the night with the sinking feeling that maybe I’ve been living my life by all the wrong rules and making bad choices that hurt those I love.  It’s a terrible feeling that makes it hard to go back to sleep, but usually in the morning with some light and reason I […]

The Common Core Standards Died a Natural Death. Why Is Dana Goldstein Trying to Dig Them Up?

In a superficial article last Friday, NY Times education reporter Dana Goldstein exhumed an education reform that has, mercifully, already been buried: the Common Core State Standards.  The Common Core has pretty much faded out of the public consciousness, but now that Goldstein has chosen to examine the corpse, I wish she had done a […]