Thursday, November 13, 2008

Emily LaGates Says - "Never Mind!"

It's really worth noting what was happening in Seattle at the Gates Foundation shindig where reporter extraordinaire Elizabeth Green gives us the full scoop. An awful lot of what Gates had to say was pure poop.

He said that while the investments created some noteworthy successes, which he said proved an important lesson — “that all students can succeed” — the overall goal of scaling up successful models was a disappointment.

“Largely, this has not happened,” he said.

Many of the 8% of schools did not succeed: Their test scores were actually lower than the average scores of schools in their school district, and their college-attending rates climbed painfully slowly, up only 2.5 percentage points over five years. A main strategy of the schools, breaking large high schools into smaller units, on its own guaranteed no overall success, Gates said.

He said the New York City small schools were an example of successes in raising high school graduation rates — but a disappointment in that their graduates were no likelier than any city student to be prepared to go onto college.

Ya mean Bill that you helped destroy entire swaths of the NYC school system and now it's "Never Mind?" Oops!

Green goes on:

Perhaps the most sensitive project will be investments to study a seemingly innocuous subject: teacher effectiveness. The touchy part is that the foundation is signaling that it will urge school districts to find ways to fire teachers judged ineffective.

“If their students keep falling behind, they’re in the wrong line of work, and they need to move on,” Bill Gates...

Following this same line of reasoning, Gates will soon announce he is closing down Microsoft for foisting the Windows Operating system on the world despite it's being a vastly inferior product to the Apple Macintosh OS. "If we keep falling behind Apple, we're in the wrong line of work and need to move on," Gates said. Microsoft will produce hair brushes from now on.

New Microsoft line of products

Skoolboy over at Eduwonkette laughed uncontrollably - Bill Gates, U.S. Superintendent of Schools at this line from Green's report

As part of its new approach, the Gates Foundation will advocate for the politically thorny goal of national standards — and will aim to write its own standards and its own national test.

I have an idea for a national standard:

Ability to use Windows computers and all Microsoft products to the exclusion of anything resembling Apples, even if they want to serve them for lunch.

(Sidenote: I was in NYC school tech when BloomKlein took over. Think there was any favoritism towards Microsoft, which made millions?)

Skoolboy says, "Read it again, slowly: The Gates Foundation will develop its own national standards and its own national test. Does anybody else think this is a really, really bad idea? I'm delighted that the Gates Foundation has realized that throwing money at small schools didn't work, but I'm not prepared to turn over the public's interest in what is to be taught and learned to a private philanthropy, no matter how civic-minded it may be.

Hey Skoolboy, isn't Bill Gates allowed to make a few mistakes? Check out this idiot comment from CodyPT:

How do you manage to pass judgement so quickly when you haven't read the first syllable of the Gates Foundation effort? It's the same old story. No one outside the hallowed confines of the educational "establishment" is allowed to put an oar into the education lake (puddle?) without immediate howling from the education "experts."

Ah, yes CodyPT. What we need are non-experts. I hope you get one of those the next time you go to a doctor

Mike Klonsky also has some thoughts- Gates' unveils '3 pillars' and here on the subject.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent radio interview, Norm.

    Meanwhile, check out this catchy title in the Times:

    Most City High Schools Improved This Year




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