"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, May 04, 2009

Oligarchs Pouring Cash into Weingarten's AFT "Innovation" Research Fund

Weingarten is always given credit for thinking several steps ahead, and I don't doubt it. Sadly, she is willing to sacrifice her membership and the future of teachers' rights to earn herself a seat, several steps ahead, of course, as, hmm, how about Secretary of Labor, 2013. From Ed Week:

Four private foundations—the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation—will partner with the American Federation of Teachers through its Innovation Fund, representatives of the foundations and the AFT announced this afternoon.

The private-foundation contributions, in addition to the AFT's down payment of $1 million, bring the fund's total to $2.8 million. Funds are available for local affiliates to "incubate promising ideas to improve schools," AFT President Randi Weingarten said.

She gave a couple of possible examples: Districts and teachers could propose a new way of evaluating teachers that would incorporate evidence of student achievement. Or they could come up with a school-turnaround model akin to the Fresh Start project in Chicago or the now-defunct New York City chancellor's district.

Both Weingarten and the foundation folks spoke a lot about the importance of working together and collaboration. Weingarten, clearly echoing her National Press Club speech earlier this year, said the accepted applications will be "different, innovative, unique, out-of-the-box, and, yes, have a risk attached to them.". . . .

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