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

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gates to Announce $500 Million in Bribes

In the coming days, the Gates Foundation will officially announce the winners of their $500 million bribe to school districts willing to revamp the teaching profession to improve "teacher effectiveness." In Memphis, for example, Gates allegedly will provide $90 million with the school district ponying up $36 million and local philanthropists chipping in additional $3 million. Pittsburgh Public Schools supposedly has been offered $40 million, with a school board vote scheduled for 6pm tonight. The Hillsborough County School Board (FL) voted yesterday to accept Gates' $100 bribe to change how teachers are "recruited, retained, rewarded and tenured" according to Gates spokesman Chris Williams. The Omaha Public Schools and Gates Foundation developed a $115 million plan to revamp the teaching profession "in part by tying performance to teacher pay" (with the unstated assumption that student achievement = test scores), but OPS withdrew their bid when the couldn't come up with $65 million from the local community (ahem...did anyone bother to ask Bill's buddy, the Oracle of Omaha?). The final potential recipient is a yet-to-be-named group of Los Angeles charter schools...
The Gates Foundation's reliance on and support of high-stakes testing and willingness to use testing data to define good teaching turns "teacher effectiveness" and "student achievement" into Orwellian language where all semblances of critique and thought collapse. One can only wonder exactly how these new teacher evaluation programs will be executed.

1 comment:

  1. Nat Turner9:07 PM

    Bill Gates has hidden his rabid pursuit of Microsoft Corporation profits behind schemes for education "reform". The best thing he could do for the children of this country and their chance to be effectively educated is to stop plying them with his Zunes and Xboxes and stop pushing absurd levels of data collection done with Microsoft software on their schools.

    Gates likes to call America's public high schools obsolete. He’s half right. Our schools are becoming obsolete inside a system that has enriched him beyond all reason while millions of other human beings struggle just to survive. His obscene wealth in the face of desperate poverty in D.C. and around the world is a symptom of a deadly economic malady. His oil-dependent global economy is obsolete. It has begun to breakdown and will in time collapse and when it does the myth of the benevolent and wise Bill Gates will thankfully die with it.