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

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Rules of the (Gates) Game: "follow lockstep" or be Punished

From the USA Today's recent profile of the Gates Foundation:

Criticism has risen with the Gates Foundation's impact and influence.

In the U.S., where the foundation concentrates mostly on efforts to reform education, the Gates Foundation, over the years, has given money to almost every major education think tank, leaving few to criticize its power, asserts former assistant secretary of Education Diane Ravitch in her new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System.

Those who do not "follow lockstep" with the foundation can get punished, says David Shreve, federal affairs counsel at the National Conference of State Legislatures. He says his group failed to get a Gates Foundation grant renewed after its policy positions did not adhere closely enough with the foundation's education-reform strategies. "They made it clear we weren't toeing the line," Shreve says. Raikes says the foundation invites "rigorous dialogue."

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