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

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Big Three Edu-Spending

The folks at EdSector received a $2.22 million, 3-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation "to explore and highlight policies at the state level that prevent greater use of innovation, technology, and competency-based education". CMOs, a main component of the second wave of B&MGF reforms (the first being their botched small schools movement), were clearly not sustainable even before the financial calamity, and they're facing even more challenges now that state budgets are being slashed. "Hybrid learning" both appeals to the new philanthropists (many with a background in tech), and can save money by limiting labor costs.

In case you haven't followed some of the controversy around the NJ/Newark reforms, it recently came to light that the Broad Foundation is paying for a consultant to help Cerf with whatever Cerf is doing these days:
A major foundation is paying a national expert on analyzing schools $60,000 to advise acting Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf as he tries to restructure the Department of Education.
There's also this nugget from the consultant about how the Broad Foundation helps graduates of the Academy:
"Frequently what the Broad Center does when one of its graduates or fellows takes on a new assignment or moves into a new role, they reach out to a network of individuals that have experience with the Broad Center and seek ways folks can help out,” Cox said.
Cox said he aimed to help “align the department to be of maximum support to school districts in their efforts to improve education outcomes for all kids, especially those at risk.”
And, just to make sure I cover the "Big Three" of the Billionaire Boys Club, did you know that the Walton Family Foundation is funding some of Stand for Children's work in Colorado?

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