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

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The convergence quiz

Today's quiz: Consider the following, from a University of Georgia report on philanthropy and education:

"Today there is a convergence between the philanthropic sector and federal policymakers. Policies and practices developed, tested and advocated for by foundations have been included in new federal initiatives including Race to the Top." (From: http://www.coe.uga.edu/news/2011/07/11/uga-report-analyzes-philanthropic-investment-in-education/)

The convergence between foundations and the federal policy is because:
(1) both Gates/Broad et al and Arne Duncan independently came to the same conclusions about teaching and learning. The convergence is coincidental.
(2) Arne Duncan has a well-established philosophy of education, and Gates/Broad et al are following his lead, trying to help out.
(3) Gates/Broad et. al. are running the show. They decide, and Arne Duncan follows.

If (3) is correct, why are Gates/Broad et al so aggressive in forming educational policy?

(1) a deep conviction that their path is right. Formerly highly profit-driven individuals are now only interested in serving the public, and are convinced that they know what is best.

(2) financial gain: the educational policy they are pushing will lead to profits for their companies.

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