When Bill Gates came to Memphis in 2009 with $90 million to grease the hinges on every bureaucratic door within a hundred miles, the schools became the laboratory for every self-serving thought disorder that the aging crackpot could come up with. The latest bad dream brings together Common Core, Pearson, Windows tablets, and the Gates dream of making schools entirely teacher proof.
Teachers will now serve as guards and managers of tech labs, where students proceed through curriculum and tests written by Pearson on machines built for Microsoft. What could be better than this? And in the upper grades, students might go through a whole course without having to have a conversation with anyone:
. . . . In upper grades, district officials said, students might move through courses at their own pace. In lower grades, students can choose between different lessons or readings focusing on the same skills.
All the while, teachers have access to students’ screens and information. Teachers can notice where each student is struggling, or even turn students’ devices off if they are off-track.
“It’s a new instructional model: Instead of the teacher in front and kids absorbing, the teacher manages a set of activities,” Singer said.
Who is Singer? That's Larry Singer, the Managing Director and Executive Vice-President for K-12 North American Sales at Pearson.
Here is Larry meeting with Shelby County School Board members, who are working with County Commission to get final approval for 300% pay raises this year.