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Learning From Their Mistakes

"Learning from your mistakes is a well-accepted practice in the world of commerce -- even a celebrated one," begins Ben Wildavsky's article in today's Wall Street Journal. "But the same mindset has yet to penetrate the philanthropic world, according to insider-turned-analyst Joel Fleishman....Why? Because, he says, they are arrogant, secretive and insular; they latch onto fuzzy, trendy initiatives without ever evaluating the results; and, above all, they resist transparency and accountability."

Hmmm. Remind you of anyone who jumped boldly into the education mess around 2001? Me, too. However, it has to be said that the Gates folks have done a much better than usual job of admitting what wasn't working and adjusting their efforts over the past year or two.

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