Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody This post is the third round of a five-part exchange with the Gates Foundation. This post can also be viewed and commented on over at the Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimist blog. This time I get to go first, and our topic is this: What is the role of education reform in relation to the problem of family poverty? What is the best way to achieve greater equity in educational and life prospects for children of poverty? The Gates Foundation's central slogan is "All lives have equal value," and the thrust of their work around ...


Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody This post is the second round in a five-part exchange with the Gates Foundation. This is a response to yesterday's post from Vicki Phillips, How do we Consider Evidence of Student Learning in Teacher Evaluations? This post can also be viewed and commented on over at the Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimists blog. Vicki Phillips opens her post with a complaint: Education debates are often characterized wrongly as two warring camps: blame teachers for everything that's not working in our schools or defend all teachers at all costs. This handwringing is hard to take seriously, ...


Guest post by Vicki Phillips. This post tackles the second topic in a five part dialogue with representatives of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It is also posted over at the Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimist blog. A response from Anthony Cody has now been posted here. Education debates are often characterized wrongly as two warring camps: blame teachers for everything that's not working in our schools or defend all teachers at all costs. But there's actually serious work going on in the middle, where there's a lot of common purpose around helping teachers improve their practice and students improve ...


Guest post by Howard Adelman and Linda Taylor School reform over the past decade has focused on two arenas: improving curriculum and instruction, and the way our schools are governed and managed. We have new curriculum, new tests, new evaluation schemes, new schools, new technology, and new teachers. But schools still are not doing anything significant to address factors interfering with youngsters benefiting from all these changes. As those who have followed our work know, we are determined to change this short-sighted state of affairs by ensuring there is a third primary and essential arena that directly focuses on addressing ...


Guest post by Irvin Scott. This is a response to Anthony Cody's post of a week ago, Dialogue with the Gates Foundation: How do we Build the Teaching Profession. This is also posted at the Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimist blog. Tough, complicated issues like education often don't get the kind of debate they deserve. People who disagree don't see where they have common ground. Each side isn't willing to concede that the other has a valid point of view. So it is especially gratifying that against this often vitriolic backdrop Anthony Cody was willing to come to the Gates Foundation ...


Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody Last July 31, thousands of teachers and parents joined together in the hot sun in the nation's capital for the Save Our Schools March and Rally. I was one of the organizers of last year's event, but have not been quite so involved this year. Nonetheless, I will be joining with activists a week from now for the Save Our Schools Convention. I will be there because SOS has once again created a crossroads for our movement, just as it did last summer. So much of our communication these days is online, via blogs, ...


Post #1 of 5 in this dialogue. Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody Two weeks ago I traveled to Seattle and spent most of the day meeting with leaders of the Gates Foundation, discussing their work around education reform. I have been critical of the impact their agenda has had, but they expressed an interest in opening up a dialogue. This blog post will be the first in a series of exchanges that will explore some of the key issues in education. We plan a process where we will take turns posting our perspective on a given theme, followed by ...


Follow me on Twitter at @AnthonyCody Private enterprise is often portrayed as a mighty engine of innovation. If we break the "government monopoly" on education, entrepreneurial opportunities will inspire new solutions to problems that have not been licked by the public schools. But corporations are funny people. They do not actually care so much about how they make money - just so long as they do. Innovation is not their purpose, nor is solving society's intractable problems. We have a fresh report from the National Educational Policy Center, where authors Gary Miron and Jessica Urschel take us into the world ...


Guest post by John Thompson. Bill Gates made two valid, though somewhat contradictory points, in his address to the Education Commission of the States. Both of Gates' differing pieces of advice deserve a serious response. The text of Gates' speech gives no hint of irony as he proclaims, "The first and most important feature of a strong evaluation and development system is heavy teacher involvement throughout - from the conceptual stage, to the roll out, to revising the program once it's underway. If someone wants to rush an evaluation system into place - and they think they can speed it ...


Guest post by Chemtchr. Part Two of Two. See Part One here. The Gates Foundation favors a charitable model known as a public-private partnership, which appears at first to be an enlightened model for corporate engagement. For-profit ventures are "partnered" with the government for funding, to drive positive social change. The problem is that apparent charities are actually spending public funds, often without our knowledge or consent, and public private partnerships in education have shown themselves to be vulnerable to outright fraud as well as wasteful insider dealing. There's no open or democratic mechanism to determine public benefit, or regulation ...


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