If there is one thing Bill Gates has been a fan of, it is the role of technology in improving education. But recent comments show he may be starting to see that even technology may not be all powerful. And this leads to some deeper questions about the viability of the entire education reform project.
If the pass rates on Common Core tests and the new Common Core-aligned GED plummet, it is because they were designed to do so. If there is an outcome that has been engineered, there must be a reason that outcome is desirable.
Bill Gates has it exactly upside down. The innovators are the classroom teachers. The innovators are the students. The innovators are the people working in the schools creating new things every day.
This summer educators around the country will congregate in the political workings of our unions at the AFT and NEA conventions. This is no small business.
As a thought experiment, what would it look like if the Gates Foundation truly was attending to the research and evidence that is showing how damaging the new Common Core tests and high stakes accountability systems are?
I believe we must fight competition-driven, test-driven reform with all our power, but we must also be willing to offer and/or accept an olive branch.
In essence, the "bad teacher" is a not just a basic strawman, but a hologram, an insubstantial projection of whoever you want him to be, whatever you - or your child - perceives him to be.
The Vergara decision feeds into our societal obsession with test scores, and propels us towards schools with even less stability, and higher turnover.
Someone in the mainstream media finally asked Bill Gates straight out what his role was regarding Common Core. What a concept!
A call for national standards is a political veneer, a tragic waste of time and energy that would be better spent addressing real needs in the lives of children