Will Money Ever Stop Talking?
There seems to be a good number of people who continue to be confused about the Gates’ “philanthropical” efforts regarding public education in America today. The bottom line is this:
The Gates’ have an idea about how to “fix” the system of education that exists in America today. They dump millions and billions of dollars into research that will support the accuracy of these ideas. They obtain the “research” necessary to put their idea into motion, & tout it as the most promising venture yet, while ignoring the very very fine print attached, which states:
“This piece, however, is limited in that it cannot directly attribute any of the changes to any particular reform initiative. A more-detailed longitudinal analysis of progress made before and after the district initiated its reforms, and controlling for important factors, would be needed to more precisely and confidently attribute the changes to specific initiatives. Moreover, this piece has not yet undergone a thorough peer review.”
In other words, the research didn’t support the validity of the idea, but money talks, and in this case it’s claiming that it did.
The idea takes shape, and takes off. In time, the idea fails miserably. (this is where children become harmed). The Gates’ come up with the next big idea, commission the research necessary to support it, and the next idea becomes a reality. The teachers who rally against these ideas are identified as being lazy, unaccountable troublemakers. Some are fired. The cycle persists.
The Gates’ fund things like Achievement First Charter schools – schools that are largely staffed by those Teach for America grads (no surprise there). Last month a new federal agreement was announced in settlement of a civil rights complaint filed by Greater Hartford Legal Aid Inc. on behalf of students with disabilities at Achievement First Hartford Academy Middle School. The complaint alleged that students with disabilities were spending too many hours out of the classroom for disciplinary reasons because of behaviors that were related to their disability.
In one horrifying story, “Johanna Rodriguez, whose eighth-grade son was included in the civil rights complaint, said her son was suspended and at home for most of last year, while this year she said he was suspended in school most of the time in a room set aside for students who are removed from class because of a behavior issue. For lesser offenses, he was given ‘re-orientation’ where he could remain in class, but had to wear a white shirt and other students were not allowed to talk to him.”
Hopefully I’ve cleared up some of that confusion about the Gates’ “philanthropy”.