Update; these are some choice comments made by the Gates as reported in the Washington Post today.
Gates on Common Core:
“The early days almost went too well for us,” Gates said. “There was
adoption, everything seemed to be on track. ...We didn’t realize the
issue would be confounded with what is the appropriate role of the
federal and state government, we didn’t think it would be confounded
with questions about are there too many tests, confounded with if you’re
raising the bar, what is the right set of things to help teachers be
ready for that?
Mrs Gates on testing:
“In a few states, they went too quickly, rolling out the standards and
the assessments went too fast and parents rightfully said, ‘Oh my gosh, a
new test,’ ” Melinda Gates said.
OH, blame it on the states.
You'll note there is no admission that they might have been wrong. Not one single word.
End of update.
Oh yes, those halcyon days when you pushed thru the standards you wanted. It was all falling into place and then people started asking questions. And yes, changing the curriculum because of the standards WOULD require teacher support - you didn't even consider that?
Bill and Melinda Gates are having a two-day (kinda secret) Gates Foundation event in downtown Bellevue. Yesterday, the first day of the event, Mr. and Mrs. Gates sat down to opine about their adventures in public education.
The Gates' friends at the Times, which gets funding for education reporting from the Foundation, put out one version of this story yesterday that I see that TODAY has now been edited. A quote by Gates is altered and soft quotes from State Superintendent Randy Dorn and the head of the Road Map project are in. (I really have to start taking screenshots of these stories since the Times feels compelled to rewrite them at will.)
From the Times:
Working on reforming the U.S. education system is the hardest job
they’ve ever tackled, Bill and Melinda Gates said Wednesday — even more
difficult and complex than trying to find a cure for malaria.
And again, failure after failure and yet they just keep trying to see what might stick. Using other people's children as their guinea pigs.
“If we come up with a new malaria drug, a new malaria vaccine, nobody
votes to uninvent our malaria vaccine,” said Gates, to laughter from the
If only teaching children was equivalent to a vaccine. Very business-minded that Gates, looking for a single, one-size-fits-all formula that does not exist.
On Common Core:
Bill Gates acknowledged that the foundation was taken aback by the pushback on Common Core. (Editor's note - this next sentence was in the original story but now removed. It was part of my comment at the Times yesterday. I guess they won't go so far as to edit comments.)
"The foundation, and some others perhaps, were naive about these rollouts" and what kind of political fallout would come from it," he said.
There you have the ENTIRE issue with the Gates Foundation on public education. They are not "naive." They live in an echo chamber of their own making. They talk back and forth and never truly hear themselves. Even in the face of years of mostly failure and heavy criticism, they remain resolutely tone-deaf.
Melinda Gates said she believes a few states moved too fast into Common
Core, particularly in introducing new tests, which upset parents. “At
the political level, there’s a lot of noise,” she said. “But if you go
out and survey teachers, they are for the Common Core.”
You have all the money in the world to do the best
survey of American public education teachers - every single one of them
if you wanted to - so why don't you if you believe CC is so beloved by
Bill Gates said he thought Common Core became mixed up with issues of
overtesting, a concern that the federal government was playing too heavy
a hand in local education, and what he sees as Internet-fed myths about
the difficulty of the subjects.
Talk about misdirection, there's Gates trying to "squirrel!" the criticism over Common Core by saying people were really upset with testing. And internet-fed myths? You mean like the fact that Mr. Gates - with his own money - funded the creation of Common Core and to this day won't admit it? That's proveable.
I wish they would stick to global health.