Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How Bill Gates Bought Common Core

About four years ago I tinkered around with Gates Foundation entanglements in American public school policy, here and roughed out a chart here. Last year I posted a followup from teacher Mercedes Schneider. Today I ran across the treatment below focusing on Gates' support for Common Core State Standards. As folks of my vintage would say, follow the money.

This from HonestPracticum:

This from Morning Education at Politico:
TAMPING DOWN THE COMMON CORE FIRES: Arizona state Superintendent John Huppenthal has been traveling his state meeting with tea party groups, trying to persuade them to reconsider their opposition to the Common Core. In his stump speech, he says the standards call for teaching reading through phonics, require kids to know multiplication by third grade and stress proper grammar and punctuation at every level. In his view, those are just the kind of standards his fellow Republicans should get behind. "There's a whole series of conservative victories there," Huppenthal told Morning Education. "It's hugely sellable to conservative audiences."
He said he doesn't understand why national foundations that have spent millions to develop and implement the standards aren't following his lead. "They're as useless as ticks on a boar hog," he grumbled. Is his approach working? Put it this way, Huppenthal said: The Arizona opposition "has gone from full-scale forest fire to low-grade, widespread fever."
Speaking of selling the standards: The official Common Core website unveiled a new look this week. Banished from the home page: The big orange and red map showing how many states had adopted the standards - which may inadvertently have fueled concerns about a nationalization of education. In its place: A cheery montage of links to "Myths vs. Facts" and "What Parents Should Know." An animated video from the Council of the Great City Schools promotes the standards as a carefully constructed ladder that will gently boost all students to academic success and lucrative careers. Links describe each state's implementation work. The Council for Chief State School Officers and National Governors Association redesigned the site:

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