Gates Won’t Let Common Core Die

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Gates Won’t Let Common Core Die

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private foundation in the world and the chief private funder of Common Core standards, released a letter on May 23, 2016. It says the foundation aims to continue promoting Common Core, stating, “Our learning journey in U.S. education is far from over, but we’re in it for the long haul.”

CC buttonsAddressing the Common Core standards initiative, which many see as unsuccessful, Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann, who has been the CEO of the Gates Foundation for two years, says: “Deep and deliberate engagement is essential to success. Rigorous standards and high expectations are meaningless if teachers aren’t equipped to help students meet them.” She continues:

However, we’re facing the fact that it is a real struggle to make system-wide change. Unfortunately, our foundation underestimated the level of resources and support required for our public education systems to be well-equipped to implement the standards. . . . This has been a challenging lesson for us to absorb, but we take it to heart.

In the letter, Desmond-Hellmann comes very close to blaming teachers for the failure of Common Core.

The money continues to flow from the Gates Foundation to support Common Core, although some might call it life support. In January of 2016, the Gates Foundation gave the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) a grant of over $15 million, designated as “general operating support” for the K-12 organization. CCSSO is one of the two owners of the copyrighted Common Core standards, the other being another Washington, D.C. lobbying organization, the National Governors Association.

When NAEP, the Nation’s Report card, revealed that 2015 average 12th-grade math scores have dropped and reading scores have remained unchanged, CCSSO issued a press release that says: “All states are committed to making sure every child graduates from high school prepared for college, careers, and life. The most recent results from the Nation’s Report Card in 12th grade show we still have a lot of work to do before accomplishing this goal.” In other words, Common Core hasn’t helped at all.

Although Common Core has demonstrably failed, as will any top-down, one-size-fits-all gimmick to control American education, it will be many years before states, and apparently the Gates Foundation (and others who are making money off implementation), stop promoting the failed concept. The Gates Foundation won’t admit that they mistakenly dabbled in things they know nothing about.

But the real tragedy befalls the schoolchildren who miss out on a rich and vital education because of interfering bureaucrats and know nothing do-gooders. (Washington Post, 6-7-14) (GatesFoundation.org)

Keep Your Chickens

The Washington Post reports, “In the fall of 2014, Bill Gates gave a nearly hour-long interview at Harvard University in which he said, ‘It would be great if our education stuff worked, but that we won’t know for probably a decade.’” (6-2-16) He appears to believe using students as experimental guinea pigs is acceptable.

Fortune magazine reports that the Gates Foundation recently tried to donate tens of thousands of chickens to Bolivia, to “alleviate poverty.” The nation declined the gift, which was seen as “offensive” and “condescending.” In the past ten years, Bolivia’s “economy has grown three times its size, with millions of people joining the middle class, and it is expected to grow again this year by 3.8%.” In the past six years, chicken production there increased from 147 million to 194 million units. The Bolivian minister of land and rural development responded, “Respectfully, [Gates] should stop talking about Bolivia, and once he knows more, apologize to us.” (6-16-16)

When Gates knows more, he should apologize to millions of U.S. schoolchildren, their parents, and their teachers.