Bill Gates Needs to Drop His Common Core Obsession.
It’s hard to envision Bill Gates not getting exactly what he wants, or backing down from anything. However, that was before he became the sugar daddy and primary backer of the Common Core State Standards, which have raised the ire of parents, students and educators in the past year. As Common Core critics began pushing back against adoption of the standards and influencing several state legislatures to cut ties with Common Core, Gates and his foundation found themselves in the unusual position of backpedaling last month.
In a surprising act of damage control, the pro-Core Gates Foundation took to the pages of the New York Times with an open letter calling for a two-year delay in the use of Common Core-linked tests as measures for teacher and student accountability. Gates Foundation director Vickie Philips conceded frustrations with Common Core, writing, “No evaluation system will work unless teachers believe it is fair and reliable. The standards need time to work. Teachers need time to develop lessons, receive more training, get used to the new tests and offer their feedback.”
Of course, educators know those considerations should have been obvious from the beginning, long before states were coerced into adopting the standards, in some cases unseen. For a successful businessman, Gates has been rather negligent in testing, piloting and evaluating an unproven product like Common Core before selling it to an unsuspecting public. Experts in education like Dr. Diane Ravitch know there is a time-honored process to review policies and standards. Bill Gates, however, is far from being an education expert.
“Bill Gates Needs to Drop His Common Core Obsession.”
By Michael P. Mazenko
Salon.com. Salon.com, 7 July 2014.