Thursday, August 11, 2016

Gates Foundation to ‘stay the course’ as it seeks to help shape state education policies - The Washington Post

Gates Foundation to ‘stay the course’ as it seeks to help shape state education policies - The Washington Post:

Gates Foundation to ‘stay the course’ as it seeks to help shape state education policies


CHICAGO — Melinda Gates said she and her husband, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, learned an important lesson from the fierce pushback against the Common Core State Standards in recent years. Not that they made the wrong bet when they poured hundreds of millions of dollars into supporting the education standards, but that such a massive initiative would not be successful unless teachers and parents believe in it.
“Community buy-in is huge,” Gates said in an interview here on Wednesday, adding that cultivating such support for big cultural shifts in education takes time. “It means that in some ways, you have to go more slowly.”
That doesn’t mean the foundation has any plans to back off the Common Core or its other priorities, including its long-held belief that improving teacher quality is the key to transforming public education. “I would say stay the course. We’re not even close to finished,” Gates said.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has helped shape the nation’s education policies during the past decade with philanthropic donations that have supported digital learning and charter schools and helped accelerate shifts not only to the new, common academic standards, but to new teacher evaluations that incorporate student test scores.
The Obama administration shared and promoted many of the foundation’s priorities, arguing that they were necessary to push the nation's schools forward and close yawning achievement gaps. Now that a new federal education law has returned authority over public education to the states, the foundation is following suit, seeking to become involved in the debates about the direction of public schools that are heating up in state capitals across the country.
Speaking here at a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures, Melinda Gates told lawmakers Wednesday that the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, gives them a chance to grapple with whether “we are doing everything in our power to ensure Gates Foundation to ‘stay the course’ as it seeks to help shape state education policies - The Washington Post:

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