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Bill Gates Proves his Monetary Goals for Common Core?



The comments on this video that I've seen on YouTube as well as personal - even company blogs, boarder on a level of  ignorance not often encountered in modern times. I'm most disappointed in the statements I've read which are reportedly from Teachers. 

The Rants, on the whole, explode out from this paragraph:

When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well—and that will unleash powerful market forces in the service of better teaching. For the first time, there will be a large base of customers eager to buy products that can help every kid learn and every teacher get better. [Emphasis added.]


So, let's start with Perspective since no one seems to have any and their paranoia appears to love its absence.

1. Bill Gates current monetary worth is estimated at $50 BILLION (caps used to draw attention to this amazingly large number). Actually if rises and falls between 50-100 billion

2. Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, in 2006 turned away from Corporate life and invested all of their time and money into their Foundation which hemorrhages money every year so that people around the globe can have things like water, food, shelter, and education.

3. Bill Gates plunged over $200 Million into the NYC school system -- with the idea that smaller schools would work better than the goliaths they had at the time. Afterwards and for some years he felt that this was a mistake -- that there was very little change or benefit derived from the smaller schools. Between 2002 and 2008, the number of high schools in
NYC increased from just over 250 to nearly 450. Many saw this as a huge disruption for the kids of that time, with no positive outcome. A great deal of both professional and general publications criticizing Gates for "messing with things he doesn't understand" came out on the Internet and media venues like Fox News.
     a) Gates never lashed back
     b) Gate continued to seek out professional educators and educational scientists and move forward
*Note: it has now been ascertained that not only have the smaller schools helped the students, that graduation is markedly up and dropout rates notably down.

4. Bill Gates has --as many Billionaires before and since -- signed a commitment on the Giving Pledge to donate half of his monetary worth to charities and projects which improve lives and promote education.
*Note: that is, roughly $25 BILLION he plans on putting into educational efforts across the nation.

Clarity: I've made a passion out of hating Gates during my life.. I was a programmer and system administrator for more than 20years, and deeply into the OpenSource movement-- which was at direct and vicious odds with Micro$oft. If my cat had diarrhea, it was Gate's fault.  -- Since that time, paying attention to what and how he has done things, I've forgiven him for Windows ME, ... but not for Win 2k.

Vocabulary:

Common Standards -- mean to Bill Gates the same thing they would mean to anyone who creates systems or programs computers. A Common platform in which a community of programmers and developers can created widely different modules and libraries from, which will all work together, and indeed be able to enhance one another because they are all developed using this Common Stadard. Equal terms would equal API, Protocal etc.

Market: the Population of available, and interested users. Does not need to equate to money, only investment (such as time and effort investment into learning how to use a new thing).

Buy: As with Market, this does not necessarily refer to money, but can and does refer to time, money and space expenditures. Buy can also have a intelligence or mental meaning as in "Sure, I buy that" to express understanding or belief.

Now.. curriculum lining up to tests...  may or may not be accurate in the way that both Bill and myself understand it, but from observation over the last 12 years with NCLB it certainly appears to be the natural tendency demonstrated by thousands of teachers across the nation. This tendency has been criticized at many levels and from various degrees of experts, however Bill Gates and people like him, do not base development on "what should be" but rather "what is" and "what is" equals "Teachers teach to the tests.

Hopefully that will change in the coming years if Obama can ever get Congress to do their damn job and alter the ESEA as he has requested them to do over 50 times since 2008. Obama's requested alterations are :

Obama's Plan -- A fair accountability system that shares responsibility for improvement and rewards excellence, and that is based on high standards and is informed by sophisticated assessments that measure individual student growth;  A flexible system that empowers principals and teachers, and supports reform and innovation at the state and local level; And a system focused on the schools and the students most at risk -- that targets resources to persistently low-performing schools and ensures the most effective teachers serve students most in need.

NCLB Status Quo: Rely on unsophisticated bubble tests to grade students and schools.

The Obama Plan: Support better tests. The Obama Administration has invested $350 million to support states in their efforts to create more sophisticated assessment systems that measure problem solving and other 21st century skills and that will provide teachers will timely information to help them improve instruction.

Now, this next part you are probably unfamilier with, but Bill Gates is also very aware of, and influenced by the culture of OpenSource. He has invested a serious amount of money into attracting the OpenSource community to the Educational world.

However, this effort to attract the OSs has been extremely difficult because in the Educational community there have been no standards, no sameness -- everyone does their own thing across state lines and sometimes across district lines. 

Because of this there is very little intrinsic reward (being that good feeling you get when you have developed something that thousands of people enjoyed and used to improve their lives.. you know that feeling? Probably not.. but it is an amazing high... just take my word for it).  

So the talent and the willingness was there, but it has always been stunted by knowing that no matter how good your program or project was, the market base for it was atrophied by lack of population -- and next year, all of the standards you based your project on might be removed and replaced by something completely different -- so project lifetime was volatile as well.

Now.. looking at his "malicious and suspect" statement pulled out from Bill's speech..  Turn your attention to the wonder his foresight has created..

OER (Open Educational Resources)
https://www.oercommons.org/realizing-the-promise-of-the-common-core-together

Gates gave it a push, but then let it go. The community was hesitate for a long time, but it is growing by leaps and bounds now. There are 1000s of OER CCSS compatible lessons, books, modules, resources and even full curriculum available for teachers and schools across the nation -- 90% of them absolutely free. 

These projects are developed by PhDs, Educators, Scientists -- but also by hobbyist and novelist and artists. They are all peer reviewed, and critiqued for conformity to the Standards and effectiveness. Teachers who use them can post their own critiques, offer suggestions, make requests for changes, or additions. Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

That is just one site.

https://www.graphite.org/

There are at least twelve other huge hubs with 1000s of resources listed: Photos, recorded speeches, video, graphics, full software programs -- the list is growing even while I'm typing this.

This is the vision that Bill Gates had when David Coleman sat in his living room in 2007 and told Bill and Melinda about CCSS. This is what he is talking about, and if you watch him, in that video, he can barely contain his excitement,.. but at that time, the OSs haven't really invested into the idea yet so he is refraining from getting into this.

Bill Gates is a man, who if he finds $100 on the ground, loses money by stopping to pick it up, and people -- who seem oddly intelligent in other matters, are accusing him of Taking Over the Public School System for Profit. 

The  Money Market value of CCSS will have little meaning in five years -- how exactly did you believe Gates might make a profit off his $800 million current investment into the schools of the US? This premise is seriously flawed. For one thing, he has several other venues which deluge him daily with capital he can't spend fast enough now... he doesn't need to go after children's lunch money. Alright? 

If you (reader) are a teacher,  you might want to compose a thank you letter to Bill Gates, and Obama -- because Congress was just fine with letting you all go down in flames.  

If CCSS wasn't in place right now, last Tuesday (the 12th year mark of  ESEA) all of you teachers would have been fired, and the schools closed.. in every state. .. All of them. CCSS isn't a new way of teaching.. it is a reform for NCLB that qualifies and meets the requirements of the ESEA law, allowing Obama to keep the schools to continue for a few more years.

Think about that the next time you want to STOP CCSS from corrupting the schools...

.. just saying.





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