I find it bitterly hilarious that every single precept of the education “reform” movement is collapsing in the face of studies showing its ineffectiveness. Thus, the Gates Foundation’s multi-million dollar effort to improve student outcomes by making teachers’ lives living hell being shown to have almost no effect at all.
Before this latest pivot, Gates had devoted at least $700 million to its teacher-quality agenda, including a massive, three-year study of how to measure effective teaching that concluded in 2013. That prior study—the results of which were incorporated into this more-recent partnership work—demonstrated that great teaching can be identified through classroom observations, student surveys, and student test scores.
However, the singular focus on teacher effectiveness in the partnership work might be one reason student achievement didn’t improve, Stecher said.
“This suggests that focusing on [teacher effectiveness] alone is not likely to be the potent sort of intervention that really moves the needle on student outcomes,” he said, adding that maybe factors like early-childhood education, family support, and child nutrition also need to be addressed to make a significant impact on student performance.
You don’t say! You mean the problem with American education is poverty? Kids living through domestic violence? Kids lacking nutrition? Who fucking knew! Glad Gates spent $700 million discovering that the only way to fix education is to fix poverty and racism. It’s not like he could have discovered that before he spent the money by just asking people. Or, I don’t know, watching Season 4 of The Wire. Speaking of which, I love how David Simon went after charter schools scammers long before it was cool to do so, back when they were supported by internet liberals, not only in The Wire, but in Treme, even as it was a relatively minor theme in Season 2.
But then those solutions don’t fit the profiteers behind charter schools or the privatizers who hate public goods. No money to be made fighting poverty!