I’m home again, and being Saturday, I’m taking walks and just geeking out. I’ve made it a ways through my aggregator, popping in and out of things that I would normally write about. But, today, I just feel too lazy. This one broke through my mode filter. Published yesterday (May 29), eSchool News reports in Gates Foundation: Teachers Trump Class Size that,
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation spent billions of dollars exploring the idea that smaller high schools might result in higher graduation rates and better test scores. Instead, it found the key to better education is not necessarily smaller schools but more effective teachers. (( Staff, “Gates Foundation: Teachers trump class size .” eSchool News 29 May 2009 Web.30 May 2009. <http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/top-news/index.cfm?i=58946>. ))
Some issue is made of the fact that the B&MG foundation spent so much money to find out what most of us already knew. As L.A. Unified’s chief of staff, Jim Morris, is quoted in the article, “Every teacher matters…”
I think that the new CEO of B&MG, Jeff Raikes, makes a good point. We can’t really expect business to willing try things and fail. It’s not in their short term interest. And in the political environment of the past few decades, U.S. tax payers won’t stand for public dollars going into experiementing with education. Who’s left?
Of course, if every teacher matters, and every classroom matters, then perhaps that’s where the power to innovate should be placed, in the hands of that teacher — funded by those who have the greatest interest in an educated future — everyone?
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