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Submission + - Gates Foundation Readies New 5-Year, $1.7B U.S. K-12 Public Education Experiment

theodp writes: "Bill Gates has a(nother) plan for K-12 public education," writes the Washington Post's Valerie Strauss. "The others didn’t go so well, but the man, if anything, is persistent. Gates announced Thursday that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would spend more than $1.7 billion over the next five years to pay for new initiatives in public education, with all but 15 percent of it going to traditional public school districts and the rest to charter schools. {...} He said most of the new money — about 60 percent — will be used to develop new curriculums and 'networks of schools' that work together to identify local problems and solutions, using data to drive 'continuous improvement.' {...} Education philanthropy is a time-recognized tradition in the United States, though it has become increasingly popular among America’s superwealthy since Gates started in 2000. This has raised questions about whether American democracy is well-served by wealthy people pouring so much money into pet education projects — regardless of whether they are grounded in research — that public policy and funding follow. That concern has been directed most pointedly at Gates, because his foundation has spent the most by far on education philanthropy, and because he was pivotal in advancing some of the controversial priorities of the Obama administration’s Education Department. Gates has underwritten a number of projects that have had less-than-desired results, which he has conceded over the years as he moves from one to another, sometimes acknowledging mistakes made."
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Gates Foundation Readies New 5-Year, $1.7B U.S. K-12 Public Education Experiment

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