The insightful and entertaining Gnats Grobnik is back, and he's not at all impressed with the Gates high school transformation effort -- especially given its resemblance(?) to CASE and the structured curriculum project of just a few years ago.
What exactly is there to be excited about in the Gates Foundation's new
curriculum grant? Is it the number--$21 million? That's a lot of money,
somewhere on the order of the Mega Millions Lottery jackpot after a few
weeks without a winner. No, I don't think so. The Chicago Reading
Initiative rates more than twice that in the proposed Board of Ed
budget for 06-07, and it doesn't even exist anymore.
Is it the
idea of a standardized, rigorous curriculum? Hardly. The content-based
CASE exams and the related "Structured Curriculum Project" are still
warm in their graves. No, I doubt that's it either.
possible that there is nothing worth getting excited about here at all?
Is it even possible that a terminal sort of lunacy has set in at the
highest levels in response to the repeated failure of government
policies and private initiatives to improve urban education on a broad
scale, in a meaningful and repeatable way? It is tempting to suspect
that this is the first step in the Gates Foundation's attempt to cut
its losses and abandon its school reform project.
Filed under: Foundation Follies