Fast Moves with Fast Cash: the New Cure-All for Education!

3 May

Just don't read the small print.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is pairing up with the Pearson Foundation to fund a new curriculum for schools! Yee-haw!

The project will develop a comprehensive, 24 course curriculum in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The curriculum will, of course, follow the Common Core Standards and include digital resources, tools for professional development, and (get ready for this!) pre-fabricated assessments. How wonderful!

Of course, only 4 of the 24 courses developed will be offered for free. The rest can be purchased through Pearson, one of the largest corporations making money off public and private education.

So. Parents, principals, teachers, students, superintendents: LISTEN UP. The political atmosphere is fast evolving. We now want the underfunded schools in shut-down crisis’ to shell out some fast cash for a program developed to do what teachers are already professionally trained to do better. But as we all know, four years of education at accredited colleges and universities doesn’t mean as much as the hot-shots throwing down money on untested programs and curriculum.

AND OF COURSE curriculum is the problem in education and adopting (i.e. PURCHASING) a shiny new one from a wealthy entity will stick a snappy band-aid over the wound. Classrooms with thirty or more kids? Not the issue. Teachers without current textbooks or classroom materials? Nope. More students with learning exceptionalities per class than a teacher can effectively address? Move on. Ineffective management spending money in the wrong places? Old news. No local, individualized comprehensive evaluation system to keep the good teachers in and the bad teachers out? Boring! Massive unions providing protection for the good seeds AND the bad? Definitely NOT the issue. What we need is something new; we need a solution that creates a new problem instead of addressing the old ones!

What happens when this curriculum does not work and schools are still facing all the same issues as before?

I know! You can always transfer your kid to the brand-spanking-new charter school next door – that is, if your kid is the right color crayon for the box. Good luck with vouchers.

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