Mercedes Schneider came across a speech
that Bill Gates gave to state legislators in 2009
. It
lays out the blueprint for everything that has happened in
education since then. Forget what you learned in civics class.
Gates gave legislators their marching orders. Duncan already had
his marching orders. Gates laid out $2.3 billion to create and
promote the Common Core standards. His buddy Arne handed out $350
million to test Bill’s standards. All the other pieces are there:
Charter schools should replace failure factories. He is a true
believer in charter magic. (We now know that charters get the same
results when they have the same students.) Longitudinal data
systems should be created to track students. (A parent rebellion
seems to have put this on the back burner for now, although
everyone seems to be mining student data, from Pearson to the SAT
to the ACT.) The teacher is the key to achievement (although real
research says the family and family income dwarfs teacher effects).
Here is the man behind the curtain, the man who loves data and
measurement, not children. Lock the doors, townspeople. Bill Gates
wants to measure everything about your children! Ask yourself, if
this guy made $60,000 a year, would anyone listen to him?

After this blog was posted, two privacy activists–Allison White
and Leonie Haimson advised me that the collection of confidential
data about children is going forward, thanks to Arne Duncan’s
loosening of privacy rights under FERPA, the legislation designed
to prevent data mining. They write: “Actually at least 44 states
including NY are going forward with their internal P20 Longitudinal
data systems – as required by federal law – which will track kids
from cradle to the grave and collect their personal data from a
variety of state agencies.” Leonie Haimson is leader of Class Size
Matters and Prvacy Matters Allison Breidbart White is Co-author,
Protect NY State School Children Petition Please sign and share the

ALSO: I transposed the numbers describing what the Gates Foundation spent on Common Core: it was $2.3 billion, not $3.2 billion. A billion here, a billion there, soon you are talking real money (I think I am paraphrasing long-gone Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois, but who knows?)