More than any other person, with the possible exception of President Obama and Secretary Duncan, Bill Gates controls American education. He has promoted charter schools (a passion he shares with ALEC, Obama, and every rightwing governor); VAM; high-stakes testing; Common Core; and whatever promotes free-market fundamentalism. His billions are the tiller that guides the ship.

Anthony Cody reproduces an interview in which Gates shows zero knowledge of how his pet reforms have failed. He shows no recognition of charter scandals or the effect of charters on the public schools who lose their top students and funding. He seems unaware that VAM has failed everywhere.

Cody points out that Gates uses the same talking points he used years ago. He lauds mayoral control and cites NYC and Chicago as successful school systems (he dropped DC from his standard line about the glories of top-down decision making).

What comes clear is that he doesn’t care about evidence or lives in a bubble where sycophants protect him from bad news.

It is time for him to stop meddling in school reform. His efforts, though well intentioned, have failed. The backlash will grow as parents react against Gates’ obsession with testing and free market economics.

You can meet Anthony Cody at the following events:

“Note: I will be doing three Educator and Oligarch book talks this week, starting Weds. May 13, at Copperfield’s Books in San Rafael, California, then on to Spokane, Washington on Thursday, May 14, and wrapping up the series in Seattle, Washington on Friday, May 15. All events are free and open to the public.”