Lawmakers Still Pushing “Personalized Learning” Despite Huge Problems

The corporate technology push of machine-based skills training continues to march across the nation. This effort goes by the names such as “competency-based education” (CBE), “personalized learning,” and “mastery education.” It has been well described by Jane Robbins, Peter Greene, here and in this space. The latest is a bill in Florida that seeks to expand what was supposed to be a five-year pilot project for four school districts and the University of Florida experimental school to all 67 Florida school districts after only two and a half years. This expansion is problematic, not only because of an absence of

DeVos’ Swiss Agreement Overlooks Deep Problems with School-to-Work Model

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, along with the Secretaries of Labor and Commerce, recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Swiss government to collaborate in the area of workforce development. Secretary DeVos visited Switzerland in June of this year and was highly complementary of their school-to-work (STW) system, saying that there was much the U.S. could learn from the Swiss. On her U.S. Department of Education blog announcing the agreement, she also listed 15 facts about the Swiss apprenticeship program. The first fact was that these Swiss students are spending a minority of time learning academics: Most Swiss

Common Core Has Utterly Failed — But These Supporters Won’t Let It Go

This article was originally posted at Townhall. Proponents of the failed and destructive Common Core experiment refuse to let it go. Bill Gates, who funded a large chunk of Common Core development and marketing despite knowing essentially nothing about education, has yet to admit that it simply didn’t work out. Gates apparently believes there’s nothing wrong with Common Core that more of his money and invaluable guidance can’t fix. The same obtuseness animates a new report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, which for some reason the press generally refers to as “conservative” or “right-leaning.” Fordham’s schtick for some years has been evaluating and assigning

Bill Gates Education Experiment Fails Again, Taxpayers Foot $300 Million Bill

A new report by the Rand Corporation evaluating yet another Bill Gates education debacle — this time for teacher evaluation — was discussed recently in both Forbes by Rick Hess and Bloomberg by Cathy O’Neil. Shane Vander Hart at Truth in American Education also analyzed the Bloomberg piece. This Gates boondoggle spent $575 million (of which only $212 million came from the Gates Foundation) on three public school districts and four charter management organizations: Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) in Florida, encompassing Tampa Memphis City Schools (MCS) in Tennessee Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) in Pennsylvania Alliance College-Ready Public Schools Aspire

The Student Data Grabbers Are Back in Washington — And They Want More

Despite Bill Gates tacit admission that his Common Core experiment failed (which is true of every other education experiment he has tried), he and his data grabbing grantees in academia and foundations along with allies in the federal government are still after our children’s data like a crack addict after his next hit. Last week, Gates announced that the next $1.7 billion he will spend on education will be heavily focused on student data collection. Now, Professor Morgan Polikoff — an education professor and researcher whose work on implementing Common Core and developing assessment-based teacher accountability systems (a huge failure) is

Insanity: After Repeated Failures, Bill Gates to Spend $1.7 Billion More on Education

One commonly used definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Bill Gates, the billionaire education philanthropist, has spent hundreds of millions of dollars remaking education according to his philosophy but exempting his own children from his “reforms.” He apparently sees that definition applying only to mere mortals and not to himself. According to Valerie Strauss of The Washington Post, despite admitting multiple major failures of his efforts, he plans to spend another $1.7 billion over five years, with 85 percent going to traditional public school districts and 15 percent going to charter

Bill Gates Thinks Twitter Destroyed Common Core

Apparently, Bill Gates thinks that the pro-Common Core movement was derailed by online comments consisting of 140 characters or less — what most people know as tweets. This, presumably, is why his foundation paid for this recent study (on top of the $2.3 billion he has already invested into Common Core) analyzing the amount of artificial activity on Twitter opposing Common Core. The study claims the activity managed to “skew” the debate. Tweets destroying Common Core has to be the most creative excuse that I’ve heard regarding the workforce development model’s failure — at least more creative than the original

Frustrated Jeb Bush Still Won’t Give Up on Common Core

Jeb Bush is disgruntled. The grand Common Core edifice is crumbling around him, and he can do little other than lash out at the people responsible. He did so last week in a forum held at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he has spent several weeks co-teaching a class on education reform. During the 93-minute conversation, Bush advocated a number of reform-y ideas, such as school choice (the tax money should follow the child), digital learning (technology should be “integral to the learning experience”), expanded preschool (with training for teachers to handle “every interaction with a four-year-old”), and