Thursday, June 12, 2014

Gates Foundation, heal thyself.

I find a couple of things interesting about the Gates Foundation's willingness to delay common core testing as an instrument of teacher evaluation.

First, how come Microsoft isn't subject to a rigorous annual evaluation of its performance by way of an instrument like an annual test?  And don't go off with the blah blah about how the market does the assessing of Microsoft.  Part of a large firm's incentive array is to acquire monopoly--or at least oligopoly--power, so as to be able to shape and direct the market in which it operates.  If you think Microsoft hasn't done some of that, you're not paying close enough attention.

No, a better "test" would be to compel Microsoft (the entity?, its employees?, Bill Gates?) to sit down and take some sort of examination, on paper with pencil no less (i.e., outside their "natural" realm, as the visually mind boggling computer test will be with respect to our efforts to measure reading performance).  It would be a test of--you know--correct spelling, sentence structure, grammar, and, to top it off, satire recognition.

Second, it's more than a bit vexing that the company hocking the mind-degrading XBox is the very same company so closely associated with a fellow who wants us to take him seriously when he speaks about education.

Hey Gates Foundation, you want to do something good for education, help rid the world of XBox and like things.

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