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NATIONAL STANDARDS: Brought To You By The Gates Foundation? [updated 4x]

Mongohorse People ask me all the time whether the big education foundations -- Gates, Broad, et al -- have too much influence over the districts where they are funding initiatives, and my usual response has been "no."  But if Gates develops national standards and tests, which is apparently its next big move, that might change things. 

I support national standards and tests, and I'm as impatient as everyone else.  But Gates-made national standards creep me out a little bit.  I'd rather the states or the USDE develop the tests than the Gates Foundation do it.  Give the Obama administration a chance to do something.  (Or at least have Achieve do it.) Then again, I'd rather have standards than the current mishmash of uneven and generally low-level state standards.

UPDATE:  I didn't see it until now, but check out Eduwonkette's post on this from last night:  Bill Gates, U.S. Superintendent of Schools.

UPDATE 2:  According to the Gates website update which includes the speeches, the Common State Standards Coalition is going to be the vehicle through which this would happen.  But there are no results on Google for what that is, so I can't tell you what that means. 

UPDATE 3:  Robert Pondisco at the Core Knowledge blog says "bring it on."

UPDATE 4:  Best tidbit yet.  Elizabeth Green apparently crashed the Gates event uninvited.  Kudos to her for going and getting in. A little more critical distance next time, please?  (Gates announcement A-list, continued: So many power players!, Gates will fight for national standards and make national tests).  Gates et al already have enough cheerleaders. 


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