In Part I, we discussed the size and scope of the Gates Foundation, and it's subjective approach to reform. In this part we'll take a closer look at his current effort to promote corporate education reforms.
Gates is now moving on to his next article of faith in his quest to reform public education - attacking teacher seniority and professional education requirements. If it's not the school structure, it must be the teacher to blame goes the new thinking.
After the Small Schools Initiative debacle, Gates hired a new leader, Vicki Phillips, who in turn hired Tom Kane. Kane had authored a study using high stakes testing results, which concluded that "Teachers who ranked in the bottom quarter after their first two years in the classroom should be fired."
Gates, with this flawed study in hand, set about deploying his checkbook to cash strapped school districts prepared to take a gamble. One such district is Hillsbrough County Public Schools in Florida. Hillsbrough agreed to, among many other provisions, "Empower principals in the recruitment and dismissal of teachers based on performance".
The corporate reform doesn't stop there however, the distrcit also hired 2 outsiders, at some expense to assist with the 7 year reform implementation
The two candidates being recommended are Jamal Jenkins, a former Chrysler executive who worked in human resources and has experience as a recruiter, and Donald Dellavia, a former plant manager for the H.J. Heinz Co.
If you're wondering what an executive from a bankrupt car company, and a ketchup plant manager can offer public education, you're probably not alone.
In our final Part, we'll take a look at some of the other efforts the Gates Foundation is making, including those in Ohio.