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Laurene Jobs Awards $10M To Pet Charter School Network of Zuckerberg, Gates 51

theodp writes: The XQ Institute -- a nonprofit backed by Laurene Powell Jobs (Steve's widow) -- announced the winners of its $100 million competition (Warning: may be paywalled) to rethink the American high school this week. Among the 10 lucky schools winning a $10M grant was Summit Elevate ("a new high school planning to open in Fall 2018"), part of the Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg-supported Summit Charter Schools network (HP CEO Meg Whitman is on Summit's Board). In announcing the grant, XQ praised Basecamp, Summit's personalized learning software platform that was developed by Facebook engineers, which Bill Gates has spent $1+ million on to get schools to adopt it (the NY Times characterized the Facebook-Summit partnership as "more of a ground-up effort to create a national demand for student-driven learning in schools"). U.S. education, it seems, is becoming The Game of Billionaires -- at last May's NewSchools Venture Summit, former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (now working for Jobs) was interviewed by former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education and Gates Foundation Program Director Jim Shelton (now working for Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan).
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Laurene Jobs Awards $10M To Pet Charter School Network of Zuckerberg, Gates

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Summit Elevate deserves the award and recognition.

  • "Pet charter school"? That seems to say the submitter thinks this isn't a good idea.

    Dude. If someone want to shake up education to try something new, and wants to give a boat load of money - what's not to love?

    What if this turns up something that works better?
    What if it doesn't, and all we get is rich people giving money towards educating a bunch of children?

    • Dude. If someone want to shake up education to try something new, and wants to give a boat load of money - what's not to love?

      ... and if they team up with some billionaires, it means their effort is more likely to be successful, and more likely to make a difference.

      This looks like a smart and logical move, despite the submitters attempt to manufacture outrage.

      There is a Summit HS in my city, San Jose. My kids don't attend it, but some neighbors do, and they are very happy with it.

      • by hondo77 ( 324058 )

        ... and if they team up with some billionaires, it means their effort is more likely to be successful, and more likely to make a difference.

        Why is that? Because billionaires are infallible?

        • Why is that? Because billionaires are infallible?

          They tend to be less fallible than non-billionaires. Bill and Mark didn't get to be billionaires by winning the lottery. They made some smart decisions, hired good people, and built successful organizations. Also, they have a lot of money, and that can sometimes help make projects successful

      • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

        Dude. If someone want to shake up education to try something new, and wants to give a boat load of money - what's not to love?

        ... and if they team up with some billionaires, it means their effort is more likely to be successful, and more likely to make a difference.

        A difference in de-professionalizing education and bringing teachers to the same level as barista's at Starbucks. A difference in funneling hundreds of billions in public dollars into the blood funnels of the leisure class, because already bei

    • They exist to turn a profit. Education should not be for profit. They are literally filter feeders and the kids get what's left over.

      I work in K-12. I've seen both sides first hand including hybrids. Public schools could be better but Charters are a step back.

      They're essentially the same as the privatized prisons only they can cherry pick their inmates to look better than they are while cutting as many corners as possible.

      • I work in K-12.

        ... and likely a member of a teacher's union with a vested interest in the current lack of accountability.

        they can cherry pick their inmates

        Charter schools in most states are required to select their students using a public random lottery. There is no "cherry picking".

        Free advice: By referring to students as "inmates", you don't sound like you have much objective credibility. You would be more persuasive if you avoided that sort of language. Focus on swaying the audience, not insulting your opponents.

        • Charter schools in most states are required to select their students using a public random lottery. There is no "cherry picking".

          But what are the rules on the charter schools kicking out "disruptive" kids?

        • by waspleg ( 316038 )

          ... and likely a member of a teacher's union with a vested interest in the current lack of accountability.

          I work in IT. No unions. Vested interest? Yea. I'd be out of a job (again - it's not like it doesn't happen anyway). I made that pretty clear I didn't pretend to be completely objective.

          I also work in schools that are already partially charters where the charter can fail under the public school name. I've also seen several failed charter schools roll back in to public and be even worse than they were before they went charter in the first place because of state DoE intervention.

          Charter schools in most states are required to select their students using a public random lottery. There is no "cherry picking".

          Not in my state. Someone else

      • They exist to turn a profit. Education should not be for profit.

        Some are run by 501(c)3 non-profits. But even then, I found one organization that operates 2 charter schools and it had a full-time (40 hours/week) attorney on the payroll. Why?

      • If they really wanted to help, they'd spend the money commissioning the writing of textbooks that anyone can print, copy, or download in ePub format for free. As it is, schools have two options - keep using outdated text books, or spend money on textbooks by taking it out of the budget somewhere else.

        And unlike this project, free textbooks can be scaled out across the nation instead of just a few areas. And save kids the hassle and danger [scmp.com] of spinal [webmd.com] damage [nytimes.com] of carrying a ton of books.

      • by jcr ( 53032 )

        Education should not be for profit.

        Why not? What makes it any different from any other service?

        -jcr

    • Dude. If someone want to shake up education to try something new, and wants to give a boat load of money - what's not to love?

      There have been charter schools for over a decade and they suck even worse than public schools. They're little more than a siphon for moving wealth upwards. Even worse, they're bringing down successful public schools. If you want to fix schools, you have to disconnect their funding from property taxes.

      http://www.businessinsider.com... [businessinsider.com]

      http://www.slate.com/blogs/sch... [slate.com]

      • There have been charter schools for over a decade and they suck even worse than public schools.

        Charter schools get similar results as public schools. They sometimes do better, and sometimes not ... but they do it for less money. Since they tend to be in low income neighborhoods, with limited budgets, the cost effectiveness is important.

        They're little more than a siphon for moving wealth upwards.

        Nonsense. Charter schools are most popular where the public schools are the worst, which is mostly low income areas. They help the poor the most, because the poor are the losers in the traditional public schools system.

        The city with the most charters schools is New

  • Theodp, we need to do something about this! If they educate these kids, they are going to take out jerbs!!!
  • more COLLEGE FOR ALL HS's is not what we need!.

    We need more of an trades / apprenticeship push at least as choice so are not sending so many kids into an 4+ year loan. With very mixed out comes on real work place skills.

    • Very mixed? I find it to be pretty consistent. The majority were retards going in and are retards coming out.

  • What's with rich people any more? They're all giving hundreds of millions to each others' charities and patting themselves on the back. At least Donald Trump has the right idea. You get people to donate to your foundation, put most of it right in your pocket, give your wife and kids a little taste, bribe some state attorneys general to not prosecute you for fraud, and then use the rest to buy a six-foot oil painting of your self. That's the kind of avarice I can relate to as a patriotic American.

    https: [washingtonpost.com]

  • Can't we make them pay taxes, instead of letting them directing money wherever they feel it is good? This is a new form of aristocracy.
    • Absolutely! How dare hey spend their own money in noble causes that they select without government mandate!

      • Remember that tax spending is supposed to be directed toward citizen general interest, which is supposed to be determined by democratic process.

        There are two "supposed" in above sentence because the system is heavily corrupted in some countries. But letting a few select people decide where money should go has even less chance to serve the general interest. Key point is that people who decide cannot ever be revoked if citizen are unhappy about their decisions.

      • Absolutely! How dare hey spend their own money in noble causes that they select without government mandate!

        That's fine with me, so long as you give the poor access to the same mechanisms. I should be able to specify that my tax money will not be spent on bombing brown people for oil, for example.

        • Whoosh.

          The solution to government control and burocracy is not more government control and burocracy.
          Non-rich people can, and do, give to charitable causes. If you consider donating time as a non-zero valued item, the poor and middle class give far more to charitable causes than the rich.

          Your need to stop thinking that government is the only answer.

  • by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Friday September 16, 2016 @11:52PM (#52906033)

    U.S. education, it seems, is becoming The Game of Billionaires.

    Public education as it exists in America today was instituted by the robber barons for the purpose of producing compliant, unimaginative, mentally and experientially stunted citizens [youtube.com] to constitute an easily managed, reflexively obedient industrial workforce [youtube.com] that would have insufficient independence and free thought to upset the long range plans and investments of the industrialists.

    Charter schools supported and molded by the likes of Gates, Zuckerberg, and Jobs are just the latest manifestation of a century-old ongoing process in which the ultra-rich manipulate the minds and vocations of the rest of the population.

    I strongly recommend reading Gatto's "The Underground History of American Education", (available as a PDF file here [tripod.com]) - I found it to be an eye-opening experience. 'Sheeple' get a lot of grief here on Slashdot; Gatto's work explains why there are so many of them. You might also discover that you have a lot more in common with those sheeple than you realize - I know I did.

  • U.S. education, it seems, is becoming The Game of Billionaires.

    Public education as it exists in America today was instituted by the robber barons for the purpose of producing compliant, unimaginative, mentally and experientially stunted citizens [youtube.com] to constitute an easily managed, reflexively obedient industrial workforce [youtube.com] that would have insufficient independence and free thought to upset the long range plans and investments of the industrialists.

    Charter schools supported and molded by the likes of Gates, Zuckerberg, and Jobs are just the latest manifestation of a century

  • Meg Whitman got fired years ago!
    I agree with the other comments, charter schools are parasites.
    Alternatives in education need to be part of the system, not an alternative.
    Of course that means actually funding schools properly.
    that seems to be a real problem for some people. I don't have kids, and I have no problem paying the slightly outrageous school taxes. does help property value.
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