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This week, our exchange is focused on these questions: What is the purpose of K-12 education? How do we think about college and career readiness? How do the Common Core Standards fit in? This post is a response to one posted yesterday, authored by Irvin Scott of the Gates Foundation. This post can also be viewed and commented upon at theGates Foundation's Impatient Optimists blog.
Irvin Scott of the Gates Foundation has given us some vivid images of the students he taught, and sincerely described the fervent desire that motivates every teacher - that we help those children entrusted to us reach their fullest potential. That is a drive that transcends this debate. And there we have common ground as educators.
However, when it comes to the broader strategy of the Gates Foundation, there remain some tough questions. The thrust of the Gates Foundation's approach is captured in this paragraph from Irvin Scott:
But we need all hands on deck when it comes to addressing poverty: we need there to be efforts laser focused on fixing the root causes of inequality that happen outside of school and we need efforts to focus on creating opportunity for all students in the classroom. By focusing on graduating college-ready students, we are empowering kids to have choices and opportunities that they otherwise would not have.