Gates and Zuckerberg Partner on New Ed Project, What Could Go Wrong?

The Associated Press reports that Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg will team up for an education initiative focused on kids who have trouble learning.

What could possibly go wrong?

The AP’s Sally Ho writes:

Tech moguls Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday they will team up to help develop new methods for kids with trouble learning — an effort that will include dabbling into child brain science.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative intend to explore a number of potential pilot projects.

They’ll focus on math, writing and brain functions — key areas of classroom learning that they note are crucial for academic success.

The effort is now seeking information and ideas from across sectors, from education and academia to business, technology and medicine. Future investments based on that information are expected, but no dollar amount has been set.

The idea that disadvantaged children struggle to learn because of poor executive brain function involving memory, thinking flexibility, and behavioral issues related to autism and other attention disorders has long been lamented by social workers and health advocates.

Read the rest.

Yes, exactly what we want to see, tech moguls exploring child brain science and collecting “information” ie. data to determine future investments.

They say technology won’t be the primary focus, but they recognize the role it will play. What role? How much screen time will this require?

So what kind of experimentation will need to happen for them to know if their ideas will work? How much data mining will it require? How will this then be foisted on public schools?

If their ideas trickle down into local schools will parents be made aware or will the kids be subject to experimentation similar to what Pearson recently did with college students?

What independent group will validate the results or will they be Gates-funded as well?

Where will investments be directed beyond research? Advocacy?

Since Common Core is a failure why in the world should we trust anything that comes from Bill Gates? With Zuckerberg’s involvement, why should we trust that privacy will be protected?

3 thoughts on “Gates and Zuckerberg Partner on New Ed Project, What Could Go Wrong?

  1. They are trying to reinvent the wheel only this time they want it to lay golden eggs. Bridges Out of Poverty and Parents Educating Parents are examples of organizations that already have the research and work to mitigate the issues. No technology will change the problem…just good ol’ fashioned differentiated instruction and simple things like dialogue with young children and reading to kids. Not rocket science.

  2. Bill Gates has never concerned himself with poor people. Crackpot ideas about helping “Africa” by altering genes to produce Holstein cows https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2018-04-10/gene-editing-good as well as Common Core educational disaster forced down throats that may have cost us a generation of real scientists …

    Some have accused Bill Gates of experimenting with people.

    No, Gates is no friend of the poor. Zuckerberg either. Reuters reports that the government of India cut ties with Gates’ charity, obviously seeing something in his approach that warranted caution – https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-health-bmgf/india-cuts-some-funding-ties-with-gates-foundation-on-immunization-idUSKBN15N13K

    All his charity needs to be carefully watched especially when it comes to the public. These are not resources that belong to him.

  3. What I see on this web site is a good start, but education reform and organizations need to hire teachers who have had time in the classroom, and not just liberal arts teacher, but a good blend of teachers including technical/vocational, and career education teachers. Too often education reformers appear to be more about having a job where they can soapbox what worked for them as students, and not about what will work with students who may learn differently. Not all students need to be on a college trajectory, yet this is what a primarily white middle class reform industry prescribes. MANY students will be better served if they leave their education experience with a marketable skill and prospects for a job with a livable wage. Not all of us need to be part of an erudite ivy league

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