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Gates Foundation Announces Drone-Driven Teacher Evaluation

NOTE: Substance provides up-to-the-minute photos and further information here.

Seattle--The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation today announced a significant partnership with the AFT and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute to ensure a highly qualified teacher in every classroom. The disbursal of $148 million in grants will help hundreds of thousands of teachers significantly increase their day-to-day outputs so they can ensure that tomorrow's workers have the necessary skills to compete in the global economy.

According to a press release issued by the Gates Foundation, the AFT and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, these three have entered a ground-breaking partnership to evaluate teachers utilizing the drone technology that has revolutionized warfare in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. A bird-size device floats up to 400 feet above a classroom and instantly beams live video of teachers in action to agents at desks at Teacher Quality Inspection Stations established by the AFT and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

When asked if the drones were authorized to drop bombs on teachers who exhibit inadequacy, Chester E. Finn, Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, replied, "Don't be ridiculous. Gates money puts other methods at our disposal."

Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.5-million-member American Federation of Teachers said the powerful union has signed on to the drone project because it is In keeping with our mission of improving the quality of the services we provide."

Weingarten noted that the unmanned aircraft currently patrol the border with Mexico, flying into hurricanes to collect weather data, photographing traffic accident scenes. She said that once the invisible eyes become routine, they'll help teachers improve the delivery of their craft.

A spokesman for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute noted that Gates funds will allow sophisticated robotics to use artificial intelligence to seek out and record teachers' delivery of Common Core standards-based instruction. "These are a valuable tool in ensuring a global economy-competitive workforce."

Finn, Jr., emphasized, "As we asked in our [Gates funded] seminal report Now What?
Imperatives & Options for Common Core Implementation & Governance
"Do we entrust "implementation" of the Common Core entirely to individual states, districts, and the marketplace?. . . Do we create a powerful interstate body to ensure that the new standards are implemented in actual classrooms and real lesson plans in schools across the country?"

Vicki Phillips, Gates education director, noted We at Gates are going to be relentless about acquiring quality data and the need to focus on evidence-based decision making. And we will go where the evidence takes us.

Melinda French Gates added, Evidence gives you argument for action. When you have it you know what works and what doesn't.

A Gates source not wishing to be identified acknowledged that drone technology will put the needed teeth into the Common Core Standards. "No one can hide from us," she said.


— Susan Ohanian
Eggplant

2011-01-24


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