You can help the Book Wish Foundation build a library for refugees from Darfur. A $2 donation buys a brick. The library will require 5,000 bricks.
New York City’s hedge fund multimillionaires are backing charter schools, reports the New York Times.
“If you’re at a hedge fund, this is definitely the hot cause,” said Joe Williams, the executive director of Democrats for Education Reform, a nonprofit group that lobbies for charters and is financed by hedge fund heavies. “These are the kind of guys who a decade ago would have been spending their time angling to get on the junior board of the Met, the ballet.”
. . . Charter schools appeal to the maverick instincts of many who run hedge funds.
. . . “At heart we are still the kids who in eighth grade were in the backyard doing science experiments while the cool kids were at football practice,” said (Ravenal) Curry, 43.
Many of the city’s charter schools share space with district-run public schools that can’t fill a building. There’s a lot of conflict over space — who gets to use the library? — and jealousy because the charters may use private funding and flexibility to pay for smaller classes, technology, new learning materials, cleaner classrooms and a longer school day.
Charter managers can’t scale up quickly enough, writes Tom Toch. Yes, that’s a huge challenge.
Note that Gates isn’t shooting for 100 percent and that his foundation is focusing on helping community college students complete a certificate or two-year degree.
The foundation will replicate “the school models that worked the best,” almost all of which are charter schools, Gates writes.
Many states have limits on charter schools, including giving them less funding than other schools. Educational innovation and overall improvement will go a lot faster if the charter school limits and funding rules are changed.
Good schools “help their teachers be more effective in the classroom,” he writes.
. . . our new strategy focuses on learning why some teachers are so much more effective than others and how best practices can be spread throughout the education system so that the average quality goes up. We will work with some of the best teachers to put their lectures online as a model for other teachers and as a resource for students.
Nelson Smith is happy about the plug for charter schools.
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