OP-ED: Bill Gates, Trojan Horses, & Atlanta Public Schools

Author asked, "Inclement weather as a Trojan Horse to implement Bill Gates’ technology-dependent common standards?"

Atlanta Public Schools. Credit: Patch file
Atlanta Public Schools. Credit: Patch file
By Ed Johnson

In Why Bill Gates Defends the Common Core,” Jack Hassard, Professor Emeritus of Science Education at Georgia State University, offers:

“There is a growing body of evidence that the Common Standards are not the solution to make America more competitive, to make kids smarter in math, reading and science, and any of the other ills that have been cast upon the education system. I’ve reported on this blog that independent research questions the efficacy of a standard-based approach to education as it is now conceived. The standards-based system is a top-down authoritarian system that disregards the professional decision-making ability of classroom teachers. I’ve reported research by Wallace that shows that this authoritarian accountability system is a barrier to teaching and learning.”

And in “Is Technology the Trojan Horse of the Common Standard’s Movement?,” Prof. Hassard offers:

“It is quite clear that Gates is investing (his term) in technology in schools.  It’s no surprise. But we must keep in mind the word technology is a seductive term, especially when used in the context of schools.  But the history of top-down technology projects has not served classroom teachers very well.  Too often, the technology is used to replace what was already going on in classrooms, or to use a tablet as a textbook.”

Now, consider this:

“Atlanta Public Schools has developed a comprehensive plan to increase time and opportunity for students to receive the critical instruction lost this school year during the district’s six inclement weather days.”

APS Launches Virtual Classroom for All Students - Reported by East Atlanta Patch

Inclement weather as a Trojan Horse to implement Bill Gates’ technology-dependent common standards?

Mr. Johnson, a resident of Atlanta's Cascade community, is an education. He can be reached at advocate.edwjohnson@aol.

Jack Hassard is Emeritus Professor of Science Education at Georgia State University. See more from him at http://artofteachingscience.org.


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