The Gates Foundation is considering expanding their educational funding initiatives in California. Fresno Unified and Long Beach Unified have been awarded with a three-year $5 million grant to improve training in math and English language arts. The Foundation will decide by late spring if they will expand their initiative to include programs that affect up to 30 percent of California’s 6 million school children.
This year California districts have been given $1.25 billion to prepare for Common Core assessments that arrive next year. Shalvey, a former superintendent of the San Carlos School District, said he was impressed with how Fresno and Long Beach have worked with unions and teacher leaders to personalize professional development. The Gates Foundation prefers to work with collaborative networks as it feels that it leads to the most effective outcomes.
The Gates Foundation has invested heavily in Common Core and wants teachers evaluated based of the test scores. The Foundation would like to see teacher evaluations tied to testing results to a greater degree. If Gates decides to fund California, we will probably see combined efforts from many that have been underwriting the successful implementation of Common Core. If California gets Common Core right, that is a big message to the nation, said Shalvey.
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