EducationSuperhighway (ESH), a nonprofit organization, claims that public school student lack digital skills such as basic computing and want to work with San Francisco school districts to pave the way for high-speed broadband.
With $100 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and Mark Zuckerberg, Startup: Education will come to fruition.
Zuckerberg said: “When schools and teachers have access to reliable Internet connections, students can discover new skills and ideas beyond the classroom. The future of our economy and society depend largely on the next generation using and building new online tools and services, and I’m glad to support EducationSuperHighway’s work.”
According to testing offered by ESH, 70% of participating students, teachers and schools have been identified as needing broadband.
Evan Marwell, chief executive officer for ESH said: “Schools are overpaying for their broadband. This particular problem as it’s really solvable.”
Earlier this year, BMGF funded the Measures of Effective Teaching Project (MET) which brings together volunteers and researchers “to build and test measures of effective teaching to find out how evaluation methods could best be used to tell teachers more about the skills that make them most effective and to help districts identify and develop great teaching.”
MET recognizes that teachers are more important than “anything else within a school” and want to ensure that they control this precious resource with regard to indoctrination.
MET has coerced “thousands of teachers, volunteers and administrators” from states such as:
• North Carolina
• New York
Major universities have come onboard to provide researchers:
• University of Michigan
• University of Virginia
Think-tanks, non-profits and educational tools manufacturers have also signed on to MET:
• RAND Corporation
• Educational Testing Services
• The Danielson Group
• The New Teacher Center
• National Science & Math Initiative
The BMGF have also invested $5 billion into having CCTV cameras installed in all classrooms across the nation allegedly “for every teacher in every classroom in every district to be filmed in action so they can be evaluated and, maybe, improve.”
This initiative would facilitate “videotaped lessons, classroom observations by trained observers, student satisfaction surveys, and value-added calculations based on test scores.”
Gates explained that spending $5 million “is a big number, but to put it in perspective . . . it’s less than 2% of what we spend on teachers’ salaries and benefits. The impact for teachers would be phenomenal. We would finally have a way to give them feedback—as well as the means to act on it. ”
Gates likens public schools to factories: “So imagine, running a factory where you’ve got these workers, some of them just making crap and the management is told, ‘Hey, you can only come down here once a year, but you need to let us know, because we might actually fool you, and try and do a good job in that one brief moment.’”
The way to create a “normal” school is by having a structured surveillance system installed to make sure that the students and teachers obey the rules and regulations. Gates asserts that cameras which were highly visible would keep the student population, staff and faculty in line.
This past summer, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was asked to approve President Obama’s imitative called ConnectED, a newly developed high speed internet that will bring a stronger digital connectivity to public schools.
Subsidies for broadband and wireless connections in schools and libraries must be 1 gbps to remain competitive. E-Rate, which is paid by the FCC with a Universal Service Fund, needs no approval from Congress to begin.
American customers of phone corporations would see an increase by an estimated $5 to their monthly bill to aid funding this initiative.
Arne Duncan, Secretary of the DoE explained that the “telephone tax” would be an issue for the FCC to examine as far as necessities of funding for ConnectED.
Douglas Levin, executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) explained: “Over the past few years, schools have been relying on broadband more and more, they’ve been ditching textbooks … shifting to digital assessments and online learning. That’s putting more and more strain on school networks.”
ConnectED will utilize financial support based from Title II and Title VI of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to pay for teacher training.
The Department of Education (DoE) supports this effort to link American public schools to the global community and push for more training in digital technologies.