Hillsborough's Race to the Top plan has a lot of Gates in it
TAMPA -- Hillsborough County school district officials have made no secret of the fact that they would spend federal Race to the Top stimulus funds to help support their seven-year, $202 million reform effort with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. After all, only $100 million of that money is actually coming from the foundation.
So it should come as no surprise that the district's plan to spend its roughly $26-million share of Florida's winning Race to the Top prize includes all sorts of activities -- a new evaluation system, data-processing software, value-added calculations to estimate teachers' contributions -- that began with the Gates/Empowering Effective Teachers reforms. (The Race to the Top blueprint is up for School Board approval at Tuesday's meeting.)
Having said that, of course, you won't find the word "Gates" in these documents, which give all thanks to Uncle Sam: "Hillsborough County Public Schools recognizes Race to the Top as an extraordinary opportunity to integrate rigorous standards for both students and educators with innovative data systems to support accelerated student growth and the eradication of achievement gaps and low performing schools."