Education Law Center: America’s Most Fiscally Disadvantaged School Districts

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Education Law Center lists the most fiscally distressed districts in the nation. You will note that one of them is Shelby County, Tennessee, where the Gates Foundation and Stand for Children expended a great deal of effort to introduce charters and district consolidation as a mini-bandaid to the district’s financial problems. The Gates Foundation paid to bring in the Boston Consulting Group to offer advice a few years back on merging districts, not on how to solve its fiscal problems. The Gates Foundation gave Shelby County a grant of $90 million over seven years to improve teacher quality. Yet Gates never addressed the basic fiscal disadvantage of the district. Presumably he thought that if he could VAM the teachers, then the test scores would go up, and the district’s budget would not matter. But it does matter. Once again, the Gates Foundation proved that it addresses the wrong problems…

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