Hillsborough County, Florida, Dealing with “Failing” Schools, Despite Gates’ Investment of $80 Million

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Gates Foundation agreed to pay Hillsborough County, Florida, $100 million to pilot its teacher evaluation program. However, the program cost $271 million, and the district exhausted its reserves. It ended its relationship with Gates in 2015, Gates stopped paying after investing $80 million, the Hillsborough superintendent MaryEllen Elia was fired by the board, and was soon hired by Commissioner of Education for the state of New York. The Gates program was not working, and the district pulled out. The state legislature adopted features of the failed Gates approach in its revision of state laws.

Elia, who was fired in 2015 as the district had a financial meltdown, discussed the “success” of the soon-to-collapse teacher evaluation program with Vicky Phillips, then the president of the Gates Foundation for education, in 2014.

This week, the Hillsborough superintendent is wrestling with the problem of seven D and F-rated schools and has promised…

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