After Years of Failed Initiatives, Gates Foundation Keeps on Trying to Fix the Schools

The more he tries the same tired old ideas, the more he fails.


You might imagine that Bill and Melinda Gates, with all their money, a large staff, and access to research would have developed a more nuanced and helpful strategy for school reform.  But you’d be wrong.  In their 2020 Gates Foundation Annual Letter, Bill and Melinda Gates continue to assume that academic outcomes as measured by standardized test scores and college matriculation rates can be raised by fixing the public schools.

Melinda Gates expresses humility about the capacity of mega-philanthropy to solve what she and Bill understand are complex issues challenging public schools and their students: “We certainly understand why many people are skeptical about the idea of billionaire philanthropists designing classroom innovations or setting education policy.  Frankly, we are, too.”  But she doesn’t give up on the Foundation’s mission to keep on experimenting: “Our goal is to help make a huge difference for all U.S. students, so we’ve pivoted…

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