K-12: What Happened to Bill Gates and Common Core?

Here is (the often-linked-to education writer) Bruce Deitrick Price on Bill Gates and Common Core:

Bill Gates is among the richest, most successful people on the planet. He enjoyed a lot of victories until he ventured into a dangerous part of town called Education. He squandered a few billion dollars by becoming entangled with a shady character named Common Core.

Since 2010, Gates endured a long, slow defeat, as more people turned against Common Core, and he himself realized that it was not what he had dreamed of.

So how did Bill Gates lose his golden touch?

Gates, computer man and businessman, trusted data neatly arrayed on monitors. Digital tools could give predictability, consistency, and control. Add standards that everyone agreed on. Not only would children learn more efficiently, and be tested and tracked more accurately, but his companies could market educational services by the cubic mile because every school would welcome the same products. Gates could make a new and separate fortune.

So this digital leviathan abruptly became the law of the land. Local control of schools, long an American tradition, was euthanized without mercy. But victory was temporary. Common Core seemed to have one objectionable feature after another.

Surely, we can stipulate that Gates is too smart to be a useful idiot, too patriotic to be a secret leftist trying to destroy the country. So why did he align himself with what many consider blatant malpractice? Was he blinded by predictions of a giant payoff? Or was it a case of trusting the wrong people?

Perhaps Gates, a college dropout, assumed that the professors at the top of the Education Establishment (many of them at his alma mater, Harvard) were smart guys who knew their business. However, these were the same people who had been mismanaging American K-12 for a long time — so much so that McKinsey and Company, the super-consultant, summed up the situation in 2007: “The longer American students remain in public schools, the dumber they get.” This is not a track record that a shrewd person would invest in.

Read more: American Thinker