- Recent Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation education efforts, such as a 250-teacher conference held in February at a fancy Scottsdale, Ariz., hotel, have attempted to draw teachers in closer to the foundation's mission to overhaul public education.
- Many teachers previously felt under attack as the Gates Foundation supported policies including those that use student test scores to judge teacher performance, as well as spending $2 million to promote the film "Waiting for Superman"--all of which made it seem that the profession was riddled with bad teachers, limited accountability and mediocre instruction.
- The foundation's message has now turned to supporting teachers and helping them improve, with Bill Gates himself penning articles for The New York Times and Washington Post that argue teachers' ratings shouldn't be public and that many of the new evaluation methods in use by states and districts make no sense.
From the article:
... Though widely viewed as a critic of teachers and their unions, the world’s largest foundation has begun reaching out to them in new ways, sending the message it wants to be their friend — and their champion.
“We’re trying to start a movement,” Scott told the teachers in Scottsdale. “A movement started by you. A movement you’re leading.” ...