Black Eyes For Gates Foundation

Schools program portrayed as complete failure.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have been getting a rare bout of bad publicity. First, the Los Angeles Times published a two-part series questioning the foundation's investments in companies accused of social irresponsibility. The culpability of the foundation around such a tricky issue as socially responsible investing was by no means made clear by the pieces, but they were picked up by The Seattle Times and played on its front pages. Much more damning, though, was a prominent mention by the always excellent Katherine Boo in last week's New Yorker. Boo wrote about a public high school in Denver judged to be so bad by a new, reformist superintendent that he closed it down. That was after the Gates Foundation bankrolled a transformation of the school into several small schools within schools-the model that the foundation has been pushing across the country. As we wrote last year in regards to Mountlake Terrace High School, that model is proving problematic, and in Denver it seems to have been judged an utter and complete failure.

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