Gates Foundation

Gates Foundation Donates $100,000 to Franklin-McKinley Schools

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation granted $100,000 to Franklin McKinley School District to fund startup costs to promote collaboration between the traditional public school district and all its charter schools. The possibility that this seed money can lead to a much larger piece of the Gates Foundation Collaborative Compact financial pie is real, and predicated on the effort and results of the start-up phase. Santa Clara County Board of Education Trustee Joseph DiSalvo says that in order to radically impact student achievement and graduation rates in San Jose, especially for students of color and those living in poverty, we must work with all publicly-funded partners to reach new heights of high achievement for all. Too many efforts and public dollars are going into litigation in the old toxic model of competition between districts and charters.

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Charter, Public Schools Can Coexist

Two events I attended this week provide some optimism about traditional public and charter schools’ ability to coexist. Stories of eliminating inequality in public education are playing out in real time all over the valley. We should stand proud of how the region is rising up to form powerful coalitions to lobby elected officials and public leaders.

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Diverse Voices Need to Come Together

A little more than a week ago my wife and I attended Outside Lands, the three-day concert at Golden Gate Park headlined by Sir Paul McCartney. Even though we were at the upper age bracket of those assembled, we felt no discrimination. The 65,000 attendees each day were exceedingly respectful and well-behaved. Like Outside Lands does for music, I thought, Silicon Valley’s diverse voices come together on common goals relating to education.

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Turf Wars Overshadow Education Priorities

With its vastly superior public education system, will Boston surpass Silicon Valley as the global leader of technological innovation? It’s a distinct possibility unless we get our act together. Boston is poised to win, considering the current fights focus on turf instead of better educational results for our children.

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Grant Funding Vital in Light of Cutbacks

Over the last several months I have written two San Jose Inside columns on the Gates Foundation initiative to fund city/district/charter school collaborative compacts that bring meaningful cooperation and planning to the forefront of communities. Each time, I wrote that I had enormous hope that our collaborative compacts would be validated and funded by Gates. That hope, however, took a hit during a conference call with the foundation Monday.

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Mosaic Charter an Example of Collaboration

Some communities get it, and some don’t get it at all. It is truly amazing how things work when there is a vision and people with the talents to carry it out. Right now, a brand new two-story school building, built in record time on one acre of land in a residential neighborhood of San Jose, houses hundreds of K-3 grade students who are eager to learn.

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