New Gates Foundation CEO Jeff Raikes is heir to Stonesifer's party line that smaller high schools "don't work".
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation spent billions of dollars exploring the idea that smaller high schools might result in higher graduation rates and better test scores. Instead, it found that the key to better education is not necessarily smaller schools but more effective teachers. Some people might cringe while recounting how much money the foundation spent figuring this out. But the foundation's new CEO, Jeff Raikes, smiles and uses it as an example to explain that the charity has the money to try things that might fail. (The Olympian)
What failed was not smaller high schools, but Gates' top-down, "business model" of high school reform. Their either/or approach (effective teachers vs. better, smaller learning environments) will always flop, no matter which new model, next big thing or silver bullet they invest in, be it in school reform or global health.
The best teachers tend to leave when their schools experience an influx of African-American students, according to a study of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C. school district published today. (Edweek)