- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates are working together to “reimagine” New York City’s public schools before they reopen in the fall, Cuomo announced during his daily COVID-19 briefing Tuesday.
- Cuomo didn’t provide specifics on the reforms, but questioned the need for physical classrooms, “with all the technology you have.”
- The billionaire philanthropist’s previous effort to improve test scores in low-income schools “did more harm than good,” Business Insider reported in 2018.
- Cuomo is also planning reforms to New York City’s transit and healthcare systems as it recovers from the worst outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country.
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to “reimagine” New York’s public schools when they reopen in the fall, and Bill Gates is going to help him do it.
New York’s public school system, the largest in the country, has been closed since March 16 and will remain closed through the rest of the school year as the city battles the worst outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country. Though Cuomo did not provide many details on his plans for the school system or the collaboration with the Gates Foundation, the governor did allude that major changes to New York’s classrooms may be on the way.
“The old model of everybody goes and sits in a classroom and the teacher is in front of that classroom, and teaches that class, and you do that all across the city, all across the state, all these buildings, all these physical classrooms — why with all the technology you have?” Cuomo said during his daily press briefing on the pandemic Tuesday.
A representative for the Gates Foundation did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on its role in the pending reforms.
The collaboration with Cuomo won’t be the first time the Gates Foundation has experimented with education. The billionaire-led organization spent $1 billion and seven years working on an initiative to improve test performance for students in low-income schools by closely monitoring teacher effectiveness. A report by independent think-tank RAND reviewing all the Gateses’ education efforts in the US found in 2018 that the program ultimately didn’t improve test scores or drop-out rates in the long-term, Business Insider reported at the time. In some cases, the program even “did more harm than good,” Jay Greene, a professor of education at the University of Arkansas, wrote on Education Next.
Cuomo also outlined other forthcoming changes to the state, including closing the city’s previously 24/7 subway system nightly for cleanings and initiatives to make its healthcare system more resilient.
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