Things I Know 259 of 365: teach.gov soon to be the new Windows Vista

This yesterday from Education Week:

Duncan Tuesday then announced that the Education Department would be handing over control of its TEACH campaign—including website teach.gov—to [Microsoft] the Redmond, Wash.-based software company which has recently become an increasingly visible education technology partner.

and later

Meanwhile, Duncan announced the handover to Microsoft of the TEACH campaign, the federal government’s online teaching advocacy and recruitment initiative, at the software company’s Partners in Learning Global Forum Tuesday in the nation’s capital.

The handover will eventually involve a transfer of the initiative’s website from a government to a non-profit Web domain, as well as efforts from Microsoft to bring in other private partners.

To re-cap, one of the largest software companies in the world with a vested financial interest in having direct access to teachers and schools across the country will now have control of a formerly public site of resources for advocating and guiding interested people to the teaching profession.

This isn’t the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this is Microsoft – a for-profit company. Policy oversight has eroded to such an extent that no veil is necessary as portions of public education are made private.

I just checked. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards still appears to be in operation. Not that it matters. They need not worry about advocacy, or the other original goals of teach.gov:

  • Increasing the number, quality and diversity of people seeking to become teachers, particularly in high-need schools (rural and urban) and subject areas in greatest demand: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), English Language Learners (ELL), and Special Education;
  • Connecting aspiring teachers with information about the pathways to teaching including preparation, certification, training and mentoring;
  • Celebrating and honoring the profession of teaching

No need for the National Board for Professional Teaching Practices or any other teacher’s organization to worry about “celebrating and honoring the profession of teaching,” Microsoft is on it.

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