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Report: Gates Reforms Brought Mixed Success, Slow Improvement To Hillsborough Schools

Bill Gates wanted poor and minority students to have a fair shot at getting the best teachers public schools had to offer. That’s a key reason his foundation plowed hundreds of millions of dollars into teaching reform efforts across the nation, including Hillsborough County.

Did it work? Yes and no.

Early results of a study by the Rand Corp. and the American Institutes for Research show top teachers are being steered to schools that serve low-income minority students. But once they arrive, those teachers are likely to teach whiter, wealthier students.

Results were similarly muddled when it came to improved student achievement, another of Gates’ goals.

And, while principals saw value in a new way of evaluating teachers, the study indicates Hillsborough teachers had little confidence in the process.