This piece by The Atlantic’s James Somers on Google’s failed book-scanning project is excellent. It’s decently long-form, so my short summary won’t do it justice. But Google spent $400 million and an incredible amount of time and resources scanning 25 million books from libraries across the world. The result of that work is a database at Google HQ that no one, save a handful of engineers who maintain its storage, can access.
From the Washington Post:
One of the Obama administration’s signature efforts in education, which pumped billions of federal dollars into overhauling the nation’s worst schools, failed to produce meaningful results, according to a federal analysis.
Test scores, graduation rates and college enrollment were no different in schools that received money through the School Improvement Grants program — the largest federal investment ever targeted to failing schools — than in schools that did not.
The Education Department published the findings on the website of its research division on Wednesday, hours before President Obama’s political appointees walked out the door.
What’s abundantly clear, and what should long have been so, is that America’s public education system is in dire need of significant, structural reform. Continuing this multi-generational, bipartisan failure of our nation’s youth is both unfair and indefensible.