Reed Hastings, the billionaire founder of Netflix, is quietly building a mysterious 2,100-acre luxury retreat ranch nestled in the elk-filled foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
Hastings has been one of the country’s biggest donors to the education reform movement that’s trying to reshape America’s struggling school system. And now public records reveal that Hastings is personally financing a new foundation that will operate this training ground for American public school teachers, a passion project shrouded in secrecy that will expand the billionaire’s political influence.
Hastings is one of many Silicon Valley billionaires who have deployed their fortunes in the education reform movement, which calls for a greater focus on testing, tougher accountability for teachers, and the expansion of alternative schools like charters to close America’s achievement gaps and better train its future workforce. Those tech leaders, though, have had uncertain results, with the very biggest of them — Microsoft founder Bill Gates — having admitted earlier this year that he was “not yet seeing the kind of bottom-line impact we expected.” Opponents, including teachers’ unions, charge that these reformersare blaming educators for factors beyond their control, such as poverty.
The new training center, called the Retreat Land at Lone Rock, seems to be a priority for the Netflix CEO, at least based on Hastings’s level of personal involvement: He and his wife have been visiting the area since at least 2017, when they went so far as to request a face-to-face meeting with a local fire chief at his Colorado firehouse to try and smooth over any looming permitting concerns.
Hastings, whose involvement hasn’t previously been reported, declined to comment on his plans through a spokesperson.
But public records filed with the government of Park County, Colorado, and reviewed by Recode offer a glimpse at the ambitious plans for the center, which local officials expect to open as early as March 2021.
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I was a public school teacher in Banning Middle School, Moreno Valley HS, UCR, Grossmont College, Chapman College and part-time HS at Point Loma, Lincoln, and
The Bishops School in La Jolla (Boys School). My Teaching Career lasted for 10 years from 1967-77. It ended abruptly because I was was appalled and dismayed at the influx for The Teachers Unions. I quit when the started unions.
The emphasis became solely on teacher pay and hours – no longer on our kids. My 10 year experience seeing the onslaught on Unions would haunt me to remember how kids Suffered from from that point on from the lack of teachers’ former enthusiasm and caring guidance through the tough times of adolescence and teens by encouraging to grow to be fearless, stand-up citizen excited to face the world and Excited to enter their new life.
Reed Hastings is my hero to save our American Schools from complete failure. It needs to
Be revamped from bottom to the top …..and it has to start with our teachers.
I will be happy to help in any way: to coach, to share my experiences ….As crazy as it sounds, I was President of. The Riverside County Art Teachers Association at age 26. ….talk about herding “wet cats” 😳 That job was way worse then teaching 5 classes of 35-8th graders at Banning Middle School …along with volunteering to teach Boys ages 8-13 during my lunch hour that we’re bussed in from our local Juvenile Prison while serving time for murder……lots more stories and history during that time and place in CA.
Thank you Reed 🙏
Yes, let’s hold teachers accountable for test scores even though we have no control over a student’s life outside of the classroom and cannot force them to actually try to do their best on the test. Let’s just cut that teacher’s pay check if their students fail. That’ll fix everything.
It’s all the teacher’s fault if the students never open up their tests booklet and instead make patterns on their a scantron sheets or if they just sit in front of their computer screen and refuse to type up that essay.
Boy, if I was more well trained, I’m sure I could force those kids to do their best.
Reed Hastings, you don’t know what the hell you are talking about.
Yes, our school system is in crisis and needs an overhaul. But blaming teachers for student shortcomings is not the answer. Thank goodness I have a union to protect me.