Netflix billionaire Reed Hastings is building a 2,100-acre luxury training camp for teachers in rural Colorado
Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix.
Reuters / Mike Blake
Netflix billionaire Reed Hastings secretly built a $ 20 million luxury training camp for teachers in Colorado.
Hastings promised to spend $ 100 million of his $ 4.8 billion fortune on public school reform.
Hastings, who has been interested in public education policy for a long time, is one of many billionaires who have put millions into educational reform.
But not all billionaire programs to strengthen public education are successful. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have both stood behind costly educational initiatives that have led to mixed results.
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Netflix billionaire Reed Hastings is building a luxury retreat in Colorado, but it's not for his personal enjoyment.
The property will house a teacher training facility that is part of Hastings 'ongoing effort to reform the United States' public school system, Theodore Schleifer of Vox reported. The camp, called Retreat Land at Lone Rock, extends over 2,100 acres in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and could be opened via Vox in March 2021.
A representative from Hastings at Netflix did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment on the training center.
When it opens, Lone Rock will host groups of 30 teachers from public and charter schools who can take part in four-day retreats with team-building exercises such as sports and hiking, use the classroom, and relax -site spa. The massive $ 20 million development has been under construction for years, but not even frustrated residents knew its purpose before Schleers' report.
Hastings built up $ 4.8 billion in assets after the creation of Netflix in 1995. The billionaire has long been interested in reforming the American education system and promised to spend $ 100 million of his personal wealth on education in 2016, Business Insider reported at the time.
Before becoming a billionaire, Hastings co-authored an initiative in 1998 that made it easier to found charter schools in California, according to the Washington Post, and was a member of the California Board of Education for four years.
The ultrawealthy have a mixed track record in education policy
Bill Gates spent $ 1 billion and seven years on an initiative to improve student test performance in low-income schools by closely monitoring teacher effectiveness - a strategy similar to Hastings - but ultimately did not improve test results or the dropout rates in the long term, a report by the independent think tank RAND in 2018 showed. In some cases, the program has even "done more harm than good," wrote Jay Greene, professor of education at the University of Arkansas, about Education Next.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo tapped Gates to "rethink" what New York public schools will look like when they reopen in the fall after the corona virus closes. Cuomo announced some details of the partnership when he announced it at a press conference in May, and the Gates Foundation said in a statement to Business Insider that more details about the collaboration will be available shortly.
Similarly, Mark Zuckerberg donated $ 100 million to Newark, New Jersey's failing public school system in 2010, but the money supply has largely failed to improve student results.
With Retreat Land in Lone Rock, Hastings could also have a major impact on public education, Schleifer reported.
"I had a lot of money and didn't really want to buy yachts," Hastings told the Wall Street Journal in 2008. "I started to look at education to find out why our education is lagging behind with increasing technology." at affordable prices and there are great innovations in so many other areas - healthcare, biotechnology, information technology, filmmaking. Why not education? "
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