Bill Gates Wants to Revolutionize Our Schools

Posted on March 1, 2011

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Yup. That Bill Gates. He even wrote an article about his plan for the Washington Post.

Over the past four decades, the per-student cost of running our K-12 schools has more than doubled, while our student achievement has remained virtually flat. Meanwhile, other countries have raced ahead. The same pattern holds for higher education. Spending has climbed, but our percentage of college graduates has dropped compared with other countries.

This we all know already. But he is just getting warmed-up. He continues:

To build a dynamic 21st-century economy and offer every American a high-quality education, we need to flip the curve. For more than 30 years, spending has risen while performance stayed relatively flat. Now we need to raise performance without spending a lot more.

Let’s look a little closer at those three sentences. In the first sentence, who exactly is building this dynamic 21st century economy and who is offering every American a high quality education? He says “we” need to flip the curve. I sounds like Bill is talking about you and I and he. But I’m a suspicions sort. I think he is talking about “government”.  In the second sentence _ well, Bill made a small error and the WaPo proof readers didn’t catch it. If I’m not mistaken, four decades is 40 years and not 30 years. But, hey, we are all human. No big deal.  In the last sentence, we learn that Bill’s “revolution of education” doe not entail reducing costs. No, “we” are going to improve performance by spending more. But, “not a lot more”. does it worry you that what you think is not a “lot more” and what Bill Gates thinks is not a “lot more” might be two different things? I worries me.

Now I’ve been having a little fun here at Mr. Gates expense. We nobodies like to do that with those some bodies every now and then. But, please read what his “revolution” is all about. It boils down to this. Our school system has a lot of good teachers and a lot of not so good teachers. Bill’s idea is that “we” should use the good teachers to teach the not so good teachers how to be good teachers. Does that sound like a plan to you? I’m not saying that his plan has no merit.  I just think that his plan is a tad superficial. But, keep in mind that this would not cost a “lot more”.

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Posted in: Education