Bill Gates gets it on Education

Bill Gates has an outstanding article in today’s Albuquerque Journal on education. Gates hits on many of the Rio Grande Foundation’s points on education reform, specifically the out of control spending of the last few decades with little in the way of results.

Gates then points out that the correlation between small class sizes and learning is very weak, that hiring, measuring, and keeping excellent teachers is key, and that money spent to get teachers additional certifications and degrees is largely wasted.

Oh, and even though he has probably spent more of his time and money on the issue than anyone else in America to look at education reform issues, if Gates miraculously wanted to come to New Mexico and become our PED Secretary, he couldn’t. He’s not an educator. Duh!

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5 Replies to “Bill Gates gets it on Education”

  1. Eons ago (25 years) when I was a board member for a K-12 school district in California, the norm was to hire an educator as the Business Manager of a school district. The ineffectiveness of this practice seemed like a no-brainer to me, but it took several years following the first renegade district’s (my district) hiring of a non-traditional, non-educator business manager, for other districts to follow suit. And this after several districts were “taken over” by the state due to financial insolvency. Now the desire for someone with financial or business experience is much more accepted, and even expected. One has to wonder when the simple reality of needing someone with more than a teaching credential to lead State Education efforts might become a serious consideration.

  2. Bill Gates is right about class size.
    Class size only matters when you have excellent teachers to begin with. An excellent teacher will be effective with a class of 50, but a poor teacher will have trouble teaching one.

  3. A lot of Bill Gates’ money came from our Education Departments, our children have suffered because of this also, because teaching how to use his programs did not teach the students much about anything!!

    1. It would be interesting to know how much of Microsoft’s money came from government schools (I know Apple has been big in education). The fact is, however, that government schools are set up to fail because they are a government-run monopoly. Whether they use Microsoft or Apple or anything else, Gates is right about reforms.

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