"The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today unveiled ambitious new directions for its education giving, which include working to double the number of low-income students who complete some kind of college or post-high school degree.
Efforts also would be made to identify and pay higher salaries for good teaching, help average teachers get better, devise better tests and create a national set of learning standards for high schools."
(What no cure for cancer?)
Sorry, but that's a lot of education reform for anyone's plate and to do it nationally? Good luck.
I do support all of it but it's a little unclear, because the goals are so broad, what it all means. Do they mean tests for NCLB? Define average for "average" teacher. I truly support national standards for high school (I support one national test for NCLB) but education is considered a local or state issue and I can see a lot of push-back from states especially more conservative ones.
How much money? They didn't say but,
"The foundation has spent $4 billion on education in the past eight years — half on scholarships and half on its work to improve high schools.
The leaders of the nation's two largest teachers unions were there, as well as superintendents of some of the biggest districts in the country, including New York, Chicago, and Washington D.C. Advisers to president-elect Barack Obama also were present, as were several people who are rumored to be in the running to be the next U.S. Secretary of Education."
Obama is very serious about including education in his top 5 on his to-do list. I just don't know how much time he'll have or how much his administration would be willing to work with Gates (not that they wouldn't want to but will there be time and effort made?)
I've likely said this before but while I believe Bill and Melinda Gates are changing the face of healthcare in the world (and bless them for it), I have been unimpressed with their education results. I know their foundation has felt humbled by how difficult it is to make progress in schools. It's not an easy thing and if it were, someone would have made more inroads by now. I appreciate their efforts, I hope we see progress but we're a big country with a lot of education issues. Not even the wealthiest man in the world can change that.