Bill Gates' Op-Ed in Times

Getting our children ready for school, college and work

Some of what he writes about we have been discussing. What should high school graduation be based on? Getting into college? Being able to walk out into the world knowledgable enough to be a productive citizen? Trained for work or educated to be a citizen? Are they the same thing? Mutually exclusive?

He's off on his bit about not being able to do anything about failing schools. Under NCLB, there are penalities and they kick in pretty quickly. In fact, the whole school is damned rather than just one teacher.

I agree with finding some alternatives to teacher certification for people who would be able to demonstrate, based on experience, that they have the skill to teach. My husband is a UW professor who would like to teach high school math/physics. He certainly knows how to teach (although good luck with those high schoolers, honey) and knows how to teach math. But he's not going to go and get more training to do it.

Gates moves on to KIPP without mentioning its a charter school foundation. Bill, just call it what it is. He does grudgingly admit that charters are probably dead here but goes on to talk about "innovation districts" which is probably code for charter districts. He has the money and he seems to believe he knows education inside out so why not just start an "innovation district" for free? He could then create his district with schools according to his beliefs and we could all see if he was right.

Sorry, it's just that I have a very hard time with someone whose children will never see the inside of a public school telling all the public school parents just how awful their schools are.


Anonymous said…
That's what I thought also. Back when Paul Allen spent eleven million dollars trying to help the charter schools initiative pass. Why didn't he just spend that money to make a free private school and show us all what we are missing? What a waste of money spent on politics.

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