Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bill Gates:Experienced Educator!($50 Million Dollars Doesn't Lie)

Oh, wait a minute. He doesn't hold a degree in education? My bad.
Well, then, he must have taken a few education courses? No? Not that either?
He has traveled all over the world and visited different types of schools? Talked to educators all over the country? No?
I know! He had a teacher relative, when he was young, who would regal him with quirky stories of what it was like to be an educator. Strike!

Given all the evidence above, I have to believe that Bill Gates knows nothing about education, nothing! Yet, this man has been allowed to shape what education should look like.

I truly believe that one day Bill, yes I will call him Bill, was bored out of his mind. Hence, he thought of a magical place where he could invest millions of dollars, change the world, and in the process, have millions of people revere him for his magnificent work. He brushed off the fact that he knew nothing about education, because, after all, he has millions of dollars!

So he picked up his Louis Vuitton gauntlet, and, began his quest to change the world of education in his image.

His latest educational feat, fiasco, is his $50 million dollar study that states, and I'm paraphrasing here, "You can stick a good teacher anywhere and she/he will be "successful." Of course, you need to understand that "successful" is synonomous with "high test scores." As an educator of 28 years, can I give a resounding "bull...!?" (Excuse my language) Standardized testing should be abolished! And tying whether or not I can teach, to a students' test score, is equally ludircous!

I'm not going to waste any more of my time discussing his study, because $50 million dollars has already been wasted. I can't tell you how to spend your money Bill, (although you have no problem telling educators how to do their job), but I would like to make a few suggestions about what you could have done with that money.

  • Purchase books: Not textbooks so that multimillionaire companies could make a profit. Books. Novels, chapter books, picture books. Give us a way to instill a love of reading that doesn't require filling in a bubble.
  • Food and clothing: A warm, well-fed child, is so much more productive than a child who comes to school wondering where their next meal is coming from.
  • Computers: Ipad, laptop, software, smartphones. All the items we can use to integrate technology into our classrooms and engage students who see life through their telephones and video games.
  • Training: Provide training for teachers so that they are able to use these items in their classrooms.
  • Basic building essentials and supplies Because there are so many schools that are lacking paper, notebooks, pencils, desks, etc...
The list is endless...

Bill, if you really want to help. Climb out of your multimillion tower of "all-knowing". Visit real schools, not faux "celebrity" schools. Schools where teachers, wonderful, hard-working, teachers, have dedicated their lives. Ask them what's best for the kids. They won't all be right, but at least they have the experience to know what they're talking about.

Cmon' Bill. Put you money where your mouth is. Make your money mean something.


  1. May I give a resounding AMEN to this post?!?! How true! Amen and Amen!
    I wonder if there's any chance of Bill or any of the other higher ups might read your post and get a clue?

  2. Thanks for this. When I had my first education class about twelve years ago, I was astounded at how much credence his views were given. I, of course, had no idea how far it went or would go. He should have been a foot-note.

  3. More work still needs to be done about President Obama's education reform.
    President Obama needs to understand

    1. The folly of discriminatory charter schools that operate for profit;

    2. The folly of using public money for privatization;

    3. The folly of “for-profit” cyber schools;

    4. The folly of value-added modeling used to measure student learning and for teacher evaluation, and the folly of merit pay and competition;

    5. The folly of ignoring why students fail;

    6. The folly of devaluing public school teachers' and retirees' rights and benefits;

    7. The folly of out-of-state money that influences another state’s local school issues and determines educational policies;

    8. The folly of hedge-fund billionaires and their officiousness, the corporate entrepreneurs/school “reformers” such as Bill Gates, Eli Broad, Alice Walton, Joel Klein, Betsy DeVos, Jeff Bezos, Paul Allen, Tony Bennett, David Coleman, and Michelle Rhee…;

    9. The folly of wealthy factions, such as ALEC, Stand for Children, Students First, American Federation for Children, National Alliance for Charter Schools, New Teacher Project, Teach for America and their ilk;

    10. The folly of No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and Common Core Standards…


    Education Reform Is Failing and Destructive Across the Nation:

  4. And all God's children say Amen! Seriously, what a crock...

  5. Here's a TRUE REVEAL almost 42 years after the fact: You know those fill-in-the-bubble SAT's that I took to get into college way back in 1971? I filled those bubbles in RANDOMLY!

    I kid you not. Throughout all my earlier school years, I could not - WOULD NOT - bring myself to actually read the inane questions on these 'tests'. But it was part of the 'game' in order to get into college so I 'played' along. Believe me when I tell you, NOBODY was more surprised than me when I got accepted.

    Yeah, I played the game for four more years, too. You know the one - get a good education so I could get a good job? All those per-requisite courses that I 'needed' in order to graduate. WHAT A WASTE!

    Well, out of those past 38 years since I graduated from college, I worked 29 of them FOR MYSELF! I just couldn't play those kind of games anymore!

    Am I anti-education? Hell no! I taught private music lessons MY WAY and THE WAY my students wanted to learn for all those years.

    I LOVE learning and to this day I remain a committed, dedicated life-time learner. The difference is, I take the courses I want in the format I choose; topics that are relevant and of interest to ME! And none of them - NONE OF THEM - ever require me to fill in a bubble!

    Soon the 'bubble' will burst as 'self-directed education' trickles down to our kids' level, not only for extra-curricular things like music, dancing, art, etc. Soon, all of education will come to this. It MUST! We can't keep education in a bubble1

    All the best from Toronto,

  6. I teach at a school that's part of the North Carolina New Schools Project, which was started with support from the Gates Foundation. It's a public early college high school, something that never would have happened in my state without private funding; as the first round of early college high schools has been successful, our state has started more.

    My school accepts first generation college students and helps them attain a high school diploma and an associate's degree during a 5-year program, free of charge. It is working - in every measure that I can think of. The numerical data - test scores, graduation rates, college credits earned while in high school, etc. - is much higher than the rest of the district...and so is our free & reduced lunch rate. All this at a real school in a poor, rural district.

    But the community and the parents can easily tell you that it's not just working in terms of number of college degrees & credits earned or the graduation rate. Our students are better prepared for college and life than their backgrounds pre-high school would ever suggest they could be.

    What started with Gates Foundation funding has become a partnership including two school districts, a community college, and the state. It is not run by the Gates Foundation and I don't even think they're still directly connected - they provided start-up funding, but the New Schools Project is an independent non-profit supported by local/state organizations and the schools have always been fully run by local school districts. That initial funding made possible for us some of the things on your list: additional professional development for teachers, access to tons of educational technology (including iPads), and free college classes (books included) for our students.

    I know that some of the Gates Foundation work may seem like business intrusion into public schools. But mostly what they've done here is provided enough funds to start a school reform experiment, not try to control education or waste money to make a name for themselves. The Gates Foundation's role in starting the New Schools Project isn't even mentioned anymore. My school has been open for 8 years.

    I just thought it was important to share another perspective on the Gates Foundation.