Sunday, February 27, 2005

Bill Gates Makes It Official

Some 45 of the nation's 50 Governors have had a little get together to discuss the state of American public education, and the crisis in America's high schools:
Most of the summit's first day amounted to an enormous distress call, with speakers using unflattering numbers to define the problem. Among them: Of every 100 ninth-graders, only 68 graduate high school on time and only 18 make it through college on time, according to the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.
It's nice to know that the governors are on the case. Interestingly, Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jeb Bush decided not to attend.

But then Bill Gates showed up and informed that room full of governors (and us too) that it may be too late:

The most blunt assessment came from Microsoft chief Bill Gates, who has put more than $700 million into reducing the size of high school classes through the foundation formed by him and his wife, Melinda. He said high schools must be redesigned to prepare every student for college, with classes that are rigorous and relevant to kids and with supportive relationships for children.

"America's high schools are obsolete," Gates said. "By obsolete, I don't just mean that they're broken, flawed or underfunded, though a case could be made for every one of those points. By obsolete, I mean our high schools... even when they're working as designed...cannot teach all our students what they need to know today."

We who are doing the teaching in the classrooms have known for years that there are some serious problems with our system of public high schools. But now that Bill Gates has officially declared our public high schools to be obsolete, I guess that we can look forward to him coming into our classrooms and showing our students how it's done.

I hope that Gates hurries-up, as my daughter will be going into the ninth grade next year and I certainly don't want her education to be "obsolete."

An Invitation: Please consider contributing to The Carnival Of Education: Week 4. All submissions should be received by 10:00 PM (Pacific) next Tuesday, March 1. They may be sent to owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net. Get all the details here. To view the First Edition of The Carnival, click here. The Second, here, and the Third, there. The Carnival will open here at the 'Wonks Wednesday morning.

Any help that can be given by our fellow writers in the 'Sphere publicizing this carnival will be given Extra Credit by our faculty.

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