Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Opening the GATES to Education?

Bill Gates - he's maybe not the evil megalomaniac that he gets made out to be.  This guy is actually pretty smart.  Watch his TED talk.  The first half is about mosquitos and malaria.  It is ok (especially the part where he releases live mosquitos into the audience) - but then quickly get to the good part - the part about the education system.  (Well the American education system anyways).  I don't agree with everything that he says but his message is definately worth listening to.  He approaches education from a slightly corporate mindset.  While initially I find that disturbing I have to think about it.  He is the key part of a highly successful and innovative company (despite what the Apple propaganda wants you to believe.)  He knows how to succeed and he knows how to effect change.  He IS worth listening to.

Bill Gates does push the current bandwagon - data and assessment.  His message about it is different though.  Don't use the data to identify who is weak and what teachers are terrible - use it to celebrate those that are good.  Put them up as examples and say - "Here is a good teacher - his/her students learn more over the course of the year.  Learn from this teacher."

He also talks about KIPP schools (Bill Gates likes them - no that does not make them evil).  If you have never heard of KIPP schools then you should read up on them too.

Watch it.  Listen with an open mind.  As I said before - he IS worth listening to.


Donna said...

I have always admired Gates' approach to philanthropy and work that the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation does. Recently they funded research to determine if class size really does make a difference and found that it did not - what did make a difference is more effective teachers.

Gary Ball said...

I have always followed the belief that Microsoft (and Bill Gates) was evil - just like the Walt Disney corporation. I guess that this was just me always wanting to root for the underdog (well except for Walt Disney). I do agree with you on his philanthropy. He does great things and I especially like that he put some thought into where he spends his money.

My other question is how many of us spend the same percentage of our wealth/income on charity?

Ryan Nickell said...

I will watch this and leave a comment but there is a problem with your question "how many of us spend the same percentage of our wealth/income on charity?" In order for this question to be relevant you would also have to consider what percentage of his income his expenses represent (e.g. mortgage, car payments, groceries, etc...)

Gary Ball said...

Ok - maybe I need to rephrase my question. How many of us spend the same percentage of our DISPOSABLE income on charity?