"I wish they would only take me as I am" - Vincent Van Gogh               "How Can I believe in God when just last week I got my tounge caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?" - Woody Allen              "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake" - Henry David Thoreau              "I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia" - Woody Allen            "When promulgating esoteric cogitations, eschew platitudinous ponderosities" - Mark Rowan, my father            "Up, sluggard, and waste not life, for in the grave there will be sleep enough" - Benjamin Franklin             "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world." - Albert Einstein            "Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence" - Ronald Reagan            "It's odd that you can get so anesthetized by your own pain or your own problem that you don't quite fully share the hell of someone close to you." - Lady Bird Johnson              "I still want to be the candidate for guys with confederate flags in their pickup truck" - Howard Dean

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Graduate of the University of Oregon, Married for 4-1/2 years to my High School sweetheart. I am currently residing in Cleveland while I attend med school.

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    Tuesday, November 14, 2006

    Bill Gates supports Vouchers

    Though the article does not specifically mention so, a recent AP interview with Bill Gates presents some of his ideas concerning how to improve the failing educational system. Not surprisingly, he does not support changing text-books to include the sexual orientation of various historical figures, but rather favors a free market approach...the type completely opposed by virtually every teachers' union.
    "Real accountability means more than having goals; it also means having clear consequences for not meeting the goals," he said in a speech earlier Monday to Washington state educators who came to hear the results of an education task force.
    In a free market sense, this would mean that poor-performing schools would close, as parents would opt to use their voucher at better schools. This would ensure that schools actually attempt to perform well.
    Gates said schools should also be able to pay the best teachers better and offer incentives to attract people with rare abilities.

    "It's astonishing to me to have a system that doesn't allow us to pay more for someone with scarce abilities, that doesn't allow us to pay more to reward strong performance," he said. "That is tantamount to saying teacher talent and performance don't matter and that's basically saying students don't matter."

    He also spoke of some creative school programs -- particularly charter schools run by private companies -- that should be a model for innovation in the nation's schools.
    Gates is absolutely correct. I have several friends who are teachers. They go above and beyond for their students, but make virtually the same (or less) than those teachers who do the bare minimum. Of course, you can't blame lackluster teachers because there is no incentive to perform well.

    Furthermore, those charter schools that Bill is talking about typically operate at much lower costs than public schools. When financial accountability comes into play (its fairly absent in public schools), fiscal responsibility follows.

    I would be willing to wager that if Bill Gates were put in charge of schools in America, they would be the envy of the world. Test scores would rise, costs would plummet, and the IPO of the schools he started would be in high demand.


    Anonymous prying1 said...

    Hey GC - Wonder if you saw the posting by T.L. on flawed testing - That needs to be thrown into the mix.
    T.L. said: The testing companies that create, administer, and score these tests are making mistakes.

    Some questions have more than one answer, score readers out of sync with the cards etc...

    I doubt if the testing errors will help bad schools. They would be more likely to hurt good ones.

    Good posting - PRY -

    8:18 AM  

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