Bill Gates supports Vouchers
"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.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.
"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.
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.