Bill Gates Sees The Problem; Not The Solutionby Brad Warbiany
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates told Congress on Wednesday that overhauls of the nation’s schools and immigration laws are urgently needed to keep jobs from going overseas. “The U.S. cannot maintain its economic leadership unless our work force consists of people who have the knowledge and skills needed to drive innovation,” Gates told the Senate committee that oversees labor and education issues.
Gates, whose charitable foundation has given away more than $3 billion since 1999 for educational programs and scholarships, noted that about 30 percent of U.S. ninth-graders fail to graduate on time. “As a nation, we should start with this goal: Every child in the United States graduating from high school,” he said.
Another recent federal study found 40 percent of high school seniors failed to perform at the basic level on a national math test. On a national science test, half of 12th-graders didn’t show basic skills.
30% failure rate? If most companies put out products with a 30% failure rate, they’d not only go out of business, they might get sued. I don’t trust anything important to a company that can’t actually meet its own goals (graduation) more than 70% of the time. Would you buy a car that had a 30% chance to have its engine fail within 4 years? No? Then why would you send your kids to an educational system with that failure rate?
And that’s just graduation. 40% can’t pass basic proficiency in math, 50% can’t pass basic proficiency in science!
Testifying before Congress, he looked around at the men and women who have destroyed our educational system. And what did he do? Talked to them like they’d actually fix it! He threw his weight behind their proposals:
“We simply cannot sustain an economy based on innovation unless our citizens are educated in math, science and engineering,” Gates said.
Legislation moving through the Senate, backed by Democratic and Republican leaders, seeks to get more people to become math and science teachers and would improve training for them. The bill also seeks to get more highly trained teachers in poor schools and would offer grants to states to better align their teaching with what kids should know to succeed at a job or in college.
Aha! More money! More central control! That’ll do it!