Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

March 7, 2007

Bill Gates Sees The Problem; Not The Solution

by Brad Warbiany

Bill Gates says our schools are failing:

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!

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  • http://sero.net zero

    And your suggestion is? What gives you the right to be a detractor? Did you help fight aids and malaria? Did you contribute money to congress on behalf of the nations schools? Not that Gates is wonderful, but at least he’s trying.

  • http://unrepentantindividual.com/ Brad Warbiany

    What gives me the right? Well, I’d explain, but if you have to ask that question, you wouldn’t understand.

    But what is my suggestion? For society, my suggestion is to break the centralized government control of education. Government has proven that they’re not up to the task.

    My suggestion for Gates? Do here what Oprah did in Africa. Rather than trying to give your money to the government and expect that they’ll educate people, set up competing schools with your $3 Billion. You’ll help a lot more people directly than if you try to filter your money through a bloated, inefficient political process beholden to special interest groups.

    And yes, you’re right, I don’t “contribute” money to Congress. They reach into my paycheck and take it without my consent. I’d be much more able to afford private education for my soon-to-be-born son if the government hadn’t taken over $30,000 of my money last year.

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