Bill Gates will not revolutionize our schools, even if given permission

my response to “How teacher development could revolutionize our schools“: A brilliant title, but a dangerous message.

First let me say that I have great respect and admiration for Bill Gates. What he has accomplished in the last 30 years is amazing and inspiring. However his success in technology does not translate to him being an oracle on education.

Second I am well aware that I do not offer answers here. My point is simple: Do not listen to Bill Gates when he writes or speaks about education. At the least he will distract a very important dialogue or at worst he will highjack it.

Bill Gates is crazy rich because he knows how to sell a message. DO NOT confuse brilliant sales with mastery of education. The last message he sold school systems was that students should learn PowerPoint, Word & Excel. Genius for Microsoft, not for students.

The last time this man told us how to save money he was wrong. He told schools, government(s) & corporations that converting from diverse technology to an all Microsoft Solution would save money. It did NOT save money and it did produce a near mono-culture national infrastructure that today is riddled with security weaknesses and insanely expensive. Diverse and secure is less expensive and far more robust.

High school students graduating over the last 10 years know that ‘standardized testing’ is a farce. That silver bullet was easy to sell, but the results are a failure. Now Bill Gates wants to do the same thing to colleges. He wrote, “It will develop metrics to show which colleges graduate more students for less money”. Do I need to explain how broken that is?

Some of his points are valid. This man is a genius at delivering a concoction that is easy to swallow, but dangerous to digest.

Please Please Please do not let Bill Gates tell you how to improve education in the USA.

Sincerely,

dws.

Disclosure: I am a father of three, two in college and one in high school and this is my blog. I work for Apple, Inc; but the opinions expressed here are mine.

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