Friday, March 04, 2011

Bill Gates On Education: Making Sense

Image representing Bill Gates as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBaseBill Gates: The Washington Post: How teacher development could revolutionize our schools
Over the past four decades, the per-student cost of running our K-12 schools has more than doubled, while our student achievement has remained virtually flat. Meanwhile, other countries have raced ahead. ...... For more than 30 years, spending has risen while performance stayed relatively flat. Now we need to raise performance without spending a lot more. ....... When you need more achievement for less money, you have to change the way you spend. ....... the single most decisive factor in student achievement is excellent teaching. It is astonishing what great teachers can do for their students. ...... we do very little to measure, develop and reward excellent teaching ....... The value of measuring effectiveness is clear when you compare teachers to members of other professions - farmers, engineers, computer programmers, even athletes. These professionals are more advanced than their predecessors - because they have clear indicators of excellence, their success depends on performance and they eagerly learn from the best. ....... t. The United States spends $50 billion a year on automatic salary increases based on teacher seniority. It's reasonable to suppose that teachers who have served longer are more effective, but the evidence says that's not true. ....... Perhaps the most expensive assumption embedded in school budgets - and one of the most unchallenged - is the view that reducing class size is the best way to improve student achievement. ...... get more students in front of top teachers by identifying the top 25 percent of teachers and asking them to take on four or five more students. Part of the savings could then be used to give the top teachers a raise. ..... 83 percent of teachers said they would be happy to teach more students for more pay

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