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Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Originally uploaded by Sally Ann.
Gates opened the National Education Summit on Saturday with a stinging indictment of U.S. high schools. In his keynote speech, he called them "obsolete."

Gates, who has led an effort for smaller, more rigorous, more personal high schools, said the nation "must stop rationing" education. "In district after district, wealthy white kids are taught Algebra II while low-income minority kids are taught to balance a checkbook."

The summit was shot through with references to just how bad U.S. high schools are, noting that the United States ranks 16th out of 20 industrialized nations in the percentage of students who graduate from high school on time. Gates added, "When I compare our high schools to what I see when I'm traveling abroad, I am terrified for our workforce of tomorrow."

Nonetheless, he said, he believes in the public school system. Speaking to reporters before the address, Gates said elementary schools seem to be getting the job done. He rejected the notion that students would benefit from opening up public schools to direct competition with private schools through taxpayer-financed vouchers. "To completely start over in that sense, you'd be taking a huge, huge risk."

Gates' charitable foundation has committed about $1.2 billion to high school reform, affecting more than one in 12 high schools.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's about time someone had the courage to say this. I hope he can bring about positive change for the students sake.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi sallyann, I saw a page listed in a profile at that talked about high school class reunions and somehow it sent me here. I'll check out your site while I'm here. Have a good day. See ya.. Dave.

12:19 PM  

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