David Rodeback's Blog

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Thursday, March 3, 2005
Bill Gates on Education

In a March 1 article in the Los Angeles Times entitled "What's Wrong with America's High Schools" [link disabled], Microsoft founder Bill Gates calls for sweeping changes in public education. He says that, besides being broken, flawed, and underfunded, our high schools were designed to meet the needs of a different age and need to be redesigned to meet the needs of the 21st century.

I don't agree with every detail of the article, but I applaud his insistence that every student who finishes high school should be prepared for college, work, and citizenship. I'm not confident that the majority of high school graduates are adequately prepared now for any of these, let alone all three.

In a better system, I don't think every student would need to attend college in order to be prepared for a good career. Most of what most students study in the first two years of college they could and probably should have learned in high school, if the high schools were pulling their share of the load. Because they are not, college is all the more essential, and the price of education overall is considerably higher.

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