“It may surprise you–it was certainly surprising to us–but the field of education doesn’t know very much at all about effective teaching.” ~ Bill Gates
Dear Mr. Gates:
Since you have never taught in a public school, I would love to know how you came to that conclusion! I work with incredible educators who educate the whole child, and not just spew out content. They know about child development – because of studying scholars, and studying their students. They take children from wherever they are and help them soar to new heights, filling in gaps while filling stomachs and backpacks and desks with supplies. They listen, comfort, coach, encourage, model, and do everything in their power to reach the students placed in their charge. It’s not all just content. And I’m insulted by your quote.
As for your opinion on the almighty test, I’m wondering, sir, why you feel that standardized testing will improve education? Did all of the Beta testing done by your company create a successful Windows Vista? Did you fire those who created it? Did you take the blame for the incredibly bug ridden software? You obviously didn’t step down and let the buck stop with you. You moved on, took the good from prior versions, eliminated the garbage, added, tweaked and revised, and then rolled out a newer, improved version. If we could use testing for that purpose – to find the strengths of our instruction, the areas that need to be tweaked, the breaks in our students’ knowledge – then I truly wouldn’t object to testing. Testing as a tool – just like you do with your products…. what a novel idea!
Please consider coming into classrooms, speaking with teachers, reading child development books, looking at blogs written by education experts – those who have actually been in the classroom, talking to students about the stress this puts on them, and then reassess your push for high stakes testing that will take away hours of instruction time. Please.