Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates announced last week that he will make a multi-billion dollar donation to boost education in the USA.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has already donated almost three and a half billion dollars to US public schools, has pledged to donate a further $1.7 billion to ‘to develop the Common Core State Standards and to persuade state education leaders to implement them. His money also went to support charter schools, teacher preparation programs and an array of other improvement initiatives, including one to break up large high schools into smaller ones.’ (Sc. WP)
Gates personally spoke at the Council of the Great City Schools conference in Cleveland, addressing approximately 1,000 school officials.
“Every student should get a great public education and graduate with skills to succeed in the marketplace,” said Gates, “The role of philanthropy here is not to be the primary funder, but rather to fund pilots, to fund new ideas, to let people — it’s always the educators coming up with the ideas — to let them try them out and see what really works super well and get those to scale.”
The foundation plans to place 60% of the funding directly into traditional public schools, with an aim to increase the overall levels of education which prevail in the United States.
“The actual tactics about great teaching, about how to reform the schedule, how to get students who are off track on track — those will be driven by the schools themselves,” Gates added. “We will let people come to us with the set of approaches they think will work for them in their local context.”