Bill Gates admits education failure

At the Federalist, Joy Pullman writes that “Bill Gates Tacitly Admits His Common Core Experiment was a Failure.”

From the article:

“If there is one thing I have learned,” Gates says in concluding his speech, “it is that no matter how enthusiastic we might be about one approach or another, the decision to go from pilot to wide-scale usage is ultimately and always something that has to be decided by you and others the field.” If this statement encompasses his Common Core debacle, Gates could have at least the humility to recall that Common Core had no pilot before he took it national. There wasn’t even a draft available to the public before the Obama administration hooked states into contracts, many of which were ghostwritten with Gates funds, pledging they’d buy that pig in a poke.

That reminds me of when Ron Johnson led JC Penney. He, too, had ideas that sounded great, but didn’t work well in the real world.

Bill Gates mistake is common. Start a conversation about education models with anyone. If your experience is like mine, you will hear someone will say something like:

We just need to figure out what works and do that.

If it were that simple, why haven’t we done that already?

It’s not that simple.

But, problem isn’t the education model. It works relatively well for those who value education.

The problem is that we have so many students and parents who don’t value education.

Bill Gates could do well to direct some resources to solving that problem and lot of improvement will follow.

As a soccer coach, I’ve learned that I can teach a lot to a kid who wants to learn.

I can teach some to a kid who isn’t that into soccer, but has a parent who values soccer and is willing to hold their child accountable to putting in the work needed to progress. These kids often blossom after a few seasons as the work they accumulate begins to pay off and the player’s interest level picks up because of it.

I haven’t met a soccer coach yet who can help when the player and parent aren’t into soccer.

This is pretty much a ‘duh’ with so many things — like learning to play sports and musical instruments.

But, when it comes to education, this seems to be in our blind spot.


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