Is Bill Gates the Superman education needs?

February 3, 2011

At Almost Diamonds, a clear explication of why Bill Gates alone cannot save education:

If you want to improve education in the U.S., fund it properly. Fund the education and salaries of teachers. Fund the building and maintenance of schools. Fund supplies. Fund libraries. Fund good textbooks and other materials. Fund early education. Fund student nutrition and health. Fund community social services that keep parents rooted in one place longer.

In short, fund those things it takes to produce small classes of students undistracted by other problems, taught by experienced teachers who aren’t constantly overworked. Is it a sexy solution? Does it put somebody’s name in lights? No, but it works.

Putting your name on some education initiative somewhere is grand. Nifty, even. The problem is that it really isn’t all that innovative when it comes right down to it. There is plenty of history of experimentation in education. Much of it even produced promising results.

Then it fell by the wayside because the implementation cost money. All the promise in the world can’t produce results if no one is willing to pay the cost. No, if someone really wants to do something new and different in the field of education, they need to implement those solutions that have already been proven.

More good stuff there at Almost Diamonds, keying off an article in The Atlantic by Chrystia Freeland on the “new elite.”

Tip of the old scrub brush to Rational Rant.

Bill Clinton on Bachmann/Tea Party “parallel universe” politics: “We need to put our country back in the future business”

February 3, 2011

At Davos, Switzerland, Bill Clinton answered a question from former White House advisor David Gergen, I gather.  American is exceptional, Clinton said — but those who insist on making “American Exceptionalism” a political mantra seriously risk making America unexceptional, and putting us into decline, he argues.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s ears are stinging on the issue of unbalanced state budgets.

President Bill Clinton interviewed at the 2011 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting held in Davos, Switzerland. – World Economic Forum

William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton was the 42nd President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. At 46 he was the third-youngest president. He became president at the end of the Cold War, and was the first baby boomer president. His wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is currently the United States Secretary of State. Each received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Yale Law School.

The complete Clinton discussion can be viewed here.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Nicole Smith.

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