Bill Gates on Malaria and Teachers

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Check out Bill Gates’s TED Conference talk and the scathing review by change.org ed-Blogger, Clay Burrell.

In the second half of his talk, Gates poses the questions: How do you make a teacher great? How do you reward, retain and develop great teachers?

Is teacher quality the number 1 issue impacting the U.S. Education system? Is Burrell’s critique legitimate?

After looking through these two sites, take a second to refer back to our post on the Malcolm Gladwell New Yorker article, “Most Likely to Succeed.” Teacher quality seems to be at the nexus of all education debates right now. How do you think Breakthrough can contribute to this dialogue?

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One Response to Bill Gates on Malaria and Teachers

  1. Geoff Carlisle says:

    I don’t know if I can quite agree with relation Mr. Burell draws between Mr. Gates’ presentation and the “historical film” Burell speaks of. While I agree that the format of discussing vectors and then humans creates some comparison, the Nazi video is based on falsified statistics and massive generalizations based on incorrect information.

    However, while I may take issue with his comparison, I think Mr. Burell makes an excellent point that to put teachers amongst our world’s greatest challenges is a bit of a stretch. As an aspiring teacher, I recognize that the world of education is still in need of many reforms, and has many issues of its own that need to be addressed, but to put it alongside world-wide epidemics seems a bit sensationalist.

    In one of Burell’s responses to a reader’s comment, he states that he believes Gates is in favor of firing teachers and creating privatized charter schools. I think this may be reaching a bit far. Gates obviously recognizes the successes that many charter schools have had, but to suggest that Gates is in favor of completely overhauling the entire education system seems a bit presumptuous.

    Furthermore, Burell’s responses to other reader’s comments seem a bit confrontational, and in return make me skeptical of his credibility. He easily takes issue with minute details of comments, and expounds for paragraphs about the ills of Gates’ plans.

    Plus, Burell is biased — he’s a Mac lover.

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