Saturday, March 5, 2011

Great Critique of Bill Gates' Ideas About Class

Check out this open letter to Bill Gates that ran in the Washington Post, written by an inner city science teacher, Anthony Cody, who now coaches novice teachers in Oakland, CA.  Cody responds to the call made by Gates in a speech to the National Governors Association to increase class size for the "best" teachers in order to do more with less resources for public schools. Read an opinion piece by Gates, published in the Washington Post, which echoes his comments to the NGA.

Cody's open letter ends with an examination of the savings Gates proposes in his plan:
Let's take a school staffed by 40 teachers. You identify 25% as the "best," and give these ten teachers four students more each. That means you have served an extra 40 students, allowing you to reduce your staff by ONE teacher. That saves you approximately $75,000 a year, in salary and benefits. But according to this proposal we need to pay these teachers more, so if we pay them say $5,000 each, we have an expense of $50,000. So our net savings is $25,000. This is a drop in the proverbial bucket compared to the cuts our schools are facing. Please check your math, Mr. Gates.
Read Anthony Cody's entire letter in the Washington Post by clicking here.