New York Times: Peering at the Future Sign in to Recommend

By Bob Herbert Published: September 28, 2009  Charlotte, N.C.

A whoop went up in the classroom and the teenagers became giddy when they realized that the man and woman being escorted to the front of the room were Bill and Melinda Gates….

….Visiting classrooms is like peering into the nation’s future. Right now the view is somewhat frightening. American kids drop out of high school at an average of one every 26 seconds. Only about a third of those who graduate are prepared to move on to a four-year college. And in the savage economic downturn that has gripped the U.S. for the better part of the past two years, retrenchment in public schools and colleges is widespread.

For a country that once led the world in educating its citizens, we are now moving decidedly in the wrong direction. As Mr. Gates points out: “Our performance at every level — primary and secondary school achievement, high school graduation, college entry, college completion — is dropping against the rest of the world.” ….

….A student in the Algebra 1 class at West Charlotte High summed up the matter cogently when she said to the Gateses, in a voice that was not the least amused: “People seem to think it’s cool to be stupid. But it’s not.”…..

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So its clear the problem is getting worse the schooling system and current learning systems in the USA are not doing what they were supposed to do. So will Bill  and Melinda prescribe more of the same (see Obama post below)? Will they go for rebuilding schools as the UK (more of the same)? Or, will they do some real thinking like  revisiting the radicals for an antidote to toxic schools (Gerald Haigh – post below). A personalised educational landscape built around the learner is a good starting point Bill – we’ll be more than happy to advise!

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