Bill Gates: Grading our teachers is a good investment
Bill Gates discusses class work with students at South High School in Denver, Colorado, last year.
January 30th, 2013
09:51 AM ET

Bill Gates: Grading our teachers is a good investment

Editor's note: Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Watch an interview with him Sunday on "Fareed Zakaria GPS" at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET.

By Bill Gates, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Today I released my annual letter. Each year, I reflect on what I learned in the last year through our travels and work with the foundation and how that will shape my thinking over the coming months. This year, my letter focuses on how important it is to set clear goals and measure progress in order to accomplish the foundation's priorities, both here at home and around the world.

Setting a clear goal lets you know what you're driving at: Picking the right interventions that will have the most impact on that final goal, using that information to understand what's working and what's not, and adapting your strategy as necessary. One of the clearest examples of the power of measurement was the work of our partners to support great teachers.

In the past few years, the quest to understand great teaching has been at the center of the public discussion about how to improve education in America. But for the country's 3 million teachers and 50 million schoolchildren, great teaching isn't an abstract policy issue. For teachers, understanding great teaching means the opportunity to receive feedback on the skills and techniques that can help them excel in their careers. For students, it means a better chance of graduating from high school ready for success in life.

But what do we mean when we talk about great teaching? In my experience, the vast majority of teachers get zero feedback on how to improve.

Read Gates' full column

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Filed under: Education reform • Issues • Teachers • Voices
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. bankrupt1

    Many multinationals use transfer pricing (the pricing of goods and services sold between affiliates of a parent company) to minimize their global tax rate. After transferring intellectual property to low-tax jurisdictions like Puerto Rico, Ireland and Singapore, companies manipulate licensing and cost-sharing arrangements to avoid or reduce United States taxes. Cash from global operations is then parked offshore until the tax professionals can figure out how to get it home tax-free.

    Microsoft, for example, now holds more than $50 billion in foreign cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments. Apple holds more than $100 billion in foreign cash and investments — an amount roughly equivalent to the gross domestic product of Vietnam.

    dealbook. nytimes. com/2012/10/03/overseas-cash-and-the-tax-games-multinationals-play/?nl=business&emc=edit_dlbkam_20121004

    January 30, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • bankrupt1

      seems like he is more about globalists wrecking the our immigration policies. transferring technology out of here through H1 visas to other countries.

      January 30, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
      • bankrupt1

        we can train here. (but our politicians are too corrupt. they are siphoning money out of here to israel and everyone and their dog over there and poisoning our kids with bad food and drugs.) hopeless. teach yourself.

        January 30, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
  2. bankrupt1

    Provide tuition-free education from kindergarten through college, thus eliminating the student debt crisis.
    Forgive existing student debt.
    Protect our public school systems from privatization
    End high-stakes testing and stop punishing students and teachers for failures of the system in which they work.
    Stop denying students diplomas based on tests.
    Stop using merit pay to punish teachers.

    January 30, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Caplee Gates doesn't get it.

      February 3, 2013 at 10:42 am |
  3. bankrupt1

    i think they make so much money they don't have a clue.

    January 30, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • bankrupt1

      and they corrupt our system. privatizing profits socializing losses.

      January 30, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
  4. Aaron

    Thank you for the accurate and important letter Bill. I hope that it sparks an effort to provide teachers with well designed tools, involve teachers in the design proces, and give teachers supportive feedback. This would be a wonderful advancement of our education system.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:18 pm |