PLN Activity

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First and foremost, I think that Bill Gates brings a plethora of substantial points to the table in his lecture. From his ideology on how to make a “great teacher” to how we can better education in America, Gates provides a lot of useful information to knead out.

The first concept Gates touches base on is the fact that the top 20% of students have gotten a good education and they’ve gone forward to creating new softwares and innovative ideas. However, with time this percentage has gotten weaker as has the balance for overall quality of education in the U.S. Because students all over the country aren’t receiving the same kind of education, this creates an inequality. We need to lessen the disparity amongst schools to ensure that every student is given an equal opportunity.

I think one way we can accomplish this task is by distributing funds equally among schools. Right now, I know that wealthier towns are getting brand new swimming pools while schools in poverty stricken neighborhoods aren’t getting enough money to pay for chalk and erasers. The government needs to find a way to better monitor the way money is distributed amongst schools. I believe that if a school in a poor neighborhood had all the resources they need (up to date computers, school supplies, modern desks, etc.) it would make learning and getting an education more meaningful for the students who attend it.

An article written by Valerie Strauss took the words right out of my mouth: “If it takes a village to raise a child, the same village must share accountability when many children are educationally abandoned.” Clearly, she takes a more local stance on the issue. Strauss expresses that parents, teachers, and political leaders need to “reject long-standing practices that undermine students’ opportunity to learn in the city’s most neglected communities.” She suggests more advocating for genuine reforms, which will assure equitable access to good schools and programs. I think she is exactly right: we cannot choose to abandon our children’s quality of education and simply hope for the best.

To read the full article, go here!

Additionally, it is disheartening to hear all of the statistics he spoke about in regards to high school graduates. Poverty is a problem that I think our society doesn’t take as seriously as it should. Those high school drop outs are America’s future. To think that over 30% of students don’t graduate high school shows that something in the education system is just not working.

“A top-quartile teacher will increase the performance of their class — based on test scores — by over 10 percent in a single year. … That means that if the entire U.S., for two years, had top-quartile teachers, the entire difference between us and Asia would go away.”

I felt that this quote was worth highlighting considering competition with other countries has always been a hot topic for the U.S. Years ago, America had one of the top education systems ranked worldwide. This has obviously changed as today we are constantly trying to readjust our own methods to assimilate to other more prominent systems such as Finland’s.

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