Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, is well-known for his philanthropy in the education sector. He recently earmarked an additional $1.7 billion in funding through the Gates Foundation in order to increase the availability of quality education. The primary focus of the investment centers on people of color and low income families. The Gates Foundation plans to utilize the resources in five key areas.
The first part of the plan will focus on collecting quality data. As a technology professional, Bill Gates understands the importance of information analysis in making good business decisions. The key metrics will center around student and teacher performance. The funding will be spent on establishing effective information systems in schools.
The second section of the plan includes offering local school officials control over how programs are implemented in their respective areas. This will create an environment that recognizes that what works well for one school may not flourish everywhere. Resources will then be able to be spent on programs that work best.
The third piece of the plan will focus on improving the curriculum within the schools. An emphasis will be placed on Common Cores standards. Gates points out that teachers have limited effectiveness when they work from poor quality materials. Providing teachers with standardized resources will help to produce better student outcomes.
The fourth concern that will be addressed is improving opportunities for special needs students. The efforts will center around supporting charter schools. Charter schools will receive grants specifically for programs for special needs students.
The final initiative will focus on funding research on the American education system as a whole. The hope is that Americans will come to a better understanding of the problems that students face.
The Gates Foundation will invest heavily in the American education system in the coming years in order to create positive change. Ultimately, the Gates Foundation’s goal is to provide a quality public education to every student regardless of their financial background or race.