Bill Gates: US needs talent to be competitive

Not quite sure how this appeared in Delaware Online, but here’s the link to the Perspective article by Bill Gates:

U.S. needs talent to be competitive

His strategy is in two parts:

First, we must demand strong schools so that young Americans enter the work force with the math, science and problem-solving skills they need to succeed in the knowledge economy. We must also make it easier for foreign-born scientists and engineers to work for U.S. companies.

It’s clearly an uphill battle for Gates or anyone else to fix our school system from the outside. He’s in the powerful position of running a non-profit with billions of dollars to spend on the problem, fortunately. No one likes to hear criticism, but:

Education has always been the gateway to a better life in this country, and our primary and secondary schools were long considered the world’s best. But on an international math test in 2003, U.S. high school students ranked 24th out of 29 industrialized nations surveyed.

On what companies can do:

Companies must advocate for strong education policies and work with schools to foster interest in science and mathematics and to provide an education that is relevant to the needs of business. Government must work with educators to reform schools and improve educational excellence.

How about some more help with visibility and curriculum materials around Phrogram, Mr. Gates? It’s technology that’s addressing and improving STEM education in schools today (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). All it needs to do so more quickly is some help getting it into the hands of teachers and students more quickly. 🙂

Phrogram’s relevance is confirmed by his article – though I want to emphasize it is useful for FAR more than just Computer Science education:

This issue has reached a crisis point. Computer science employment is growing by nearly 100,000 jobs annually. But at the same time studies show that there is a dramatic decline in the number of students graduating with computer science degrees.

Here’s a Washington Post article from him as well, from 10 days ago:

How to Keep America Competitive

And another from Seattle Times:

Gates “appalled” by high schools

Here’s a Google News query showing 770 recent articles about him and the topic of education. That’s as of March 4th. It’s simple data to watch how many articles result from that query week by week; I’ll keep an eye on it.


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