Bill Gates has an idea. In order to improve academic performance, teachers should be monitored all day, every day. A preposterous waste of resources and manpower, you say? Well, not to worry, because said monitoring will be done by video cameras. Installed in every classroom in America. And, if you act today, all this can be yours for the low, low price of $5 billion.
Notice I didn’t say it was a good idea.
In fairness to Gates, he clearly cares about education, evidenced by his foundation’s funding of projects devoted to better teaching and better schools. But you know where they say the road that is paved with good intentions leads to.
Gates’s foundation has actually identified a real problem. The website states, “Most of the country’s K-12 public school teachers lack access to the tailored feedback, high-quality instructional materials, and support they need to do their best work and continually improve.” This diagnosis may be correct, but it is merely a symptom of the disease.
What’s the disease? It’s the education system itself, which throws money and worthless innovations at the problem while amount of actual learning plummets faster than the kids’ test scores.
So what’s the cure? The decentralization of education. You thought I was going to say privatization, didn’t you?