I admire the tenacity with which Bill and Melinda Gates have invested their multitude of resources into trying to find creative solutions to the protracted problems that continue to beset underserved communities. Though they invest in a variety of initiatives, both are passionate about seeing our education system transformed so that the playing field moves closer to equal.
Melinda Gates recently wrote an article on education in the Washington Post, and it is well written. She believes that though there are a variety of factors that affect a child’s ability to get a good education, the one variable that is absolutely non-negotiable is great teachers. The following quote really jumped out to me and is at the heart of her article:
“Empirical research confirms what Bill and I have seen in classrooms nationwide. Data show that an effective teacher has more impact on student performance than any other school-based factor. If African American students could be guaranteed teachers in the top 25 percent of their profession throughout high school, the gap between their test scores and those of white students would disappear.”