From the Wall St. Journal
” ‘It’s hard to improve public education-that’s clear. As Warren Buffett would say, if you’re picking stocks, you wouldn’t pick this one.” Ten years into his record-breaking philanthropic push for school reform, Bill Gates is sober-and willing to admit some missteps.
“It’s been about a decade of learning,” says the Microsoft co-founder whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is now the nation’s richest charity…
“One of the foundation’s main initial interests was schools with fewer students. In 2004 it announced that it would spend $100 million to open 20 small high schools in San Diego, Denver, New York City and elsewhere. Such schools, says Mr. Gates, were designed to-and did-promote less acting up in the classroom, better attendance and closer interaction with adults.
” “But the overall impact of the intervention, particularly the measure we care most about-whether you go to college-it didn’t move the needle much,” he says. “Maybe 10% more kids, but it wasn’t dramatic. . . . We didn’t see a path to having a big impact, so we did a mea culpa on that.” Still, he adds, “we think small schools were a better deal for the kids who went to them.”…”