billgatesFixing the U.S. education system is harder than eradicating some of the world’s worst diseases.

That’s what Bill Gates said on Monday during a talk at the Los Alamos National Labratory, the nuclear weapons facility that does research funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — and is just a short drive away from the original Microsoft headquarters in Albuquerque.

Gates, who took a tour of the laboratory with his son, said that improving education in the States is the toughest challenge for his foundation, which has also invested huge amounts of money to help improve global health.

Protesters voice their disdain for Common Core standards and Bill Gates' involvement in U.S. education reform last week.
Protesters voice their disdain for Common Core standards and Bill Gates’ involvement in U.S. education reform last week.

Gates also spoke in support of the Common Core State Standards, which focus on teaching students math and language arts and has been adopted by nearly every single state. The foundation has poured in more than $200 million to have the system implemented in schools.

But as we saw last week in downtown Seattle, some teachers aren’t too happy with Common Core and how Gates is becoming more and more involved in the education space. About 150 instructors from the Badass Teacher Association marched through the city on Thursday toward the foundation’s headquarters to demonstrate their disdain for the Common Core standards, among other topics.

“We want to get corporations out of teaching,” said Tom O’Kelley, an English teacher at Tacoma’s Oakland High School. “They are trying to turn public schools into a corporate money maker and push out the voice of teachers like we have no idea what we’re doing in education. Bill Gates certainly doesn’t. He’s a college dropout. He’s a corporate money maker — that’s all he does.”

Given that he was at a nuclear reactor, Gates also mentioned TerraPower, the nuclear reactor startup backed Gates and Bellevue-based Intellectual Ventures. Read more about his talk here.

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  • Eduguest

    For context, “corporation” involvement in education is not new. The textbooks most teachers use, school supplies, even digital devices come from for-profit companies. They have for decades. It is the school and district administration that makes that spending decision; they choose the vendors. Now, overt corporate or foundation influence or driving of education policy? That’s a separate issue and a newer one.

  • gotcha123

    The Unions need to be taken out of education.

  • ecec55

    Sure it’s easier to eradicate polio. Polio doesn’t have a union representing it protecting the unproductive worthless polio.

  • csob

    Any “teacher” who doesn’t understand the value of Common Core should be given a full-ride scholarship (bus pass) to Starbucks Barista Academy… not as a teacher, but as a student. Maybe, just maybe, they will find a way to lead a productive life making coffee instead of destroying the minds of our children.

  • Mark Brunber

    Please help : United Nations (person with monetary instrument authority) cut tree place in ocean, tie with o-ring :: hemp rope, pull down, tie polyheedron dodecahedron 2,800,000 to cross ocean asia to americas loop!!!! Add aeration to end world suffering RAIN in Mountain, NUTRIENT in ocean / pressure wash loop for sustainability
    Fish eat larva, nutrition helps lower polio, greater photosynthesis filters pollution
    Mark brunberg

    • Mark Brunber

      Children have difficulty reading and resolving mental thought with poor nutritional standards. M. Brunberg

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