The Microsoft co-founder who dropped out of Harvard to start his own company spoke about his concerns with the American higher education system Wednesday night at the Washington Ideas Forum.
Gates, who has a multitude of experience working on American education through his foundation, shared his thoughts on how the country needs to fix college financing and the disturbing college dropout rates.
It is certainly a problem that needs to be addressed. In the conversation, Gates said that colleges and universities need to reward schools who accept people with low SAT scores and educate them, instead of giving credit to schools who spend the most on resources and for their exclusivity. The focus, he says, needs to be on teaching quality and getting people to graduate.
Gates also wrote about this topic a few weeks ago, discussing a book that questions the quality of U.S. undergraduate education. Here’s how he ended the post:
I’m optimistic about the potential of innovation to help solve many of the problems with our post-secondary system. But we need more and better information. I’m reminded of a point made by Andrew Rosen of Kaplan, the for-profit education company, that colleges today know more about how many kids attend basketball games and which alumni give money than how many students showed up for economics class during the week, or which alumni are having a hard time meeting their career goals because of shortcomings in their education.
That needs to change.
Tough to argue with that.