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Bill Gates Checks Up On Teachers

TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 10 (UPI) — Bill and Melinda Gates visited Tampa, Fla., to check on their $100 million investment in Hillsborough County teacher training reform.

The couple sat in on classes, talked with teachers and ate lunch in the cafeteria at Tampa’s Jefferson High School Wednesday to evaluate the progress of reform at the school, The St. Petersburg Times reported

“The sense of progress, the sense of improvement is really phenomenal, and I do believe this is how it should be done nationwide,” said Bill Gates.

Hillsborough County received the $100 million from the Gates Foundation in 2009 to change the way schools recruit, train and retain high quality teachers. The school district, home to 193,000 students, is now in the second year of its project, having already completed the first round of teacher evaluations.

The Gates foundation has sent representatives to the school before, but Wednesday was the first visit made the couple to evaluate the project. They spoke with teachers about the advantages and disadvantages of the project.

Gates “wanted to hear our feedback,” said math teacher Allyson Vail, who was one of four teachers selected to talk with the couple. “He took extensive notes the whole time.”

The county got the grant as part of a $335 million investment the Gates Foundation made in a handful of school districts across the country. The Gateses also gave money to Memphis, Pittsburgh and several charter schools in Los Angeles.

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  • s c

    Teachers and ex-teachers should be wary of late-comers to the world of education. The ‘event’ in Tampa probably amounts to a showcase dedicated to what people think they can see. I’d like to talk to some of those teachers, and grill them away from their ‘benefactor’ and the school.
    If you will recall, Gates is on the ‘A’ list. That is, he compromised with Uncle Scam (to get Uncle Scam off his back). Gates knows how to get things done in the world of computers, BUT he’s not a teacher, and he doesn’t understand the maze that would-be teachers endure to get to the classroom (the “other” maze is the hands-on, real world classroom).
    Washington’s #1 answer to most problems is to throw more money at them. Gates’ approach is to throw more money at it. Do you smell a rat? I’ll be watching, but Uncle Scam’s track record is a failure. America doesn’t have enough time left for a compromising, A list investor to make real differences in American education.

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