Bill Gates – Focus on Teaching

Bill Gates has said we need to focus on teaching and why is this news? We need to understand that recent attacks on teachers, firefighters and police officers are nothing more than a grand attempt to defund the Democratic party. How does the Democratic party get its money? One source is wealthy celebs like George Clooney. Another source is unions. How do you remove union money from politics? Well, there are lots of ways to do this. One way is to make the teaching profession undesirable. Over the last 15 to 20 years, conservatives have been relentless in attacking the teaching profession. No Child Left Behind, with its focus on testing, has been a bitter pill which has not helped students nor teachers. The other thing you can do is to try to shut money away from public schools. Republicans have done this with modest success. They have continually promoted the utopian beauty of charter schools. Charter schools accept public money, but for the most part they are not unionized. Finally, and most importantly, you try to pass laws which tell teachers whether they can or cannot join unions and what those unions can and cannot do with their money. All of this is in an effort to defund the Democratic Party.

Bill Gates is right. We do need to focus on teaching. We do need to focus on what’s going on in the classrooms. Our kids are falling behind. We need to find innovative thinking and bring that to the classroom. How can we better use computers and the Internet in the classroom? How can we help those students who are falling behind and at the same time continue to push those students who are getting ahead? Throwing money at the problem is not really a solution. Defunding and demoralizing teachers is also not a solution (well, that’s not really true, it is a solution, but it’s not one that’s going to help our schools, our teachers or our students.) So, we have to stop our war on teachers. We need to help them teach our kids. Only then can we focus on teaching.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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