Bill Gates talks about the Khan Academy on the Gates Notes
Parents, keep your eyes on the academic performance of your children’s school at www.greatschools.com, which reports the official test results of all public schools in the United States and assigns a performance ranking to each school. Do not be surprised if your child’s school is performing at the bottom 10%, which means that in a school of 400 students, only 40 students are attaining passing scores on the standardized test and 360 are failing. It also means that out 80 teachers in the school, only 10% of them or eight (8) are doing their job, and that 72 of the teachers are not doing their job.
In Hartford, most schools are performing at the bottom 10%. Only the sewer gets lower than that. The teachers’ general excuse is that “those kids don’t want to learn,” and that “the parents don’t get involved in the education of their children.” The data and common sense have taught us for more than 2000 years that children, regardless of many environmental factors learn anything in the grade level curriculum the teacher throws at them. More than 2000 years ago, the great philosopher Aristotle said, “All man (humans) by nature desire knowledge.” I stated in an article I wrote in 1998, titled “The Underestimated Dangerous Mind,” “The brain’s function is learning. It doesn’t know how not to learn.”
Parents have complained about incompetent teachers for more than 2000 years. The father of Alexander the Great, King Philip of Macedonia, proclaimed, “The teachers of the day are not challenging my son. I estimated that Alexander the Great was about 11 at the time of the pronouncement. King Philip immediately summoned Aristotle and commissioned him as Alexander’s tutor. The curriculum of the time was the trivium and the quadrivium. Alexander the Great tribute to his premier philosopher/teacher was, “From Aristotle I learned about life.”
One point here is that even a privileged child like Alexander the Great needed a good teacher. All children deserve able and caring teachers and a quality education regardless of parental involvement and economic status. We pay teachers to teach, not to squander and collect an undeserving paycheck and a generous benefit package.
If you want your children to be ahead of the pack, introduce them to Khan Academy at www.Khanacademy.org, with lightning speed.