"Our teachers deserve better."

Bill Gates begins his TED Talk by focusing on the importance of feedback when trying to improve at any job or skill, even if it’s just bridge playing (Gates’ presentation includes photos of himself playing cards with his bridge coach).

“Unfortunately,” Gates says, “there’s one group of people who get almost no systematic feedback to help them do their jobs better. And these people have one of the most important jobs in the world.  I’m talking about teachers.” According to Gates, “until recently, over 98% of teachers just got one word of feedback: satisfactory.”

“The system we have today isn’t fair to them,” he continues. “It’s not fair to students and it’s putting America’s global leadership at risk. So today, I want to talk about how we can help all teachers get the tools for improvement they want and deserve.”

Gates goes on to look at other countries where there appears to be a correlation between students’ academic achievement and the fact that the country has a formal system for helping teachers improve. He then suggests an evaluation system and tools to help teachers, developed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Bill Gates speaking at TED Talks Education
Bill Gates
Speaker, TED Talks Education

Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 1975, Bill Gates founded Microsoft with Paul Allen, and led the company to become the worldwide leader in business and personal software and services. In 2008, Bill transitioned to Chairman to focus full-time on his foundation’s work to expand opportunity to the world’s most disadvantaged people. Along with co-chair Melinda Gates, he leads the foundation’s development of strategies to take on some of the world’s toughest challenges: extreme poverty and poor health in developing countries, and improving America’s education system.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committed to ensuring that all students in the United States have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education. The main areas of focus in education for the foundation include the College-Ready Education program which aims to ensure that all students graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college and the Postsecondary Success program which works to increase the number of young people who obtain a postsecondary degree or certificate with labor-market value.

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