On Thursday October 19, 2017, Bill Gates announced that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is making another big investment in U.S. schools.
$1.7 billion big.
This investment will span over the next five years and be used primarily to development new curricula, help schools collaborate to identify problems and solutions, and use data to drive improvement. Additionally, 25% of the investment “will focus on big bets – innovations with the potential to change the trajectory of public education over the next 10 to 15 years.”
“Education is, without a doubt, one of the most challenging areas we invest in as a foundation.”
“. . . like many of you, we want to see faster and lasting change in student achievement – and our commitment to that goal is steadfast.”
While it won’t solve all of the challenges we face in education, it is a great step forward.
Education is something that is on my mind a lot. From friends of mine starting companies like Dev Mountain, a coding bootcamp, and Lambda School, an alternative to a traditional CS degree, to YCombinator’s recent Reqeust for Education Startups.
“At YC, we’re deeply interested in education because of its power to transform lives and societies and to maximize human potential. On a micro level, we believe technology can help reverse the trend in K-12 of spending more and more money to achieve the same learning outcomes.”
There are many neat things happening in this space and many more needed.
Both my wife and my mother are or were teachers. I’ve been able to see more of the “behind the scenes” stuff that goes on in the life of a teacher than the average person does. And like education as a whole, the teaching side is rife with challenges.
I’m excited to see continued progress in this space and both hope and plan to be part of it.