Saved by the Bell Curve

Microsoft has abandoned the practice of ranking employees on a bell curve. But did Bill Gates get the memo?

By Sue Altman, EduShyster Academy

Silly me. I’ve been saying for ages now that we should stop treating our schools like businesses. But after much soul searching, I realize I’ve been wrong all along. I think we can learn a lot from a very American corporation: Microsoft. What caused my sudden realization that the same company that brought us the Zune is ideally suited to get our kids “college and career ready”? The answer can be found right here in a memo that Microsoft’s new executive VP of HR just issued to all employee’s regarding the company’s performance review program. Continue reading →

The Next Gates Thing

At last a tool to weed out bad teachers: the edu-drone

Coming to a classroom near you: advanced edu-drone technology.

A sophisticated algorithm has calculated that visionary and change agent Bill Gates produces approximately 3.7 excellent transformational ideas per day. (Note: due to a glitch in the program, neither bad ideas nor ideas that Gates himself is ‘walking away from’ are included in this calculation.) So what’s the next Gates idea that will at last enable our low-achieving educators to guide their hopelessly-stifled charges across the achievement Rubicon? The buzzing in your ear is not merely the result of excessive wine boxing, dear reader. That’s an edu-drone circling overhead and you and your low expectations are in its sights. Continue reading →

Another Great Idea from Bill Gates

The Gates Foundation is spending $1.4 million on research involving cool new galvanic bracelets to measure student engagement and teacher effectiveness.

Bill Gates is funding research into magic bracelets that will measure student engagement and teacher effectiveness. Can a device measuring the effectiveness of philanthropists be far behind?

To all of you Bill Gates haters out there, I challenge you to identify a single one of “Mr. Mensa’s” ideas that hasn’t made our schools better. Ok, fine. Name four. Can’t do it, can you?

Well like BG8s (the Microsoft mogul’s rap name), I happen to agree with the proposition that there are plenty of easy–and more importantly, lucrative–fixes to the complex challenges of public education. So I lit up like a Galvanic bracelet when I read about the Gates Foundation’s decision to pour money into research on the use of so-called GSR devices to measure student engagement and teacher effectiveness. Continue reading →