NEWSWEEK: Billionaires Waste Money on Education

Back to School for the Billionaires: They hoped their cash could transform failing classrooms. They were wrong. NEWSWEEK investigates what their money bought” was the headline in the May 9, 2011 issue of  Newsweek Magazine.

The article is about the money invested by Bill Gates, The Sam Walton Family, Eli Broad, and Michael Dell. The magazine states, “There weren’t many positive results that we could identify.” (page 43)

Anyone who has had experience as a classroom teacher could have predicted this. Education improvement starts in the classroom, not with money or with administrative mandates.

Instruction has to do with both teaching and learning. Teaching is, obviously, the responsibility of the teacher. To be successful, the teacher has to establish good relationships. People will not “buy” from someone they don’t like. Teachers market information by empowering students and creating lessons that are meaningful, arouse curiosity, challenge, and use creative approaches to have students WANT to put forward effort in their learning.

Learning is the attention and effort students engage in to own what has been taught. Students—especially those in poor socioeconomic areas—will not put forth effort in learning by coercive approaches. The key  to education improvement is for teachers to be positive, offer choices, and prompt students to reflect. These are the practices the Discipline Without Stress Teaching Model.