- Melinda Gates, who has become a prominent figure in the education reform movement, says the U.S. public school system earns a C-plus grade.
- Gates based the grade on international student achievement comparisons and the low number of high school graduates who are prepared for college.
- She said, however, that there are growing pockets of improvement in New Orleans, Florida, New York and Colorado where districts are communicating and sharing best practices, and that charter schools are also providing "pinpoints of light."
The Bill & Melinda Gates has become a key influencer in American education reform movement, spending about $5 billion on education grants and scholarships since 2000, as well as pushing for adoption of the Common Core State Standards and state teacher evaluation systems. It's interesting that Gates mentioned charter schools as "pinpoints of light," as a key argument in the anti-reform movement is that charter schools are being used by for-profit companies to essentially privatize the U.S. public school system, favoring business interests over the pupils they teach. Some leaders in the anti-reform movement might even argue that the real "problem" seen with America's public schools here is that they're still public. Meanwhile, new data shows that U.S. students are improving in reading and math.