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[NEWS] Bill Gates Proclaims US High Schools Obsolete

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Old 02-27-05, 11:39 PM Thread Starter   #1
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[NEWS] Bill Gates Proclaims US High Schools Obsolete


how true is this? are school still not adequate for what todays real world requires?

Quote:
+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Bill Gates Proclaims US High Schools Obsolete |
| from the i-coulda-told-you-that dept. |
| posted by CmdrTaco on Sunday February 27, @11:45 (Education) |
| http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/02/27/1626214 |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------+

[0]bryan sent us a story about [1]Bill Gates' take on US High Schools. He says 'America's high schools are obsolete. By obsolete, I don't just mean that they're broken, flawed or underfunded, though a case could be made for every one of those points. By obsolete, I mean our high schools even when they're working as designed cannot teach all our students what they need to know today.'"

Discuss this story at:
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=05/02/27/1626214

Links:
0. mailto:bryan_jj@hotmail.com
1. http://asia.news.yahoo.com/050227/ap/d88gh7do0.html

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Old 02-28-05, 08:57 AM   #2
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Uh....okay. So what?

The guy dropped out of college. So are we to say, "Hey, be like Bill Gates. Drop out of college, and you'll make billions of dollars". Of course not.

As for making high school more challenging, my view is that your education is up to you. They can guide you through grade 9, 10, and 11, but eventually in grade 12, you're the person that determines how much you're going to learn, and how much you want to learn.

I found high school math to be ridiculously easy, so I studied University math on the side. That doesn't mean I reccomend raising the level of high school math! All I'm saying is that I found the level of High School education to be perfect (of course, this depends on your school). It holds your hand long enough for you to decide what you want in your life, and that's really what's important, no?
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Old 02-28-05, 09:28 AM   #3
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Easy maybe but mainly useless. He is pretty right. Probsly the Mojority of stuff you learn after say 7th grade is useless. You are never going to need how to do these crazy maths yoiu forget in like 2 weeks. In the rare case you do like 1 in a thousand then learn it on your own or in college. On a natiniol math test America got like the 20 spot, that means 20 other countries can do better math then us. Thats crazy.

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Old 02-28-05, 09:40 AM   #4
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He's right in a way, but this isn't some sort of new development.

I took honors English, Physics, Chemistry, etc in high school, and haven't used one iota of it in the real world.

I sucked at math and always did poorly in those classes because I hated it, but I haven't had to use any of it anyway in the real world.

One of the most useful things I learned in school was how a checking account worked, how to budget your money based on your income and family size, etc. That was during a one month project in 8th grade. I hated it at the time, but there are a few things I learned then that I'm glad to know now.

Most of what I learned in high school was how to stay out of the way of the jackasses, and how to goof off and still get by enough to graduate.

Schools need to add mandatory 'Real World Living' classes IMO. Ditch the Phys Ed requirment and add a class that teaches you where to go to register your car, get a mortgage, how to not live paycheck to paycheck, how credit card interest rates really work, that the tax refund you get at the end of the year isn't a 'bonus' of some type, how to fill out a tax form, how to use Microsoft Windows to create a resume, etc etc.

Teach the importance of appearance, communication, proper grammar, personal responsibility, how to select a pediatrician for your child, and how to defend your person should you ever have the need to.

Right after all that happens, I'll see you all in Hell for some ice skating
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Old 02-28-05, 11:00 AM   #5
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if it wasn't for American High Schools, and people going to schools, and colleges he wouldn't have the millions he has. he has to depend on 1000s of programers and coders, etc that made his empire for him. He's portrayin a negative viewpoint, and he could ruin hundreds of lives if people see this, and say I'm gonna drop out of school and become like Bill Gates, because it does not happen. Period.
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Old 02-28-05, 11:33 AM   #6
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Does he mean they are useless or just ours are? Highschool is important it also helps econmy out, Though they should rethink we you learn there for most of it is useless stuff.

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Old 02-28-05, 12:10 PM   #7
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Schools are afraid to teach evolution, Christopher Columbus is now the great indian killer. I doubt they even teach who George Washington is. Probably just say he was a rich Englishman who owned slaves. Schools are broken but we dont need Bill Gates to say that. If he want to donate loads of money then thats wonderful.

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Old 02-28-05, 12:15 PM   #8
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He has donated a large amount of PCs hasnt he?

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Old 02-28-05, 12:17 PM   #9
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As much as I hated highschool, now that I am at university I miss highschool.

I miss the days of not having to do any work and still get good grades.

Those were the days. Play games all night napped at school. I was good....
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Old 02-28-05, 01:40 PM   #10
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I have to agree for the majority, being a highschool student. I live day to day in the useless crap that they teach us. In no way will I need to know about how Shakespear wrote poetry to two seperate people, or will I need to know information about european history, or even american history for the most part. The laws and wars I can understand, as they teach general flaws that have happened in history. However, I dont need to know every single detail about the 1st-25th president. The most information I have gotten out of highschool, have been out of technology classes, that are not even required. I have about 14 credits in technology classes, when I am required to have only 5. I have only taken them because I know they are useful.

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Old 02-28-05, 02:03 PM   #11
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Bill Gates deserves a lot of credit; he didn't have to rely on thousands of programmers to create MS-DOS and the original Windows. Those things sprang mostly straight out of him (especially MS-DOS), which of course has led to the home PCs we all know and love today.
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Old 02-28-05, 02:05 PM   #12
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Oh, and about history being useless:

I have two sayings that are among my most favorite:

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

And:

The best judge of future behavior is past behavior.

Of all the stuff that they teach in high school, history is one of the few important ones. There should be more of it taught in school, and at a more in depth level. I've learned more history out of school than I did in it.
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Old 02-28-05, 02:35 PM   #13
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While I agree that history can be important, most of the details they stuff it with is highly irrelevant. See my previous post about that.

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Old 02-28-05, 03:55 PM   #14
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Comin from a Scottish (Brits) perspective about schools, i found that when i was at high school i would say to the teacher wot am a gonna use this stuff for but im at university doing mechanical engineering with cad it got all thrown back and i sometimes i had to fall back on the basics to advance in a problem. My school i didnt do maths or physics i done chemistry english computing and geography but i used my basic skills in maths and physics and have progressed to my degree year.

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Old 02-28-05, 04:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenchi86
Easy maybe but mainly useless. He is pretty right. Probsly the Mojority of stuff you learn after say 7th grade is useless. You are never going to need how to do these crazy maths yoiu forget in like 2 weeks. In the rare case you do like 1 in a thousand then learn it on your own or in college. On a natiniol math test America got like the 20 spot, that means 20 other countries can do better math then us. Thats crazy.
Useless? I can name 50 friends that graduated with me in High School, who are now failing their university classes because they cannot do something as simple as simplifying, taking derivatives, solving systems of equations.

You say:

1) You're never going to need the crazy maths

'Crazy' maths you do in High School form the basis of nearly every Science discipline in University. I can name you thousands of students who need your so-called crazy maths every single day at University.

2) You forget those crazy maths in 2 weeks

Well, is that the school's fault? I still remember math I learnt in grade 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. This is probably due to the fact that I use it everyday, but since when is the school at fault for the fact that you don't pay attention and seek understanding (not 'you' in particular).

Nobody expects you to memorize the formulas and constants in real life. What's expected is that you understand the essence of the formulas and constants.

3) America sucks in math contests

I'm not going to get into this, but my theory is that it's not to do with the amount of material being taught, but the way it is being taught. For example, I find that more and more high school teachers emphasize the use of technology in classrooms. Well, math contests do not delve into the use of TI-89s and TI-86s. This is one idea.


I'm going to take a common question people ask in math, and expand it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BRIMCV
wot am a gonna use this stuff for
People who ask this in math classes don't have the experience and knowledge to understand the impact it will have in the future. For example, take the Pythagorean Theorem. We all learnt it. I bet when you were sitting there in the 7th or 8th grade learning it, you were wondering the same thing.

And yet this simple theorem profoundly affects everything from Physics, to Calculus, to Analysis, to Astronomy. Of course, when you were sitting there, learning that a^2 + b^2 = c^2, you had no idea of its importance!

So that's my view.

And finally, how about the idea that all the 'useless stuff' you learn works to make you a more complete and aware individual?
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Old 02-28-05, 05:31 PM   #16
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I agree many kids coming out of high school dont know crap anymore....

check man on the street for examples.....

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Old 02-28-05, 07:31 PM   #17
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Ya. The mathematics are very important, no matter where you are going. I have taken all of that which I could, even with the fact that I suck at it, and usually have a low b/high c every time. Its not a matter that I do good on the tests or whatnot, but that I understand the material, and how its done. Such is why when I took Physics, I passed with an A. We used math from many different levels, and I could do it all easily, because I remembered how it was done.

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Old 02-28-05, 07:34 PM   #18
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Even though education at its rawest may not have any obvious direct influence on your life, it definitely teaches you a myriad of important skills; dealing with people, dealing with deadlines, work ethic, and so on...

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Old 02-28-05, 08:09 PM   #19
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Bill Gates was quoted in the Reggster(intentional) as saying, "American high schools are ill prepared to give our children the education that they need in today's world. Half of the schools are using Macs. Fortunately we have a solution. American high schools can buy new computers with Windows and Office and we will give a 10% discount so that our kids can learn to succeed."<--joke

The simple fact of the matter is that the bulk of the information that you need to know has very little to do with technology which will be obsolete before you know it and has more to do with learning how to think and apply what you learn. If schools can excel at teaching kids to think while giving them a sufficient base knowledge with which to apply that talent then they are doing well. Some public schools are better at this than others. Some students are more capable or are expected to perform better while others are encouraged to fail. The problem with education in the US is more of a social problem and has less to do with the technological advancements and like courses of study that are present in the buildings.

Also... and still on topic.
MS-DOS did not come out of Bill Gates. The money to buy it did. Windows didn't come out of Bill Gates, either. He couldn't have even imagined Windows when he stole the idea while his company was working on Mac software. What sprang out of Bill Gates was actually more important, and that was the business end of the software. He made business computing cheaper with a concept of affordable licensing schemes that took advantage of a flexible hardware market to create a business software standard instead of locking everyone into a very limited proprietary system that would not have gone very far as there was plenty of competition in that market and the competition was well ahead of Microsoft at the time. Mix it with the fact that the software was decent and that is what finally caused everything to take off. While the technical end of this was important it was the ability to conceptualize a new type of market that propelled Microsoft and the computing world past the 1980s.

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Old 02-28-05, 08:48 PM   #20
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Lets see, what the most valuable course that I have taken in both highschool and college? That would have to be black hole physics. Why? I could care less about astronomy and physics. I don't see it everyday. I don't use any of the math I learned. I won't ever have to deal with relativity again. However, what it did teach me was how to think out of the box, how to extrapolate a generic idea from a precise equation, etc. That has been increadibly useful for me and always will be.

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