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High Tech High 2.0

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the you-wanted-backward-compatibility? dept.

Education 146

theodp writes "A week ago, in his How to Keep America Competitive Op-Ed, Bill Gates touted the Gates Foundation-backed High Tech High as the future of American education. One small problem. Two days earlier, tearful Bay Area High Tech High students — recruited by a Bill Gates video — were told that their school of the future has no future. So would Bill be too embarrassed to lay out his education plan before the Senate Wednesday? Nah. Not too surprisingly though, mentions of High Tech High were MIA in Bill's prepared remarks (PDF), which touted Philly's imaginatively named $65M School of the Future, built under the guidance of Microsoft, as the new school of the future. Committee politicians reportedly embraced virtually all of the suggestions made by Gates."

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Sigh (1)

o'reor (581921) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276546)

I thought the reasoning of politicians had gone a little beyond the "let's suck up to whatever Bill Gates says for he always knows better than us". It seems we're still a long way from that...

Re:Sigh (3, Funny)

observer7 (753034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276628)

tearful Bay Area High Tech High students -- recruited by a Bill Gates video -- were told that their school of the future has no future... teacher ,i had my homework but the dog eat my school.

MODS ON MET ! Re:Sigh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18276828)

Did you have to go and mod parent down for that joke ?

Re:MODS ON MET ! Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18277160)

They didn't. If you checked the post and the user's history you'd realize he's got low karma to begin with.

Twit.

Re:MODS ON MET ! Re:Sigh (1)

Moderatbastard (808662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277316)

And why? Because nobody gets his jokes!

Re:Sigh (1)

black inc. (1069256) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276710)

Most of the issues that Gates brought up already had support from politicians. For example, McCain and Kennedy are introducing legislation regarding Visas, and Bush was already interested in federal research funding.

Dark cloud over good works of Gates Foundation (2, Informative)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277184)

The LA Time recently ran a story about the possibly troubling investment strategies of the Gates Foundation [latimes.com] . You can see more of their coverage here [latimes.com] .

There was also, more to the point, this story via the Register: Gates demands better schools as Gates-backed school closes [theregister.co.uk] and this much more detailed story [insidebayarea.com] .

If this is an example of how the deals are made and how things are managed, it points to another classic example of 'the microsoft touch' screwing things up. It quickly reads as a tremendous gift of technology squandered by poor management, the same management which had delivered on providing poor schools in the first place. Of course, Bill protected his development.

(Pardon me for being cynical)

I recall another story along this line from someplace (done in the human interest vein), but I can't place it just yet.

Re:Sigh (2, Insightful)

m0rph3us0 (549631) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277280)

If you want to create schools that teach people useful knowledge the best thing that could happen is a school voucher program where parents receive a set amount of funding from the various levels of government and are free to spend those dollars as they see fit. Thus music programs and technological education can compete in a fair manner.

Re:Sigh (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278106)

If you want to create schools that teach people useful knowledge the best thing that could happen is a school voucher program where parents receive a set amount of funding from the various levels of government and are free to spend those dollars as they see fit. Thus music programs and technological education can compete in a fair manner.

Aren't you the cock-eyed optimist.

Useful translates into one of two things:

Skills which are marketable and courses which threaten no one.

No difference, fundamentally, from the Amish pulling kids out of school past the elementary grades--where they might be tempted by exposure to new ideas and different cultures.

How to Keep America Competitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279146)

Stop mainstreaming, empower teachers and re-establish respect for educators. It is that simple, no technology required.

High tech high? (4, Funny)

greenguy (162630) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276548)

Duuuuuuuuude!

Re:High tech high? (1, Funny)

SillySnake (727102) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276892)

Sweeeeeeeet!

Re:High tech high? (1)

Grrreat (584733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277768)

"High 2.0" Let me be a better tester for that!

Re:High tech high? (1)

Keiseth (1064792) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279244)

Departm- School of Redundancy School.

naturally (3, Insightful)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276556)

Committee politicians reportedly embraced virtually all of the suggestions made by Gates.

Of course they embraced his ideas. Hes the richest man in the world. Every politician want s to be him.

Re:naturally (4, Interesting)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276610)

I don't think they want to necessarily _be_ him, but what they do want to have happen is M$ come in and fork out some cash to help build 'better' schools in their districts. (and provide kickbacks, extra cash flow, visibility, etc...etc...etc..)

Re:naturally (0, Troll)

ibbo (241948) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276690)

This sounds almost as horrific as windows for warships. The powers that be are always swayed by bullshit and Bill as we know is a master in this game. He is no doubt trying to get rid of vista as nobody wants to buy it. So you unsuspecting tax paying Americans will finance Bill and Co like it or not.

I do not for one moment think that M$ will cough this up for the good of its health. There has to be a financial insentive in there someplace.

Re:naturally (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277014)

but what they do want to have happen is M$ come in and fork out some cash to help build 'better' schools in their districts. (and provide kickbacks, extra cash flow, visibility, etc...etc...etc..)


Which is completely correct considering how corrupt the Philadelphia political scene, as a whole, is. The rest of the state funnels tens of millions of dollars worth of subsidies to the city every year to prop it up. For example, the South Eastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA), which provides bus service for the city, was running short of money, as usual, and wanted to raise rates by .25 cents (that's a quarter for those keeping score).

In his infinite wisdom, and because he's from the Philly area, our governor wanted the rest of us to foot the bill for the SEPTA so the people of Philly wouldn't have to pay that extra twenty-five cents.

Yes, I know. Chicago and Detroit completely outclass Philadelphia in corruption issues. However, since I'm the one whose tax dollars are subsidizing that wreck of a city, their corruption is all that matters to me.

This High Tech High School is no different. Big plans to be funded by the taxpayers and if it fails, oh well, at least they tried. After all, it's not their money.

Then again, since the people of Philadelphia are too stupid to get semi-qualified people into office and demand an end to kickbacks and corruption, they deserve what they get. However, I, and the rest of the taxpayers of the Commonwealth, shouldn't be penalized for their incompetence.

Re:naturally (1)

TheOldFart (578597) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278150)


.25 cents (that's a quarter for those keeping score).

.25 cent is 1/4 of 1 cent. You need 100 of those to make up a quarter. ".25 dollar" is a quarter.

Re:naturally (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278678)

Yup, absolutely correct. Definite mistype on my part.

*bow*

Re:naturally (1)

TheOldFart (578597) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278900)


*bow*


Plase, don't! No need for it and it goes somewhat against your sig (which I loved it, btw :)

Re:naturally (1)

HeyMe (935075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276656)

Embrace.

Extend.

Extinguish.

Yep, I'd say that about says it all.

Re:naturally (4, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276950)

Committee politicians reportedly embraced virtually all of the suggestions made by Gates.

And then they'll Extend and Extinguish them?

H-1Bs are not the solution (4, Insightful)

nharmon (97591) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276642)

I really wish Gates would stop touting the H-1B program as the solution to a lack of American scientists and engineers. All it does is allow companies to pay scientists and engineers low wages by pumping up the labor supply. This is a clear case where the interests of the companies are in stark opposition to the interests of America.

If America wants to stay competitive, force these companies to start paying real salaries for scientists and engineers. People will seek these career fields if the salaries are right, and the supply problem will go away.

Re:H-1Bs are not the solution (3, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276720)

Your solution only works if paying 'real salaries' is profitable(leaving aside the discussion of whether they are or not, job creation depends on it being profitable to pay someone to do work).

The real problem with the H1B program is that it exports a bunch of knowledge for no good reason. The bright folks who want to come here should be encouraged to stay, not to stay for a while.

Re:H-1Bs are not the solution (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18276996)

Your solution only works if paying 'real salaries' is profitable(leaving aside the discussion of whether they are or not, job creation depends on it being profitable to pay someone to do work).

Indentured servitude is always going to be more profitable for businesses than actually paying someone a fair wage. It's not that hiring Americans is not profitable, it's that hiring H1B workers is going to be more profitable.

They'd better be profitable; consider alternatives (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277226)

Your solution only works if paying 'real salaries' is profitable(leaving aside the discussion of whether they are or not, job creation depends on it being profitable to pay someone to do work).

More importantly, we have to ensure that it's profitable. America can't compete with the Third World on wages; it's just not going to happen. The cost of living here is just too high, and unless we want to reduce our standard of living in order to reduce the costs, we have to figure out a way to shield American companies from direct foreign competition. That's the long and short of it, and it's what nobody really wants to say. We have a standard of living that's only achieved by very high costs; companies in other areas don't have these problems. But unless we want to reduce our standards to that of Calcutta's, trying to compete isn't an option.

At least for the moment, America is by far the largest goods-market in the world. We need to use this to our advantage, by ensuring that American companies, and other companies from areas that pay workers well, receive preferential access.

There's quite simply no other way to ensure that workers here are paid enough to maintain our expected standard of living. If we allow immigration and bring in low-cost workers from abroad, wages plummet. If we don't allow immigration but allow cheap imports, than domestic companies go bankrupt (or offshore everything) because they're no longer profitable. Either way, you end up with us collapsing our own economy.

We need to take a far more aggressive stance towards ensuring that our way of life is economically sustainable into the future, and right now I think we're on a collision course with disaster. Nothing less than our way of life is at stake.

Re:They'd better be profitable; consider alternati (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277514)

You can't build a house of cards from the top down. Our way of life is a result of how much we produce, not how much we consume. If we closed our borders perfectly today, some of us would be better off, but as a whole we would be worse off(by definition, trade is beneficial to the parties engaging in it; a third party often loses, but that is their problem). To the extent that we are currently unable to meet our resource demands internally, we need foreign trade, so it isn't really an option.

The other problem is that I lack the nationalistic zeal that says that my fifty pounds of steak is more important than other people, ya know, eating. I'm not a goddamn dirty longhaired hippy. I don't feel bad eating the steak that I earn, but I really don't give a shit about where in the world all the rest of the steak goes; I am just as happy with someone in China eating it as I am with someone in California. Sorry.

The upshot is that it is entirely possible to grow the world economy and pull other people up, rather than having them pull us down. You can watch it happening(China is growing incredibly fast, but our economy still got bigger the last few years, and the strength of the dollar is even becoming somewhat more certain). The size of the pie is not fixed yet.

Re:H-1Bs are not the solution (2, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277924)

The bright folks who want to come here should be encouraged to stay, not to stay for a while.

If green cards were easier to obtain, and they weren't beholden to the employer who sponsors them, they would.

Of course, then they could shop the market, and they could demand a salary as high as the rest of us. So of course the corporations will never allow that to happen.

The top-level poster is spot on, all these other excuses are to divert attention from the money. It is *always* about the money. In the long term, there is no such thing as a labor shortage. The market fixes everything.

Re:H-1Bs are not the solution (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276870)

Or they will move their R&D offshore, which wouldn't help America at all. It's not about immigration, or R&D jobs and budgets. Think larger, think about how the Microsoft way is being taught at the institutions. Think about how warped a view on the world they will receive with this 'training'. Think about the lack of alternatives presented in such an environment. They are training the CIO's of the future. The ones we have now are already under Microsoft's thumb, hard. Imagine the future if MS has their way. Sure, we should be moving to high tech classrooms, but not at the expense of selling our children's souls to the devil^W^WBills idea of the future.

Ways to kill Bill Gates' H1B bill before congress (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18276900)

1) Open it up to lawyers
2) Don't let the employer hold the visa.
3) Make it an easy citizenship track option.
4) Make it contingent upon also hiring two trainable Americans.
5) Cut the lawyers out of the deal, make it an easy to fill out form.
6) Tailor it so that more women and non-Hindus can take advantage of it.

It's funny. There seem to be few "angry muslims" allowed into this country but plenty of "docile hindus". funny.

Re:Ways to kill Bill Gates' H1B bill before congre (1)

Adeptus_Luminati (634274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277128)

1. Is directly in contradiction to 5.

4. Not a bad idea.

6. Why non-Hindus? Is there a less qualified ratio of Muslims, Sihks & Christians in India?

Adeptus

Re:H-1Bs are not the solution (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18276984)

A DDJ blogger wrote yesterday of the pitiful disinterest in engineering as a career for American graduates, and cited, among other things, the lack of financial reward for engineers in the 21st Century.

It seems to me that offshoring and H1B wage-lowering strategies are not going unnoticed by those in school and choosing a career.

Re:H-1Bs are not the solution (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277000)

No H1B requires competitive pay. What really angers me is that removal or decreasing of H1Bs would force companies to do something about the vast amounts of unused smart people that already exist in this country who simply for one reason or another have not been able to receive the training that would be necessary. But instead of companies helping to improve education in this country so that they can have a qualified work force, they are allowed to use another countries education system instead. Sad really, as the money that any country puts into its education is intended to help the citizens of that country, not necessarily to help that citizen leave the country to find a better job elsewhere. So in turn we are actually hurting the US and other countries who are losing these talented folks.

Re:H-1Bs are not the solution (1)

mpaque (655244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278042)

No H1B requires competitive pay

As specified by the employer. You forgot that part.

'Competitive' in the Silicon Valley, an area with a very high cost of living, is being defined as just under 40K/year for a Level 1 Engineer. That's the bottom quintile of starting salaries for a person with a title 'Engineer' in the DOL western region. After the H-1B wage slave pays taxes, and placement fees to the H-1B agency (or worse, works directly through such an agency structured as a consulting firm that takes a substantial cut off the top) there's not much left beyond the basics of food and housing.

Re:H-1Bs are not the solution (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18278942)

"No H1B requires competitive pay"

Use your brain. If you pay 50 Americans $100,000/yr and 50 H1B's $50,000/yr the average salary is what? $75,000. Now you can offer Americans $75,000/yr. Next you have 50 Americans at $75,000/yr and 50 H1B's at $45,000/yr so the average becomes what? $60,000/yr. And so on, and so on, and so on, ...

This is what is going on.

If American companies want better employees they need to do it the old fashion way. Take generalists and give them the training they need.

Re:H-1Bs are not the solution (2, Insightful)

C3ntaur (642283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277272)

I think the H1-B program will soon be irrelevent. It hastened the inevitable, but the fact of the matter is that any job that can be offshored for more profit, will be. It started happening to our manufacturing industry 30 years ago, and it's been happening to our high tech industries ever since other nations with cheaper labor built up enough infrustructure to support it.

The only advice I can think of for someone choosing a career today is to find something that cannot be offshored.

Re:H-1Bs are not the solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18277940)

Working at Taco Bell?

Re:H-1Bs are not the solution (1)

Shajenko42 (627901) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277968)

Oh, don't worry about that.

They'll be automating those jobs away soon.

Re:H-1Bs are not the solution- Nation of Lawyers (1)

SirLanse (625210) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278580)

To avoid offshoring, become a lawyer or doctor.
Why aren't companies getting H1B plumbers and electricians?
Get some H1B Accountants.
Leave my industry alone. Pay them a competitive wage? Go 2 years, have 200,000 open jobs
and I'll have an auction for my services. Then we will see what competitive wages are.

Re:H-1Bs are not the solution (1)

thePsychologist (1062886) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277800)

Right, let's correct a part of the article:

The most important factor is our workforce. Scientists and engineers trained in U.S. universities -- the world's best -- have pioneered key technologies such as the microprocessor, creating industries and generating low-paying jobs so that I could make millions.

But immagine a typical conversation... (1, Offtopic)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276658)

in a Microsoft-based school:

Kid 1: What do you have next period?
Kid 2: Obeying the man 101, what about you?
Kid 1: I have to sit through Advanced Legal Manipulation.
Kid 2: Damn that sucks!
Kid 1: At least I have a full ride to the new Torvald's College when I'm done here!

Oblig UAC joke (0)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277028)

Teacher: Now class, what is the square root of 4?
UAC man in black coat (MIBC): Teacher, you have queried the students. Cancel/Allow? (allow)
Jimmy: Two
MIBC: Jimmy, you have answered the teacher's query. Cancel/Allow? (allow)
Teacher: Good job Jimmy! You get an extra point on the test
MIBC: Teacher, you have issued a grade to Jimmy. Cancel/Allow? (allow)
MIBC: (black one-way window drops in front of teacher)This is a restricted action. Please provide your password (gives wrong password)
MIBC: Please give your password again. Do not attempt to breach the window

$65 million school of the future? (2, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276660)

So, um, exactly how far does that $65 million go after subtracting out the computers for every student... and all those Vista licenses? =)

Re:$65 million school of the future? (2, Insightful)

galenoftheshadows (828940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276974)

Ummmmm... Let's see here.

Divide by 42.

Carry the one.

"$#&%! We're $300 Million in the hole!"

"Nah, we'll just ask congress to write it off until they're all paying social security, and get a huge tax break now!"

Re:$65 million school of the future? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277212)

It goes to the teachers union.

Re:$65 million school of the future? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18278606)

yeah, because teachers are so overpaid. give me a break.

PR, PR (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276662)

While it is very nice of His Billness to donate a bunch of money, I think most of his flap is just that. He is obviously trying to salvage MS's public image with his personal charm.

Re:PR, PR (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18276756)

Somehow that brings to mind Al Gore trying to salvage the image of the Democratic Party with his dancing.

Re:PR, PR (1)

bryguy5 (512759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276992)

As the richest person in the world controlling one of the most influential companies everyone is gunning for you out of a combination of envy or fear. (I myself usually fall into the fear catagory against the windows monopoply.)

Bill has way too much money for 1 person, what's wrong with him donating a few million here and a few million there. It's the equivalent to us putting a few dollars into the salvation army bucket as we go by.

---
Need money for your school, sport, or civic, group - Help support a geek http://www.ilovefundraising.com/ [ilovefundraising.com]

Re:PR, PR (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277842)

He is obviously trying to salvage MS's public image with his personal charm.

---and, it would seem, very successfully, as well.

But the Geek always stumbles badly when he equates his opinion of Microsoft with the public's opinion of Microsoft. How Boss's Deeds Buff A Firm's Reputation [wsj.com]

The point spread is narrow between companies that score well. Cold comfort for the Geek in that.

1 Microsoft
4 Google
8 Sony

11 Amazon
13 Disney
16 Intel
22 Apple
23 Dell
37 Verizon
38 HP
40 Wal-Mart
49 Time-Warner
58 Comcast
60 Haliburton

Reputation Rankings [wsj.com]

/. loathes Bill Gates (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18276682)

Slashdot hates Bill Gates. Too bad the venerable Byte magazine declared his mojo VERY strong when they analyzed the copies of the Altair BASIC source code that turned up at Harvard.

So he has more money than all the slashdotters, and he writes better code too.

Too bad, so sad.

This just in! (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276902)

Bill Gates shown to be giant hypocrite in favor of his own solutions! News at eleven!

Nobody wants to work for Microsoft, anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18276912)

Let him lobby for 100,000 more Visas or whatever... Do you want to work for Microsoft ? Why aren't Larry and Sergey complaining ? They are hiring the brightest kids out of college. The real problem is, Microsoft is no more the destination for smart American kids :-)

Gates is a douche (1)

Tins1618 (1073272) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276920)

That's all, he's just a douche.

Unfortunately No Parents? (2, Interesting)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276944)

I read the article and don't think I remembered hearing about parents at all.

That may be intentional or not & might be true or not in the actual school experience, that parents are ignored, but without parent involvement, encouragement & support, there will not be the achievement that everyone wants.

maybe he could go back to school... (1)

realkiwi (23584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18276986)

... and learn how to speak English?

Best part of the school was ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18277002)

I like the whole concept of HTH, and the best part is all the homework is outsourced to India.

Competitiveness? Hah! (4, Insightful)

MyIS (834233) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277038)

Bill Gates is a shining example of the kind of competitiveness we do not want. His empire was built on undercutting the right enemy at the right time and cramming technological mediocrity down consumers' throats. And this is not me being a frothy-mouthed anti-Microsoft zealot; anyone can compare, say, OS/2 with Windows 95 and agree with that statement, grudgingly or not.

And so, is this the man we want as an example of technological brilliance? He should be inspiring young kids in MBA school, not the future engineers and programmers. His business sense goes against the entire philosophy of having a high tech school - it seems that he made his money by preventing technological advancement.

Re:Competitiveness? Hah! (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278380)

Compare OS/2 with Windows XP and you'll see the same results. If OS/2 would have had Win32 compatibility back in the day...

Re:Competitiveness? Hah! (2, Insightful)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278464)

anyone can compare, say, OS/2 with Windows 95

Windows 95 came with a TCP stack included. OS/2 required you to spend an extra $80 to get the "Warp Connect" package if you intended to use the Internet. In 1995.

IBM's OS/2-native Web Explorer browser was also at all times at least one full major release behind Netscape, feature-wise.

Windows 95 took the market because it was a better consumer OS than OS/2.

Re:Competitiveness? Hah! (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278660)

His empire was built on undercutting the right enemy at the right time and cramming technological mediocrity down consumers' throats.

He didn't cram anything down anyone's throats.

He sold operating systems and software for hardware platforms which were entry-level at the time of their release.

That is the mass-market solution pioneered by Henry Ford. The solution which always generates more money and greater opportunities for development than the handcraft work so admired by the Geek in his own technological Stanley Steamers.

Here are the specs for a $900 Toshiba Vista Premium laptop from Walmart:

1.73 GHz Dual-Core Intel CPU
15.4" wide-screen display
1 GB DDR RAM (expandable)
160 GB HDD
DVD-R
Intel Wi-Fi Toshiba Sattelite [walmart.com]

That, unadjusted for inflation, is 2/3 of the price our family paid for a Win 95 Packard-Bell desktop twelve years ago:

75 MHz Pentium CPU
12" CRT Monitor w/ 1 MB integrated graphics
8 MB RAM
545 MB HDD
4X CD-ROM
14.4 K Modem

Re:Competitiveness? Hah! (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278726)

Clearly, the best way to keep America competitive is to avoid the expensive costs involved in educating Americans and, instead, invest a fraction of that budget into enticing foreign labor. You also have the added benefit of being able to drastically affect the value of labor in each field of expertise by importing the labor to reduce overall costs.

The mistake that a lot of non-corporate entities continue to make is believing that Americans need to spend a couple hundred thousand dollars each to educate themselves into their mid-twenties before entering the job market.

Poker (3, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277088)

Bill Gates was known as a master Poker player in college. Many think this is the skill that allowed him manipulate his way past competitors and cripple giants like IBM. Offshoring and visa workers are making tech skill a cheap commodity. Perhaps we should teach our kids Poker. As W shows, we are the land of con artists. We might as well embrace our comparative advantage and welcome our sneaky overlords.
           

Sounds like the bay area kids have to upgrade! (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277120)

That seems like the usual Microsoft strategy, when the new version comes out, the old one is ignored and shut down! (probably a coincidence in this case, but it's still funny).

MS != US (4, Insightful)

darekana (205478) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277122)

However stupid "High Tech High" sounds,
it is not grounds to dismiss Gates' points.

America needs smarter citizens.
  (who respect intelligence, and don't vote for certifiably stupid leaders)

America needs to be attractive to the best and brightest from around the world.

This requires focusing on education and immigration policy reform.

Please lets not get sidetracked on the MS bashing stuff when bigger issues abound.

Re:MS != US (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277284)

America needs smarter citizens. (who respect intelligence, and don't vote for certifiably stupid leaders)
This requires focusing on education and immigration policy reform.

Policy reform won't do a darn thing. You're talking a MAJOR cultural/mental shift for many Americans. Many people don't feel the NEED for education, so never pressure their kids to study. After all, their Little Bubba's the next NFL star! Coach said so!

Re:MS != US (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278870)

Many people don't feel the NEED for education, so never pressure their kids to study.


Perhaps, though I think a far bigger factor is that many people either are only rarely around their kids because if they weren't working multiple jobs, their kids would be living on the streets, or don't see any realistic prospects from the education available to their kids, so don't force them to study.

Of course, lots of parents (even, often, despite those negative factors) try to make their kids study, but are stuck with crumbling schools unable to retain permanent teachers or even provide students with books they can take home, so there isn't a lot they can do to get their kids to study, or a lot of payoff when they do.

These problems are not immune to policy solutions. Nor are the cultural problems, which are the result of perceptions of prospects from different actions. Change the experiences people have and what they see as the prospects and, over time, you'll change the culture.

Re:MS != US (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277430)

America needs smarter citizens.
Ever considered emigrating?

Re:MS != US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18277590)

To think that any reasonably sized population (one with a normal intelligence distribution, with "normal" defined in a statistical sense) can elect leaders that are not stupid on a regular basis is laughable. As counter-intuitive as it may be, a thinking person does not reflect the opinions of the majority in any democratic society today.

It has been mentioned here that Alexander Hamilton feared voting by the masses for this very reason. However, it's far worse to have people of legal status not be able to vote and then watch as elected officials not represent their interests, however petty or ignorant they might be. This is the sort of thing that historically has led to nasty revolutions and civil wars.

Re:MS != US (1)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277908)

America needs smarter citizens.

Nonsense. America already *has* plenty of smart citizens.

The problem with America is that many of its very smart/skilled citizens are currently unemployed or underemployed, but a very small investment of time could make those people productive again. A few hours of time in some cases, or even no training at all in some cases.

When I was unemployed a few years ago, I was turned down for literally *dozens* of positions that I could have easily stepped into with a few hours or days of training, and hundreds more that I could have been fully prepared for in a month or two, but that is too much investment these days for most companies. They're too busy thinking about short-term goals to concentrate on long-term development...

Re:MS != US (1)

korbin_dallas (783372) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278038)

Sorry, but historically its a lot easier to drag the smart people down than it is to bring the stupid people up.

Thus the modern edumacashun system.

Besides, if we are ALL the BEST, then wouldn't that just make everyone AVERAGE ??

Re:MS != US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18278154)

Sounds great, you willing to support an additional 30 mill tax increase on your property taxes to afford to hire competent teachers? Right now teacher salaries are pitiful and there is no way in hell you can hire a CS instructor for a highschool for the peanuts your teachers are getting... How about an additional 20 mill increase so they can buy reasonable It infrastructure and hire a competent full time It staff?

Lots of you say you support it, yet I dont see you at the PTA meeting and supporting doubling the education taxes so the schools can afford this stuff. Wont you pay an additional $2000.00 a year in property taxes to make sure that US kids get a real education instead of the incredibly bad joke of an education they get now? ANY child that graduates from a US highschool that can not read at a entry college level, cant do geometry and algebra, or understand fully the basics of computer operation is proof that the school they attended is 100% worthless and non-effective.

Indian and Japanese kids kick ALL amercian kids asses hard in education. to the point that the brightest graduating today are considered mentially retarted compared to the average students overseas.

Re:MS != US (1)

shess (31691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278418)

Indian and Japanese kids kick ALL amercian kids asses hard in education. to the point that the brightest graduating today are considered mentially retarted compared to the average students overseas.

This is clearly why India and Japan so completely dominate the world markets. The only way to end the massive depression the US has been in for the past 20 years is to improve our educational system, otherwise we'll just become a subsidiary of Japan, Inc.

Knowledge != Intelligence (1)

ady1 (873490) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278648)

While I agree with most part of you post, I disagree with the subject. No matter how good a school is, it cannot make a person intelligent. It can only make him/her knowledgeable.

Let's not confuse the point (1)

bcharr2 (1046322) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279458)

Would America benefit from a better educated workforce? Yes. Is a better educated American workforce something Bill Gates supports? No. It was simply window dressing to distract America from the fact that Bill Gates would prefer to import lower wage workers from foreign nations than provide Americans with competitively paying jobs. While I will not claim that Americans are smarter or better educated than their foreign counterparts, I will make the argument that Microsoft has benefited substantially from being based within America. I would go as far as to state that this nation created the environment within which Microsoft was able to grow and develop and succeed, and to reap the benefits of what this nation has provided you while attempting to give back to her citizens as little as possible is shameful. Any American CEO who feels they owe the citizens of this nation nothing should feel free to relocate their entire business elsewhere. I am sure they will be successful, despite the regional instability, corruption, or outright resistance to capitalism they will find in many other nations.

america running foss will help keep us competitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18277144)

with other countries adopting foss at a faster rate than the usa, business cost will be lower for outside countries faster than the usa which has a slower rate of foss adoption, making running proprietary software a competitive disadvantage for the usa. if the usa made gpl companies, tax exempt, it would help spure adoption of foss, making the usa more competitive.

Bill Gates says "Jump", the world says "HOW HIGH" (4, Insightful)

Caspian (99221) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277150)

"Committee politicians reportedly embraced virtually all of the suggestions made by Gates..."

Infuriating, but not at all surprising. Outside the geek world-- and very few geeks seem to realise this-- people think Bill Gates is a role model to be followed. He's the richest guy in the world, so people in our highly capitalist, money-obsessed society are prone to hang on his every word. Much like Christian apologists, they note the good ("Bill Gates gives billions to charity") whilst ignoring the bad (e.g. "he made those billions via anticompetitive, illegal means" / "his Foundation is a huge tax break and PR boost for himself, and has been used as a tool to push Windows on developing nations who can't afford it"). They believe that simply because he is obscenely wealthy, he is necessarily a good guy. Everyone likes to root for the biggest fish in the pond. Everyone likes to root for the winner, and Bill Gates is undoubtedly a winner. It's sad, but true-- most of the world thinks Gates is a great guy.

History doesn't look upon, say, Andrew Carnegie as a good guy simply because he gave away obscene amounts of money, but the average American today is lot more greedy, selfish and short-sighted than their counterpart of Carnegie's time, evidently...

Re:Bill Gates says "Jump", the world says "HOW HIG (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277384)

Much like Christian apologists, they note the good ("Bill Gates gives billions to charity") whilst ignoring the bad (e.g. "he made those billions via anticompetitive, illegal means" / "his Foundation is a huge tax break and PR boost for himself, and has been used as a tool to push Windows on developing nations who can't afford it").
Err.. you don't know many Christian apologists. Any apologist like your straw man would lose many a debate.

Re:Bill Gates says "Jump", the world says "HOW HIG (1)

Caspian (99221) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279290)

I know quite a few Christian apologists. They all, without fail, try to work negatives into positives, simply ignore them, or shrug and say "Man cannot always understand God". Religion is like that, and in America, capitalism is the state religion as much as fundamentalist Christianity is.

Re:Bill Gates says "Jump", the world says "HOW HIG (1)

micromuncher (171881) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278230)

[Most of the world thinks Bill is a great guy.]

And that is the power of money and mindshare. My x-father-in-law and I had many debates about the merrits of Bill. He believed that in order to be one of the richest men in the world, he had to be really smart, innovative, have a great business savvy, work ethic, and could do no wrong.

I argued (from experience) that his business practices were shady (and driven from the top, so him and Balmer), that his success was from right time and connections, many successes were built upon the unrecognized work of others, and pointed out his philanthropy came very late in life. Everything Bill does has a catch. The school-of-the-future plans I first saw had the "microsoft only" stamp - as well as the strings attached to any Bill/Microsoft donation to education.

I still have a recruiting brochure Circa 1991 from Microsoft that touted Bill as a post secondary drop out. How can anyone consider Bill a champion of education?

Ah well, North American culture worships anti-heroes. I wonder how many slaves worshiped their masters like the wage slaves worship the well-to-do.

If Bill is in favor of it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18277256)

It must be bad. Nuff said.

Did Bill lobby for more visas for HS students too? (5, Funny)

Eternal Vigilance (573501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277266)

The failure of HTH clearly shows the lack of high school students we face in this country. There simply aren't enough American teenagers available! If HTH had been able to recruit teenagers from India, they'd be thriving. But no, anti-free-market immigration laws have put the school out of business.


Would *you* ever want to be described as a "committee politician"?

politicians (1)

projektsilence (988729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277336)

This is all because politicians, much like gorillas, do love getting pubic lice from Bill Gates, if you know what I mean.. wait... or is that the other way around?

Are you saying... (2, Funny)

tomcode (261182) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277340)

That HTH went to blue screen of death?

Re:Are you saying... (2, Interesting)

GringoCroco (889095) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277678)

There's more to the blue color than what meets the BSOD
quiting from the dress code pdf on HTH's website:

In order to make HTHB a community where everyone feels safe, until further notice there will be restrictions on red and blue clothing.[...]
  • Shirts that are both red and blue are permitted
  • Shirts that have some red/blue such as plaid designs, are permitted as long as red/blue are not the main colors that stand out
  • Light blue and pink are permitted
  • Blue jeans are permitted
  • No solid red/blue clothing including undershirts that are visible
  • No solid red/blue belts, laces, jewelry, or hair accessories

It Microsoft... wait for version 3.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18277356)

Right from DOS days, Gates and Microsoft never got anything right before version 3. Maybe we just have to wait this one out for the next iteration.

is _THAT_ the way to keep America competitive? (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277456)

http://www.nclr.org/funding [nclr.org] The "Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation" funds La Raza.

and just a couple of articles down from this one on the slashdot's main page:

http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/07/234 825 [slashdot.org]

Bill gates speaks out against immigration policies - he wants to make it
even easier

Driving down wages and salaries by taking in foreigners who will work for
cents to the dollar is not about making America competitive... unless of
course we're competing with third world sweat shops that is.

click on these

Bill and Company are good at diverting blame (2, Interesting)

lackey.needed (1073294) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277552)

When you have billions and throwing it around politicians are definitely going to kiss your ass and the press will to. Bill's schools are dropping like flies, and he happily deflects blame because money will keep the ideas moving whether or not they are worth a shit. In Denver, one of the high schools he funded fell flat on its face. It was exposed in a Business Week article entitled "Bill Gates Gets Schooled" (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_2 6/b3990001.htm), but not really exposed that much.

"We view the decision to move Manual students to other schools as an admission of complete failure," Denver Public School Superintendent Michael F. Bennet wrote in April to two former Denver mayors who had been involved with the school. Concedes Van Schoales, president of the nonprofit that manages Gates grants in Colorado: "We were trying to build a plane as we were taking off, and we crashed."
Van was fired along with the rest of his crew by the next person to head up the department at the Colorado Small Schools Initiative while the media deflected blame from the now Lt governor of Colorado Barbara O'Brien. The city was out a school on the taxpayers dime, a million bucks was blown but more is on the way, and media folks got promotions. You have to love America.

high tech high (2, Funny)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277904)

Am I the only one who thought this article was going to be about some kind of new designer street drug?

Windows Vista Ultimate High Class List (1)

rmckeethen (130580) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278194)

A few weeks ago, an anonymous person emailed me this list. They said it fell out of Bill Gates' briefcase:

High Tech Education Concept - Windows Vista Ultimate High Class Descriptions

  • Econ 105 - Renouncing Your American Citizenship (mandatory class)
  • Econ 106 - Obtaining Citizenship in India, China and Eastern Europe (mandatory class)
  • Econ 107 - Applying for an H1B Visa (mandatory class)
  • Econ 108 - Working at Microsoft (optional)
  • Lit 10A - Reading EULAs and Obeying Them
  • Civ 13 - Reporting Software Piracy - How To Turn in Your Family, Friends and Co-workers (mandatory class)
  • Ethics 1 - Crushing Google
  • Math 15 - Why Searching with Windows Live! Isn't So Hard (28-week class)
  • PE 21 - How To Duck When People Throw Chairs

why education technology has failed schools (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278640)

See:
    http://billkerr2.blogspot.com/2007/01/why-educatio n-technology-has-failed.html [blogspot.com]
    http://patapata.sourceforge.net/WhyEducationalTech nologyHasFailedSchools.html [sourceforge.net]

"Ultimately, educational technology's greatest value is in supporting "learning on demand" based on interest or need which is at the opposite end of the spectrum compared to "learning just in case" based on someone else's demand.

Compulsory schools don't usually traffic in "learning on demand", for the most part leaving that kind of activity to libraries or museums or the home or business or the "real world". In order for compulsory schools to make use of the best of educational technology and what is has to offer, schools themselves must change...

So, there is more to the story of technology than it failing in schools. Modern information and manufacturing technology itself is giving compulsory schools a failing grade. Compulsory schools do not pass in the information age. They are no longer needed. What remains is just to watch this all play out, and hopefully guide the collapse of compulsory schooling so that the fewest people get hurt in the process."

reforming drug laws will keep america competitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18278662)

the criminalization of drugs has a very strong negative effect on the united states economy, not to mention subsidizing king pins profits by keeping drugs illegal, raises eyebrows on the citizenry on the politicians motives for their criminalization to begin with. besides freeing up the criminal justice system, small business stands to benifit the most from the decriminalization of drugs as ppl who use in a decriminalized market, stand to have more of their own money to spend.

high-tech-high is alive and well... (1)

cbnewman (106449) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278878)

...in San Diego. They have three high school campuses and one middle school that are up an running, and they just opened two more in the north part of the county for the coming school year. Their robotics team is one of the top in the country. I think the problem with the San Francisco campus was more of an administrative one (i.e. the administrators were not in line with the institution's philosophy or something along those lines)

What happened to creativity? (1)

goldglovecb (1073366) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278960)

It seems this agenda follows a common Microsoft theme of attracting/buying qualified outside resources rather than making them in-house. That may work for capitalist strategies, but not societal change. All we have is "our house".

I agree that education needs a boost, but outsourcing jobs only scares kids away from industry. With a decrease in technology/science majors, US foreign resource dependency increases. Like leeches, we won't remain very high on the political food chain if our host weakens. Leverage comes from self-sufficiency. Throwing ourselves at the mercy of other countries seems a naive strategy to me.

Why not increase funding for the arts in our schools? Oh wait, that's a useless subject. I forgot, it only influences youth creativity, independent thinking, and fresh approaches to managing life. New thought patterns couldn't possibly fuel US business.

public schools can't teach "the arts" NT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279472)

Do you really think that the beuracratic school systems can teach something as abstract as "the arts"?

Nice! (3, Insightful)

Tony (765) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279022)

This is just wonderful. Politicians will listen to Bill Gates, but not to actual teachers.

No wonder education in America is fucked.

Ray of Hope (2, Interesting)

HycoWhit (833923) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279320)

If computer history has taught us anything--it is the mighty companies get very few mistakes. Remember when IBM, Visicalc, Novell, and WordPerfect ruled the industry. Vista will never run on 90% of the machines in my county's school district. Many still run Windows 98 and many servers are Win2K--none of which are supported by Microsoft. The cost of hardware and software upgrades to support future Microsoft products is infeasible.

Next week I'll be attending a conference bringing all the state technical educators together. (I'll leave the actual state name out.) One of the themes is how to remove Microsoft from the class room. Instead of teaching MS Office, seems folks are starting to think teaching OpenOffice and/or Google Docs/Spreadsheets will do just as good of job of teaching the student's basic skills.

A few years ago the idea of a Google OS seemed crazy--now I only hope Google or someone else has a bare bones operating system in the works that could replace Windows on all classroom machines. Much of the learning has shifted to web based technologies, not much of OS would be needed.

Certain does seem as if the glory days of Microsoft are fading fast.

My fear (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279346)

Is that the only reason Gates/Microsoft are behind this is to getting Microsoft products (only) and Microsoft brainwashing into the up-coming generation of engineers and managers, just to further strengthen the Microsoft monopoly.

Can anyone who actually goes to these MS-funded schools tell me how Linux or opensource software are viewed (or ignored) there and if they are even allowed to use it on campus?
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