Bill Gates says US high schools must be redesigned to prepare every student for college, with classes that are rigorous and relevant to kids and with supportive relationships for children.
“America’s high schools are obsolete,” Gates said. “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.”
Summit leaders have an ambitious agenda for every state: to raise the requirements of a high school diploma, improve information sharing between high schools and universities, and align graduation standards with the expectations of colleges and employers. Governors say they’re in a position to unite the often splintered agendas of business leaders, educators and legislatures.
But such changes will take what Gates singled out as the biggest obstacle: political will.
Requiring tougher courses for all students, for example, could face opposition from parents and school officials, particularly if more rigor leads to lower test scores and costly training.
Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., said the most reliable predictor of success in college is a student’s exposure to challenging high school courses _ and that governors know they must act.
“This is an issue that transcends all those typical things that cause people to split in different directions,” Huckabee said.