Nicolas Kristoff just wrote an op-ed on Bill and Melinda Gates.
Kristoff quotes Bill Gates on their education efforts:
I appreciate this honesty. Making things better is difficult, and as I enter the philanthropy world I’m trying to learn from what has worked and what hasn’t. And it’s easier to learn when people are honest about their mistakes, especially people like Bill and Melinda Gates, who have done so much good in the world through their philanthropic investments.
While I appreciate Bill’s openness, I do think the Gates Foundation has made some incredible educational investments.
Consider their direct and indirect investments (thought intermediaries) in the Denver School of Science and Technology [DSST].
In the 2013-14 school year, DSST schools held five of the top six spots in the district’s performance rankings.
Currently, DSST is planning a significant expansion:
If DSST is successful in expansion (which will undoubtedly be difficult), it will forever have changed the landscape of Denver, its public schools, and the lives of tens of thousands of children.
This is transformational philanthropy. Replicate it in a hundred cities, and our country is forever changed for the better.
I’m not sure how much the Gates Foundation gave to DSST. But whatever it was, it seems to have paid off.
It’s one great investment, amongst many, that I hope to learn from.
Lastly, I’m glad Bill and Melinda are still committed to education. There is a lot of work to be done, and having them in the game is a good thing.