Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bill and Melinda Gates Visit MCS

Posted By on Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 3:45 PM

A year after Memphis City Schools (MCS) won $90 million from the Gates Foundation, co-chairs Bill and Melinda Gates were in Memphis today to see, in part, how all the "pieces line up."

"To hear how the community is coming together is quite something," Melinda Gates said.

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Memphis won the large, multi-year grant by showing a commitment to bold new initiatives, as well as a comprehensive partnership with non-profits, national education entities such as The New Teacher Project, other foundations, and teachers themselves.

In the past 10 years, the Gates Foundation has focused its domestic efforts on education, and most recently, teacher effectiveness.

"I was surprised when we got into education how little was known about effective teaching," Bill Gates said. "Years of experience, various degrees — it doesn't explain the differences (between teachers)."

MCS is currently working under its teacher effectiveness initiative or T.E.I. Learn more about that and what it means for Memphis, in this recent Flyer cover story.

In addition to initiatives directly impacting student achievement, MCS is participating in a Gates study on what makes an effective teacher. As part of that, volunteer educators have had their classrooms filmed.

"There are lots of great teachers out there," Bill Gates said. "What we haven't done is identify what effective teachers are doing and spreading that to others."

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