A bad education system has made Americans—how to put this delicately?—not so smart, says Bill Gates, the World’s Richest Man. Eventually we will feel the upshot of our ignorance in our wallets, predicts the most successful nerd in the History of the Universe.“The U.S. cannot maintain its economic leadership unless our work force consists of people who have the knowledge and skills needed to drive innovation,” Gates told the Senate committee that oversees labor and education issues.
“So,” you may be afraid to ask, “how are we doing? I mean, what are the numbers like?”
It turns out they’re dreadful. The OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment scores say that when it comes to important subjects like Math, our Fifteen Year Olds lose out not only to Japan and Korea, but also to Slovakia and Macao. Macao?!?
Fortunately, Uncle Bill has a plan for us. If we can’t turn our children to well-educated, high-achieving adults, we can always replace them by importing eager, talented, ready-to-learn people from around the world.
Seriously, Bill Gates is complaining that he has high-skilled, high-wage jobs that are going unfilled. Since he can’t find Americans that are able to do them, he’s hoping to lift the cap on immigrant visas.
Immigration’s not my issue but I do have a personal stake in wondering why our education system isn’t good enough to train worker for the high-paying jobs that foster innovation and economic growth. If he really wants to fix our schools and do right by our children, Bill Gates should listen to his counterpart at Apple.