Bill Gates to Charter Schools: Innovate and Replicate – by Betsy Hill

On Tuesday morning (6/29/10) I listened to a presentation by Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, who was the keynote speaker at the National Charter School Conference.  It may have been surprising to some to hear him say he is optimistic about education.  But along with his optimism regarding the accomplishments of many charter schools, he had three messages.

1)      Charter school leaders need to identify the low-performing schools – then fix them or shut them down.

2)      Charter schools need to continue to innovate – trying new things is a continuous process.

3)      Charter schools need to figure out how to scale what they do well, by publishing the results of their innovation efforts and by collaborating with public schools.

As we made our way around the conference and talked to charter school leaders who visited us at our booth, we were reminded how much charter schools have always been involved about innovation.  So many of them were eager to hear about BrainWare Safari and the role it can play in delivering a student who’s ready to learn and in enhancing teacher effectiveness.  Building student capacity to learn enhances the results from any curriculum, program or intervention.  The reception was very positive.

When it comes to scaling, that’s one area that schools have found BrainWare Safari to be particularly advantageous.  Learning Enhancement Corporation works closely with schools to implement and evaluate BrainWare Safari in their environment in a way that lets them measure the impact and build on their initial implementation.  We work with schools to publish results and to support their efforts in scaling within their schools and to other schools.

While schools evaluate their infrastructure, financing, curriculum, culture, and teachers and staff, they shouldn’t forget to take a good look at student capacity to learn.  Teachers and schools may not have much control over the capacity of the students who walk into their classrooms, but they can build that capacity to that students can truly benefit from good teachers and good curriculum. 

Find out more about how BrainWare Safari builds student capacity to learn at www.BrainWareSafari.com/education.

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