Excerpted from the Christian Science Monitor, May 24, 2007
Now I know how Don Quixote felt when he jousted with windmills. As I read about the efforts of Bill Gates to reform American high schools, I want to scream “No!”
While his efforts will do some good, I wish that he, and others who are following his lead, would realize that investing in children must happen much earlier than high school – third grade would be ideal – to really make a difference.
I was a college president for 24 years. During most of those years, I – and many of my presidential colleagues – worked with high schools. Why? Because in an effort to make our campuses more diverse, we thought that by reaching out to ninth-graders we would be able to prepare them for the rigors of college and, in the process, broaden the pipeline to college for at-risk students.