Q&A: Melinda Gates Talks Teacher Quality

Education Week Assistant Editor Stephen Sawchuk sat down last week in New York City with Melinda Gates, the co-chair and a trustee of the foundation that bears her and her husband’s names, to discuss its investments in teacher quality and other matters related to its work in the K-12 sphere.

Ms. Gates was in New York to visit New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities II, in the Bronx, and to talk with local teachers about professional development and implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

Also on hand and answering some questions was Vicki Phillips, the director of college-ready education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Seattle-based philanthropy is the nation’s largest foundation—with some $38 billion in assets, according to its website—and has put hundreds of millions of dollars into projects and supports to reshape the teaching profession. (The Gates Foundation also provides support for coverage of business and K-12 innovation in Education Week.)

Below, edited for length and clarity, are excerpts from the Oct. 9 interview. Among other issues, Ms. Gates addressed criticism of the foundation’s work, how its support for new teacher-evaluation systems has played out on the ground, and the foundation’s possible next steps in education philanthropy. <Read more.>

Via Education Week.

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