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Gates has something to learn

About your article “School grant program boosts Gates’ influence” (Oct. 26), does Bill Gates lack influence? He says it is “no secret the U. S. education system is failing.” Apparently he has not read carefully:

The federal Education Department reported that, in reading and math, children attending public schools generally do as well as or better than comparable children in private schools. The exception was in eighth-grade reading where the private school children did better.

The report, which compared fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math scores from nearly 7,000 public schools and more than 530 private schools, also found that conservative Christian schools lagged significantly behind public schools when it came to eighth-grade math (New York Times).

Following the Gates Foundation in the Foundations for Learning is the Walton Family. No secret about how this group treats its employees. In 2008, the average full-time associate (34 hours a week) earned $10.84 hourly for an annual income of $19,165. CEO Lee Scott earned $29.7 million in total compensation, or 1,551 times the annual income of the average full-time Wal-Mart associate.

Who believes someone donating $200 million does so without strings attached? Perhaps the goal is to eradicate public schools and train new Wal-Mart employees cheaply?

Bev Schaefer



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