Opinion
Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor

Gates Not Seeking Cameras in All Classrooms

June 03, 2013 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

An April 26, 2013, entry in Walt Gardner’s Reality Check blog on edweek.org (“Bill Gates’s School Panopticon”) referenced a Fast Company article that mistakenly reported that Bill Gates wants to put a camera in every classroom. That claim is simply not true.

The original Fast Company piece, which the publication revised on April 25 (“Updated: New Details on Bill Gates’s $5 Billion Plan to Film, Measure Every Teacher”), covered the filming of a TED talk on effective teaching that Mr. Gates gave in April. Mr. Gates referenced the findings from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project, which showed that using multiple measures to understand a teacher’s performance provides a richer and more reliable picture of a teacher’s strengths and areas for improvement than any one measure alone.

The MET project included the use of cameras in the classroom so that raters could view a large number of teachers delivering instruction, as well as feedback from student surveys and growth in student achievement. While it’s true that many of the teachers who volunteered for the study found the videos useful, the purpose of the study was never to advocate for putting a camera in every classroom.

As Mr. Gates said in his TED talk, everyone can benefit from a coach, and unlike in many professions, teachers don’t receive enough specific, constructive feedback about how they’re performing. That’s why the foundation continues to be committed to supporting school districts’ efforts to provide teachers with better, more useful feedback that can help them develop as professionals.

Christopher Williams

Global Press Secretary

Deputy Director, External Communications

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Seattle, Wash.

A version of this article appeared in the June 05, 2013 edition of Education Week as Gates Not Seeking Cameras in All Classrooms

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Transform Teaching and Learning with AI
Increase productivity and support innovative teaching with AI in the classroom.
Content provided by Promethean
Curriculum Webinar Computer Science Education Movement Gathers Momentum. How Should Schools React?
Discover how schools can expand opportunities for students to study computer science education.
School & District Management Webinar Fostering Student Well-Being with Programs That Work
Protecting student well-being has never been more important. Join this webinar to learn how to ensure your programs yield the best outcomes.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Opinion 25 Reasons to Get Excited About Teaching
Let’s focus on the opportunities that teaching brings every single day to the classroom.
Louie F. Rodriguez
3 min read
illustration of a teacher watering a plant that is growing with students on it.
Nataliia Nesterenko/iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession What the Research Says The Big Connection Between Teachers' Burnout and Their Principals
Less-demanding principals make for less-stressed teachers, a new study suggests.
3 min read
Image of two adults planning in a school classroom.
E+
Teaching Profession What Teachers of Color Say Will Actually Work to Diversify the Profession
In a new survey, teachers of color pick the most effective recruitment and retention strategies.
6 min read
Image of a teacher in front of a high school classroom.
Drazen Zigic/iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession Q&A Why Teachers Are Going on Strike This Fall—and What Could Come Next
A labor expert explains what's driving the recent teacher strikes.
7 min read
Teachers from Seattle Public Schools picket outside Roosevelt High School on what was supposed to be the first day of classes, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, in Seattle. The first day of classes at Seattle Public Schools was cancelled and teachers are on strike over issues that include pay, mental health support, and staffing ratios for special education and multilingual students.
Teachers from Seattle Public Schools picket outside Roosevelt High School on Sept. 7. Teachers went on strike over issues that include pay, mental health support, and staffing ratios for special education and multilingual students.
Jason Redmond/AP