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

English-Language Learners Webinar Helping English-Learners Through Improved Parent Outreach: Strategies That Work
Communicating with families is key to helping students thrive – and that’s become even more apparent during a pandemic that’s upended student well-being and forced constant logistical changes in schools. Educators should pay particular attention
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
Mathematics Webinar
Addressing Unfinished Learning in Math: Providing Tutoring at Scale
Most states as well as the federal government have landed on tutoring as a key strategy to address unfinished learning from the pandemic. Take math, for example. Studies have found that students lost more ground
Content provided by Yup Math Tutoring
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

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 What New Teachers Need
Ideas from the real world on making teachers' first years less overwhelming and more fulfilling.
5 min read
Illustration of a classroom diorama sitting on a student desk.
Illustration by Laura Baker/Education Week (Images: iStock/Getty)
Teaching Profession Opinion This Year Almost Drove Me Out of Teaching. The Right Leader Made Me Stay
After seven years teaching and one class away from becoming an education specialist, I have seen the highs and lows of education leadership.
Samantha Richardson
4 min read
Illustration of woman sitting on a mountain top looking into the distant landscape.
iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession Maryland Teacher Wins $1 Million Global Prize
Keishia Thorpe received the prize for her work teaching immigrant and refugee students and helping them attend college.
2 min read
This photo provided by the Varkey Foundation shows Keishia Thorpe. The Maryland high school English teacher, who has worked to open up college education for her students, has won the $1 million Global Teacher Prize. The Varkey Foundation announced Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, that Thorpe, who teaches at International High School at Langley Park in Prince George’s County in Maryland, was selected from more than 8,000 nominations and applications from 121 countries around the world.
Keishia Thorpe, who has worked to open up college education for her students, has won the $1 million Global Teacher Prize.
Varkey Foundation via AP
Teaching Profession Opinion Teachers Need Therapy. Their Schools Should Pay for It
You can’t have student mental well-being without investing in the adults around them, argues clinical psychologist Megan McCormick.
Megan McCormick
5 min read
Illustration of nurturing.
Laura Baker/Education Week and Ponomariova_Maria/iStock/Getty, DigitalVision Vectors