Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Dear Bill Gates

Your Feb 27th Washington Post article, How Teacher development could revolutionize our schools holds a lot of very good points. Clearly we have a great need for good teachers and good schools and our current system has gotten bogged down in producing both of these. I think one of the key reasons is as you say, "we do very little to measure, develop and reward excellent teaching". And the way our systems are set up, it will be very hard to change that any time soon.

I would like to suggest another approach to this issue that would enable not only greater outcomes for our children and their learning but could improve our economic system as well. As we sit in the Great Recession--with 15 million unemployed and an expected 'jobless recovery', we have in front of our eyes a solution that could result in a stronger economy, healthier and smarter children, more resilient communities and even a way to improve the environment. That solution is to recognize that a successful economy in the 21st century will require high functioning humans and the best place to start this is not in our schools, but in our homes.

I am proposing Mr. Gates that we begin to invest in a new business sector altogether. Let's invest in the business of human capacity development. Let's hire, train and manage Human capacity development professionals who work in their homes and as part of a community team network to provide human capacity development to their children.

Now, you might be thinking that this is to pay for parenting--but that's not it at all. Because while all the hired staff of Human Capacity Development professionals may be parents, the reality is that not all parents are Human Capacity Development professionals. There-in lies the difference Mr. Gates. Human Capacity Development Professionals are just that--professionals trained in whole person/whole community development. They go to work every day, will be highly networked using technology and all of them will be focused on the high achievement outcomes for their children with developmentally appropriate measures.

While of course we want our schools to improve--in truth, long before a child ever reaches school there is so much human capacity development work that needs to happen. If we fund this new sector of Human Capacity Development Professionals, we will be taking a quantum leap forward and enabling our schools to receive children who are far more ready to learn than what our current schools are receiving. And we know this also has a huge impact on teacher's success although they have no control over their student's readiness at this point. Thus, many teachers spend far too much time having to deal with this primary issue--all of which could be solved if we created a new business sector to address this need.

Your foundation is working with 3000 teachers, I would like to ask if your foundation would also support a pilot project of 30 Human Capacity Development Professionals and a management team? If you are interested in this concept, I would be pleased to provide more details.

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