Bill Gates' Mini-Schools

The multi-billionaire is spearheading a drive to shrink many of Ohio's schools by breaking them apart, but not all is going according to plan.
December 7, 2003, 11am PST | David Gest
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"The kind of small schools that Microsoft founder Bill Gates envisions succeed when they have separate buildings and they're designed with the cooperation of teachers and parents. That's not always happening in Ohio, where districts are spending Gates' money on plans that don't call for separate buildings or that have failed to capture the support of educators and students' parents...the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation [and] the Cincinnati-based KnowledgeWorks Foundation [have pledged funds] to slice large public high schools throughout Ohio into several smaller theme-based schools...Advocates of mini-schools" cite research showing reduced drop-out rates and better academic performance, perhaps due to closer personal relationships. Other studies counter with evidence "that small size alone doesn't guarantee a good school...In about five years, all of Cleveland's high school students will go to classes in buildings with three or four separate schools. School officials compare the new structure to a university setting, where different 'schools' exist on one campus."

Thanks to David Gest

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Published on Monday, December 1, 2003 in The Cleveland Plain Dealer
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