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THE GATE(S)KEEPER

Newoldschoolteacher takes an uncharacteristically admiring look at Microsoft founder Bill Gates and the efforts of his charitable foundation. While Gates is a proponent of the small-schools initiative, what this teacher-turned-grad-student finds more compelling is his never-say-never approach to eradicating malaria in Africa.

There are so many parallels here with education. Just as they know nets and insecticide work for malaria (they helped to eradicate it among officials in the British Raj in India), we know that discipline, hard work, and attention to academic rigor work for urban education. What's missing is merely the will to do it, someone to come and say "this is not acceptable." Everyone would rather wait for a magic bullet that's easy and cheap. Or perhaps they just don't care.

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