2009 Annual Letter from Bill Gates

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
January 2009

Bill Gates channels Warren Buffet this month in his very first Annual Letter. This twenty-page treatise reflects on his transition from full-time at Microsoft to full-time at the Foundation. His segment on U.S. education is chiefly noteworthy because he focuses on areas--charter schools, in particular--that got scant attention in his own foundation's new education strategy released in November. Gates correctly notes that "almost all" of the "school models that worked the best" with BMGF dollars were charters; he now hopes to replicate them. But he knows he must overcome state charter caps and underfunding to be successful. "Educational innovation and overall improvement will go a lot faster if the charter school limits and funding rules are changed," Gates explains. Let's hope he does to these barriers what he did to Netscape: crush them without mercy. You can read the whole letter here (portions also featured in the Washington Post); his remarks on education start on page nine.

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