Bill Gates: Teachers unions should follow Hillsborough's lead
SEATTLE — Bill Gates knows something about the power of good teaching. He used to be an underachiever.
"I got very poor grades up until eighth grade, because I just didn't think it was cool," he told the St. Petersburg Times on Saturday in an exclusive interview.
But the Microsoft founder said he turned his performance around and started earning top grades, thanks to middle school teachers who "really related to me and encouraged me, told me I could do well. When I was bored they gave me more to do, to keep me pushing ahead."
Those lessons are serving him well these days, as he helps set the national education agenda as co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In a speech Saturday, he told 3,000 delegates at the convention of the nation's second-largest teachers' union that they shouldn't be afraid of change — they should embrace it, just as the Hillsborough County School District has done.
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