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What We’re Reading | February 8, 2013

February 8, 2013 by Jacqueline Lowe

Bill Gates: My Plan to Fix The World's Biggest Problems

In this Wall Street Journal article, Bill Gates discusses the importance of good measurement in solving some of the world’s problems.  “In the past year, I have been struck by how important measurement is to improving the human condition. You can achieve incredible progress if you set a clear goal and find a measure that will drive progress toward that goal” Gates specifically applies good measurement and goals to improving education: “I think the most critical change we can make in U.S. K-12 education, with America lagging countries in Asia and Northern Europe when it comes to turning out top students, is to create teacher-feedback systems that are properly funded, high quality, and trusted by teachers.” To see where your school district matches up with the rest of the world, visit the Bush Institute’s Global Report Card.

Malala, Pakistani teen shot by Taliban, leaves hospital after stunning recovery

Malala Yousafzai was released from a London hospital Friday after two operations to repair her skull and restore her hearing. Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban in October for attending school in her native Pakistan. “Her story captured worldwide attention, moving Pakistan to vow that it would more vigorously fight for girls' rights and against the Taliban. It also prompted global leaders to put pressure on the country to make good on those promises.” Following the attack, Mrs. Bush wrote an op-ed encouraging the world to act: “Malala inspires us because she had the courage to defy the totalitarian mind-set others would have imposed on her. Her life represents a brighter future for Pakistan and the region. We must speak up before these acts occur, work to ensure that they do not happen again, and keep our courage to continue to resist the ongoing cruelty and barbarism of the Taliban. Malala Yousafzai refused to look the other way. We owe it to her courage and sacrifice to do the same.”

In Davos or in Combat, Give Women What They Earn

In her latest Bloomberg column, 4% Growth director Amity Shlaes addresses the topic of gender equality following the reversal on a ban on women in combat and the recent conversations out of the World Economic Forum about the “glass ceiling” that still exists for women in business. “Discrimination against women is the explanation often offered, whether we are discussing formal rules, such as the ban on women in combat, or informal decisions, as in cases of corporate promotion or the allocation of Cabinet-level posts. Perhaps there is another reason women have sometimes been absent up to now in such places. That reason has to do with the difference between opportunity and entitlement.” Read the full article here.

‘Silenced no more’ – reclaiming dialogue in Burma

The Freedom Collection recommends this blog from the National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) Democracy Digest highlighting the U.S. visit by four Burmese activists. Sponsored by Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women Program and organized by the McCain Institute, Meridian House, and the George W. Bush Institute, the Burmese women are currently in Washington, DC.  The Bush Institute looks forward to welcoming them to Dallas next week, for a series of trainings and events. Stay tuned to www.bushcenter.org for updates next week.

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