The U.S. must improve its educational standing in the world by rewarding effective teaching and by developing better, universal measures of performance for students and teachers, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said on July 21.


Speaking at the National Conference of State Legislatures' annual legislative summit, Gates told hundreds of lawmakers how federal stimulus money should be used to spark educational innovation, spread best practices, and improve accountability.


Gates has been a longtime critic of American public schools and has used philanthropy to advocate for a better educational system.


U.S. schools lag behind their international counterparts because of "old beliefs and bad habits," and...

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