Bill Gates is Wrong!

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UPDATE: His TED talk just went up. Well done overall and worth watching.

But its not really his fault.

Mr. Gates is getting a lot of press for some recent comments about state spending at TED.

In conjunction with the presentation, his foundation has set up a nifty budget analysis tool.

If you look at MA, we look pretty bad – 47th in nation on K-12 spending, etc. But our poor showing is driven by the underlying data source, NASBO’s state expenditure guide.

In it, we’ve got a $47b state budget (versus a roughly $30b operating budget) while other states’ are reporting numbers much closer to their operating budget numbers. I think we reported a gross number while other state’s did something different.

So, it creates an artificially high denominator, which results in low percentages of state funds spent on education.

I have only heard second hand reports of Gates’ talk as the transcript/video is not yet available. I think he makes an awful lot of sense on the topic, just wanted to point out where the infographic presents a distorted view of Massachusetts’ condition.