It has been a long time since I ranted about Amairikun egdykayshun and the nitwit busybody billionaires that, since progressive education was a gleam in John D. Rockefailure's and Andrew Smarmygie's eyes, have made such a hash of it. Well, I have to rant again after reading this article shared by Mr. V.T.:
Yes, it's confession time for Bill and Melinda Gates, and for that matter, even the Los Angeles Pravda-Times:
Sue Desmond-Hellmann, foundation chief executive officer, wrote this in a newly released annual letter:
We are firm believers that education is a bridge to opportunity in America. My colleague, Allan Golston, spoke passionately about this at a gathering of education experts last year. However, we’re facing the fact that it is a real struggle to make system-wide change.
And she wrote this about the foundation’s investment in creating, implementing and promoting the Common Core State Standards:
Unfortunately, our foundation underestimated the level of resources and support required for our public education systems to be well-equipped to implement the standards. We missed an early opportunity to sufficiently engage educators – particularly teachers – but also parents and communities so that the benefits of the standards could take flight from the beginning.
This has been a challenging lesson for us to absorb, but we take it to heart. The mission of improving education in America is both vast and complicated, and the Gates Foundation doesn’t have all the answers.
That may be news only to the Gates Foundation. As this new biting editorial in the Los Angeles Times — with the headline, “Gates Foundation failures show philanthropists shouldn’t be setting America’s public school agenda” — says:
It was a remarkable admission for a foundation that had often acted as though it did have all the answers. Today, the Gates Foundation is clearly rethinking its bust-the-walls-down strategy on education — as it should. And so should the politicians and policymakers, from the federal level to the local, who have given the educational wishes of Bill and Melinda Gates and other well-meaning philanthropists and foundations too much sway in recent years over how schools are run.
Now, stay with me here, because here's where it gets really interesting, for I have made mention of Andrew Smarmygie and John D. Rockefailure in my litany of miserific millionaires and billionaire bysyboddies who've so screwed things up over the past century. But at least with Smarmygie and Rockefailure, we were dealing with people who were willing to swallow the pill they were insisting that others swallow. As my co-author Gary Lawrence and I pointed out in our book Rotten to the (Common) Core, at least Rockefailure insisted that his sons attend the progressivist schools of Abraham Flexner, where they learned to not enjoy reading and to find books tedious and unenjoyable. These patrons of Progress (Nelson Aldrich and Laurence Rockefailure) then went on to other philanthropic causes, becoming presidential advisors and and vice-presidents and what-not. In the case of Andrew Smarmygie, at least he funded actual libraries around the country that had actual books in them that one could actually read, and even learn to disagree with the progressivist nonsense he was promoting.
But Gates? What's he done? I submit the proof is in the pudding: nothing. No libraries, no actual books, no musical instruments. The bottom line here is if these billionaire busybodies really want to make a difference, then they should simply donate money and physical equipment, and demonstrate their genuineness by sponsoring schools and equipment string-free, no agenda or political agreement required, They might even consider making huge donations to independent minded colleges like Hillsdale, St. John's College, and so on.
But of course, they won't do that, because this isn't really about education at all for these people. It's about controlling information and the "narrative"(usually if not always, of a progressivist sort); it's about the furtherance of their own personal power and profits, and telling everyone else what to think and believe, and to demonstrate their loyalty to that agenda via their standardized tests.
The real bottom line here is about these billionaire busybodies themselves, who hide behind their foundations, which reveal themselves to be nothing but racketeering organizations, organized and legally-sanctioned gangs, using their money, power, and influence to press their political and ultimately anti-cultural and anti-western civilization agenda. Remember, it's not about improving education, it's about widening their power, influence, and building out the surveillance state. Remember what Dr. Lawrence and I wrote in Rotten to the Common Core: Nikola Tesla, J.S. Bach, Albert Einstein, Clara Schumann, Ayn Rand, Fanny Mendelssohn, Percy Shelley, Diego Velasquez, Alexander Hamilton, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, and a whole list of geniuses who have contributed to our art, our music, our science, our law, jurisprudence, and political institutions, our civilization, were not billionaire busybodies nor the products of standardized tests or progressivist education.
You really want to improve education, Mr. Gates? Then build libraries, fill them with books of Plato, Aristotle, literature and science books (I'll be happy to provide a list), buy the musical instruments, spend your billions on getting RID of teacher certification and making sure teachers spend more time learning the disciplines they're required to teach, and allow them to assess their students away from the prying eye of standardized tests, than they do spending time on edublihter and methodological claptrap in "education" courses. In other words, rethink your whole paradigm, and for heaven's sakes, get out of the way. Let students learn that not all information is on the internet, that some of it, most of it in fact, that is important to our civilization is in books, that genuine research knows how to look for them and read them and genuine education teachers students how to do so, teaches them to listen intelligently to a piece of music or to appreciate art and literature with the intelligence and enjoyment. But you're about none of that. You think throwing more money and technology at the current system will fix it, when that system of money technology and goofy ideas itself is responsible for producing the mess. And that means you're not about real education at all. You really want to prove your genuineness? Then visit the classrooms of teachers who really teach, who are in open disagreement with you and your whole philosophy. You might learn something.
The bottom line, if we want to improve education, then we need to rethink the whole status not only of government's role in education, but of "foundations" in our society, and the power they have. They are nothing but legalized gangs and racketeering operations. And the result of their handiwork over the last century and a half in American education is their for all to see. That result is failure, utter, total, abject failure, and nothing else.
There was another such foundation, in the middle ages, claiming similar privileges and exemptions. Philippe le Bel, anyone?
See you on the flip side.