We all want our children to be well educated. However, how is a good education defined and explained?
Will Durant was, arguably, the greatest historian/philosopher of the 20th Century.
Bill Gates is one of the wealthiest men in the 21st Century. He is referred to as a philanthropist by some and as a villainthropist by others who point out that he makes immense profits from most of his philanthropic investments via his tax free foundation.
What does a good education mean?
Will Durant: Consider education not as the painful accumulation of facts and dates and reigns, nor merely the necessary preparation of the individual to earn his keep in the world, but as the transmission of our mental, moral, technical, and aesthetic heritage as fully as possible to as many as possible, for the enlargement of man’s understanding, control, embellishment, and enjoyment of life.
– from The Lessons of History (1968)
Bill Gates: No, no the fifty [state-level] standards were never tested to see they’re excellent. They weren’t subject to rigorous design. The Common Core is the one that the most R and D has gone into to make sure that the progression is right. And so, you know, the, you should look at some, I mean, if you want to get into substance, you should look at the progression, where they talk to people about angles, without explaining triangles. Those fifty things (state standards) are not based on as much effort and energy and understanding as kids deserve. This one (CCSS) has gotten more. Now, you could say, ‘Hey, maybe it should get even more, and more and more. Fine. But this is the most serious effort to, on behalf of kids, make sure they go through math, and reading, and writing, that, that you’re building in a logical way that they will feel successful and they will do well.
Lyndsey Layton: Is this something that you would want for your own kids to, to, these standards, that you would want for your own kids to learn, too?
Bill Gates: We all want our, our own kids to exceed… remember what this is. This is six, what you should know in sixth grade, what you should know in seventh grade, eighth grade. It’s not how it’s taught or anything like that. Yes. I expect my kids to know a superset of the Common Core standards at every single grade involved. I expect them to have the reading skills, uhh, uh, above what the reading and writing skills are in the Common Core standards. So, absolutely. I don’t see who, who would not want that.
– from a Washington Post interview by Lyndsey Leighton (2014)
For a more complete explanation of the interview and a complete, accurate, written transcript, see Mercedes K. Schneider’s EduBlog.
Please decide for yourself and your child which of these two descriptions of a good education you want for your own child.
Finally, please support Diane Ravitch, the Network for Public Education, Anthony Cody and many, many more public education supporters, protestors, activists and advocates in Seattle at the Gates Foundation.
The Gates Foundation
When: June 26th 5PM
Where: Rally at Westlake Park (401 Pine St, Seattle)
March to Gates Foundation (440 5th Ave N, Seattle)
See details in Diane Ravitch’s blog.
VIEW IT LIVE AT SCHOOLHOUSE LIVE AT 5:00 pm PST on June 26, 2014
PLEASE SUPPORT THIS PROTEST.