republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
In their annual letter released on February 13, Bill and Melinda Gates reveal
some of the ambitious goals for their eponymous foundation. Surprising to no
corresponding answers, the Gateses come right out of the gate with their
desires to shape education in the United States. “Our foundation spends about
$500 million a year in the United States, most of it on education,” the couple
claims. One of Bill Gates’ most infamous “investments” in education came in
the form of the Common Core curriculum. As reported by The New American:
“We love our country and care deeply about the people who live here, so we are also committed to fighting inequities in the United States,” they write. “All the evidence, including our personal experience, suggests that education is the key to opportunity.”
Education is, unquestionably, important. In fact, James Madison — a man who knew quite a bit about education — suggested that “The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.”
Liberty will lead to inequities, however, and a drive to fit the square peg of individual liberty into the round hole of scholastic sameness seems to define the goal of the Gateses.
After even a cursory glance at the Common Core curriculum, one is reminded of the description provided by Aristotle of one of the first tactics used by tyrants to maintain their power: “lopping off outstanding men” by preventing their education. Thus, writes Aristotle, people are prevented from a very young age from developing “pride and confidence.”
Anyone who’s seen Common Core in action in a school can testify that there is little of the engendering of pride or confidence in the students subjected to those standards.
Finally, the Gateses are “asked,” “What do you have to show for the billions you’ve spent on U.S. education?”
Their responses reveal more than they probably realized.
“America’s public schools are still falling short on important metrics, especially college completion,” the couple claims.
While this is certainly a common trope, one must wonder why such metrics were unknown to generations of Americans and yet they managed to defeat the world’s mightiest empire, establish a Constitution that — give or take — is still functioning today, to establish an economic powerhouse that is unrivaled, and to produce some of the most influential philosophers, statesman, and thinkers ever known to the world. All of that without schools aimed at producing college graduates.
Education in America was aimed at one thing in the early Republic: creating good men who valued liberty.
Again, James Madison wrote in a letter to William Barry in 1822 that schools ought to “throw that light over the public mind which is the best security against crafty and dangerous encroachments on the public liberty.”
Would the Gateses agree with Madison?
Do the efforts of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation tend to throw that light of liberty upon the young men and women of the United States?
Ultimately, what will the future hold for the Foundation and its efforts to overhaul education?
“Our role will be to support the schools as they design changes, gather and analyze data, and make adjustments over time based on what they’re learning,” the letter reads.
How many of you just shivered when you read that Bill Gates wants to increase the gathering and analyzing of data in more schools across the country?