Tuesday, August 01, 2006

News in Education

Considering Bill Gates vast wealth compared to the U.S. Dept. of Education, the LA Times gives him a new title;

With the ability to hand out more than $1 billion or more every year to U.S. educators without any external review, the Gates Foundation looms larger in the eyes of school leaders than even the U.S. Department of Education, which, by comparison, has only about $20 million in truly discretionary funds. The department may have sticks, but the foundation has almost all the carrots.

In light of the size of the foundation's endowment, Bill Gates is now the nation's superintendent of schools. He can support whatever he wants, based on any theory or philosophy that appeals to him. We must all watch for signs and portents to decipher what lies in store for American education.

And don't forget the Gates/UN alliance, his influence will be felt not just here in the U.S., but around the world. Maybe he'll one day become the International Superintendant of Schools.

For a chuckle, Diane Ravitch wrote a piece a while back on the Language Police which pokes fun at the guidelines schools and textbook publishers are supposed to follow to avoid controversial subjects. Here's one example,
A contributor to a major textbook series prepared a story comparing the great floods in 1889 in Johnstown, Pa., with those in 1993 in the Midwest, but was unable to find an acceptable photograph. The publisher insisted that everyone in the rowboats must be wearing a lifevest to demonstrate safety procedures.
Ms. Ravitch is hoping public ridicule will end political correctness run amok in education.

Stuff 101: What is your college student taking back to school? You wouldn't believe it...

Continuing the college thought, Carolyn McCulley, gives a thoughtful response to the question, "What's a girl to do after high school?"

The Carnival of Education is up at This Week In Education.

Edspresso contributed an interesting piece on a parental approach to education reform. I like what he says in part, but until complusory attendance laws are eliminated can there really be a true "parental approach" to education?

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