Thursday, July 3, 2014

How the Common Core and other Reformery Ideas are like Pet Rocks

"The Pet Rock is now a long-forgotten fad, but this invention shows that sometimes a joke and a bit of determination can lead to a fortune."

Does Bill Gates dabble in lawmaking?


a person who makes or enacts law; legislator.

Of course not.  Bill Gates is a businessman, not a lawmaker.  Or, rather, he is a Venture Philanthropist, with no other interest in education than to improve the career and college readiness of American children, through the supportbankrolling of the Common Core State Standards.  

Those who believe Gates has no interest in changing laws, may also want to know of a bridge that is for sale.

Take a short detour...
If you are a savvy business person, you would want to know what product you could invent that would become a blockbuster seller.  You realize, sadly, that the pet rock already had its time.  But, the pet rock has some valuable lessons even for the average entrepreneur and rogue business person:  Get a trend started; Make millions.

Even lessons from the Shark Tank teach the viewer:  A venture capitalist will make billions discovering that next surest trend that every person would "need" to purchase.  Would you not invest in a sure thing, if the opportunity presented itself?  

Back to Gates...  
He already has the product, he just needs a huge market.  So, what if every single American public school student HAD to have it - rather, were REQUIRED to HAVE it?  It would need to be bigger than a mere trend.  A sure thing needs to be a law.

A law...  These things must be done delicately.  Diane Ravitch writes:
"The reason that the Gates Foundation had to pay for the standards is that federal law prohibits the government from controlling, directing, or supervising curriculum or instruction."

Spoiler alert:  Like all good corporate profit stories, it starts getting good with a manufactured crisis.  

Along with other reformers, Gates invests in studies to support a hypothesis that there is an emergency with American Education.  

Just take a look at this "crisis" evidence by Paul Bruno.  Here is one chart that shows how the attainment of education degrees have steadily increased since 1940 (source: U.S. Census Bureau).  Where about is the crisis?

Plenty of published research illustrates myths surrounding an American Education Crisis.  But, within a full-blown crisis mode (manufactured is insignificant here), you better believe, mountains will be moved.

Just to be clear on our little roadtrip with the Pet Rock:
(You will want to know this for Part 2)

How to sell a Pet Rock or Common Core State Standards/standardized tests:
  1. Come up with a trend... a need, if you will. (Note: For highest profitability exploit or manufacture a crisis.  If you can get the public opinion in your favor, you are golden.)
  2. Find ways to adjust the laws so everyone is required to buy in.
  3. Sell your product... Don't forget to add the phrase in some fashion: "Everyone is doing it... what about you?" or "Don't be left behind!" or "Ready or not..."

Microsoft Growth...
Aided by Standardized Tests (which lead to so much more!)...
Starts with Common Core State Standards!

The only difference between the Pet Rock and Reformery Profit Schemes...
The Pet Rock is not a harmful experiment in the lives of our children.

Part 2 - How Lawmakers are like Businessmen

1 comment:

  1. In Minneapolis 1/4 African American students graduate while 3/4 white students graduate. Harvest Prep, Hiawatha Academy and related schools achieve near 100% graduation rates with the same student demographics. How is that NOT a crisis?