Gates Moratorium Another Scam: Beware the Roadbuilders pt. 2

The road to hell is not paved with good intentions. [1]

The road to hell in the U.S. of the 21st century is paved with the appearance of good intentions fostered by billionaires.

Billionaires are our roadbuilders, and in education reform the main roadbuilder is Bill Gates.

Gates is a billionaire education hobbyist who started a road to small schools, only to bail, but has since shifted his roadbuilding to value-added methods (VAM) for evaluating teachers and his tour de force superhighway, Common Core.

Now that Gates has issued a call for a moratorium on the intersecting roads to hell (VAM linked to next-generations high-stakes tests of the Common Core), we must return to two important points:

  1. I cannot stress or repeat often enough: If Bill Gates had no money, who would listen to him about education reform? No one–the same as who should listen to him now.
  2. Beware the roadbuilders.

To the first point, Gates has never had and does not now have any credibility as an authority on education or education reform. Zero. His commentaries linked to his huge bribes should be ignored when he advocates for policy, and his call for a moratorium should be ignored as well.

Delaying a road to hell still means we will have a road to hell.

To the second point, as Nettie and the Olinka learn in the Color Purple, the roadbuilders have an agenda to be done to those in their way and to benefit the roadbuilders. Words such as moratorium, philanthropy, and entrepreneur are thinly veiled code for not good intentions but the self-interests of the roadbuilders.

The roadbuilders are powerful because money speaks louder than words; however, the option before us is not a moratorium but a collective non-cooperation to end their roadbuilding.

[1] The best version of this cliche is in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises when Bill responds to Jake with the wonderfully ambiguous nod to the corrosive power of materialism: “‘Road to hell paved with unbought stuffed dogs'” (p. 78). In a capitalist society, the consumer’s hell is all the fake crap that consumer does not or cannot buy. The consumer doesn’t need the fake crap, of course, and there is never an end to the fake crap dangled before the consumer.


9 thoughts on “Gates Moratorium Another Scam: Beware the Roadbuilders pt. 2

  1. When I read your headline, another thought sprang to mind. In the Amazon rainforest, often the road to destruction is literally that — a road. Once a road is built extending into the forest, the trees along the road can be cut down and efficiently removed. Thus, the road allows for destruction of the rainforest. Block the road and you can preserve the forest.

    In our schools, the Common Core is like that road. It creates a common code for all the educational materials and devices — what Bill Gates compared to a “standard electrical socket.”

    Just as indigenous people in the Amazon have taken to obstructing road construction to preserve their territories, we ought to block Common Core from creating data superhighways in and out of our classrooms.

  2. Pingback: Gates Moratorium Another Scam: Beware the Roadbuilders pt. 2 | America's Productions

  3. Pingback: Debating the Gates Moratorium, Or Life among the Roadbuilders | the becoming radical

  4. Pingback: John Thompson and Peter Greene Debate the Gates Moratorium | Diane Ravitch's blog

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