Friday, December 3, 2010

Bill Gates Compared to British Oppressors in Ireland

Comment on Diane’s Bridging Differences blog about Bill Gates

Last night, (11/30/10) I listened to Diane Ravitch participate in a discussion about public schooling with a panel of parents, teachers, administrators, and politicians. She then fielded numerous questions from an audience of teachers and parents in New Haven Connecticut. She was extremely well received, and was applauded time and time again while not one NCLB panelist supporter was applauded. It is clear in my humble opinion the tide is turning on NCLB these days. She mentioned the adversary remark about "Bill Gates" in passing. In so many words she indicated Bill is a rather little man who does not know much about education with lots of money. Take away Bill's money, and people would not even notice him in a room of two, (these words are my take on her discussion of Mr. Gates not hers). But more importantly Diane passionately, elegantly, and back by facts and data supported teachers. She has become the biggest defender of tenure, unions, and teachers. She is not the defender of the status quo-she views the status quo as NCLB/RTTT, and that policy is destroying our public schools in her opinion. She took on the Blueprint and the Learn act, and said the same thing about both of them. The Blueprint in the end with hurt public schools as well. My feeling at this point is any adversary of Bill Gates is a friend of teachers these days. If Bill wants to donate to education then he should give, and step back. Bill Gates reminds me of something I learned studying the history of the Irish Famine. We had groups that offered soup and bread to the hungry in Ireland during the famine, but demanded people convert, and give up their children to the orphanages and poor houses. People resisted that kind of giving. A million souls died, and a million immigrated rather than accept their soup and bread. That equaled half the population of Ireland at the time. America would have to lose 150 million people in a decade to understand that kind of lost. This convert and eat kind of giving fueled Irish rebellions for a hundred years, and it became one of the main reasons Ireland is not part of the United Kingdom. Irish History however fondly recalls that the Quakers helped to feed us, and made no such demands on us. Irish history only remembers and admires the Quakers. These are true givers, true servants of god, and will be blessed in Irish prayers for a million years. My grandparents Irish Immigrants told us the story of the Quakers every year at Thanksgiving, and every year the Turners give without asking people to give up something in exchange. Those other so-called feed the hungry groups are portrayed as being contributors to the famine. I say Bill Gates could learn a great deal from the Quakers. While Diane Ravitch will be remember as a friend and admired by teachers, parents, and educators for years to come. Diane Ravitch and the Quakers are alright in my book. I am walking to DC, Jesse

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