Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Boundless Arrogance of Bill Gates

If he isn’t careful, Bill Gates might soon become a national laughingstock. After having supported Common Core education reforms, reforms that diminished the ability of American children to do math and language, Gates has now declared himself Captain Fearless in the war against the weather. Apparently, it wants us to eat artificial meat, and not the real steaks that he himself eats. From now on, instead of Captain Fearless, we should call him Captain Hubris.

If you are looking for a moral to the story, we cannot do better than Barack Obama, who once said that some people have too much money. Bill Gates is hellbent on validating Obama’s dictum.

Anyway, as though his venture into Common Core was not bad enough, Gates and his wife, through their foundation have been bankrolling the people who think that mathematics is racist, that right answers are racist, that if any white child gets an answer right it is racist and that if any black child gets the answer wrong it is racist.

In principle, Gates is supposed to be a very bright man. But, how can a bright man buy into this twaddle. Not just by into it, but finance it. Microsoft was not built by people who did not know to do math.

Alex Nester reports the sad story for the Washington Free Beacon:

A radical new push to purge math curricula of allegedly racist practices like showing your work and finding the correct answer is bankrolled by one of the nation’s most prominent nonprofits: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Gates Foundation is the only donor mentioned on the homepage of A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction, a group of 25 education organizations whose curriculum states that asking students to show their work and find the right answer is an inherently racist practice.

Over the past decade, the Gates Foundation has given upward of $140 million to some of the groups behind Pathway, whose antiracist resources are the basis for a new teacher training course offered by the Oregon Department of Education.

Michael Lee adds this in the Washington Examiner;

“A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction is an integrated approach to mathematics that centers Black, Latinx, and Multilingual students in grades 6-8, addresses barriers to math equity, and aligns instruction to grade-level priority standards,” an introduction to the group’s website reads. “The Pathway offers guidance and resources for educators to use now as they plan their curriculum, while also offering opportunities for ongoing self-reflection as they seek to develop an anti-racist math practice. The toolkit ‘strides’ serve as multiple on-ramps for educators as they navigate the individual and collective journey from equity to anti-racism.”

Included on the site is a lesson on “dismantling racism in mathematics instruction,” which decries racist behaviors such as the “focus” on “getting the ‘right’ answer,” requiring students to “show their work,” and “independent practice” being valued over teamwork or collaboration.

“White supremacy culture infiltrates math classrooms in everyday teacher actions,” the lesson says. “Coupled with the beliefs that underlie these actions, they perpetuate educational harm on Black, Latinx, and multilingual students, denying them full access to the world of mathematics.”

You would like to think that Gates did not know what he was supporting. But, if you are giving away that much money you ought at least to hire someone to do due diligence. In the end, it’s a blot on the Gates reputation. No matter how much money you have, making stupid decisions based on your world class arrogance will still damage your reputation. 


whitney said...

It's Revenge of the Nerds. Dystopian Style

jmod46 said...

What leads people who are well-known as accomplished in one field to assume that their competency extends to other, unrelated fields? Correct answer: Hubris

Sam L. said...

There's always "stupidity" to be considered, jmod46...

urbane legend said...

Bill, if it was not for right math answers you would not be rich, or stay rich.

If you continue to support such stupidity, please insist that bridges and airplanes designed by graduates of engineering schools that buy into this be identified as such. I do not want to be on any of them.

Anonymous said...

Please keep an eye on the students who graduate from this program. If they design a bridge please put a warning sign on it.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to practice a little 'math' on Gate's bank account.