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Arrogance, The Gates Foundation & The “Remembering Self”

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I’ve certainly been critical of the Gates Foundation and Bill Gates on many occasions. However, recently, I had been developing some respect for both — Gates staff has been engaging in what appeared to me a productive online dialogue with my Education Week and Teacher Leaders Network colleague Anthony Cody and Bill Gates recently gave a surprisingly open-minded interview to The New York Times.

But in the last part of the dialogue with Anthony, Gates staff wrote an angry and ill-advised post that, at least for me — and I suspect for many other educators — lost them most, if not all, of the good will they had recently gained. If I were them, I’d go into damage control mode right away to ensure that their post is not what people remember about this online dialogue.

John Thompson wrote an excellent piece questioning the Gates’ response, so I’m not going to re-invent the wheel here.

I continue to be shocked at the lack of wisdom shown by Gates staff in publishing such a post. In the future, they might want to “sleep on it” before clicking the “publish” button. And, with that being the last planned post in their dialogue, they might also want to consider what Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman has discovered in his research about how things end affect us — it is the “remembering self” that tends to stick with people and the one they use to frame future decisions and actions.

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts Discussing Arrogance & School Reform.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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