August 30, 2021

Akil Bello: What if . . . thoughts on education

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Testing expert Akil Bello riffed on the new Marvel series and thought up some What Ifs for education.

What if . . . philanthropy and policy weren’t linked
Imagine if colleges weren’t businesses. Imagine if think tanks were funded primarily by the government. Imagine if private donations to influence research, policy, and programming was banned. How would that change what was researched? How would that change what policies became standard? How would that change who was admitted to college?

The strings currently attached (both implicitly and explicitly) to philanthropic gifts seem to drive high speed stagnation in society. Would Tulane, William and Lee, and Stanvard look different if they didn’t have buildings named after donors with living children applying? Would admissions to highly rejective colleges change if they weren’t concerned with admitted students who will in the future continue to fund their endowment?

What if . . . educational institutions believed not in selectivity/rejectivity but in educating?
I’ve been playing with the thought of a universe where the educational institutions we considered the best, were the ones that help students most. Not the ones that showed the most bling. Not the ones that did the best job attracting students who need the least help being successful. Places that actually took pride in the ability to teach everyone, no matter where they started.

When I think of an educational institution I think of a place that values teaching and learning, but what we seem to currently have on Earth-1 is educational systems that scramble for bragging rights. Places that scramble to get students someone else prepared to be successful and to take credit when they actually are successful. That’s not education, thats simply non-stoppage. That’s a jockey taking all the credit for winning the Kentucky Derby.

We admitted these students who achieved all these great things before they got to us!”

Read the full set of ideas here.

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