Monday, October 4, 2010

Aligned Missions: Bill Gates' Get Schooled Campaign

As a junior in college I and many others felt strongly that we needed a national campaign to correct the destructive paradigms which harm our ability to advance academically. Today, over two and a half years later, this vision is beginning to manifest!

Get Schooled is a national campaign funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It is a resource for teachers, students, parents, EVERYONE and seeks to motivate with its national tour. Celebrities will entertain crowds of students and inspire them to be better at doing their part in this education revolution. But will they inspire lasting change? A different culture? A different set of household priorities? Different parental attitudes? I don't think they're entirely off the mark, but it definitely remains to be seen. While we can all be optimistic about anything from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation due to their long-term commitment to education equality, inculcating education culture may require something deeper.

But The Get Schooled movement, as Gates' money would allow, is so extensive, and if there is an external organization that could help spur a new education culture, perhaps this is the one. The website and tour events provide information and resources to students, parents, and nonparent stakeholders. Need money for college? Get schooled. Need inspiration from your favorite celebrities? Get Schooled. Need funding for an initiative? Get Schooled again. I just hope this doesn't fizzle out, and that a truly new culture is being developed in the process.

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