Thursday, October 17, 2013

#290 / Botstein

Leon Botstein, President of Bard College, is an orchestra conductor, and the Music Director of the American Symphony Orchestra. I think that is a pretty unusual background for a college president, but Botstein does not appear to be your run of the mill college president, either. For instance, in 2008, Botstein was calling on universities throughout the United States to give up their efforts to raise "endowments," and to spend the money they raise on current educational priorities

In his speech to the conference I attended at Bard on October 3rd and 4th, Botstein targeted the first person pronoun, and said that our educational system should be aimed at "subjugating the I." 

He also said that the main purpose of our educational system should be to help us "get along with each other," and that this means we need a single, unitary public school system and free education for all. 

Our greatest danger at the moment, according to Botstein, is a push towards privatization, and the effort, through privatization and the charter school movement, to withdraw resources from the main task of the schools, which is to educate young people for democracy. 

I like Botstein. I think he's right!

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