The GSV Big 10: Renaissance Elon
Elon's new school, $1 million Yass Prize winner, the Whittle way...
There are nearly 4 million charter school students and 8,000 charter schools in the US today, with 75% of Americans supporting the school choice movement. Without Chris Whittle’s vision and resilience with the Edison Project, this movement may never have gotten off the ground in the first place. Next, Avenues became the most successful private school start-up anywhere, ever. Baret Scholars is the latest big idea pioneered by Chris, as it aims to reimagine the Gap Year. This conversation is between two 40-year friends, and we cover the evolution of the global education revolution.
So if he wasn’t busy enough revolutionizing the car industry, sending rockets to space, aspiring to civilize Mars, defending free speech from the frontline, and starting an AI company….Elon is now looking to launch his own university. It’s called the Texas Institute for Technology and Science, and the new STEM-focused university will be based in Austin, Texas. Given the coming disruption in Higher Ed, the timing for a new university looks pretty good.
In a historical flip, the Democrats have become the party for people with four-year degrees. With less than 40% of American adults holding college degrees, and degrees themselves under siege for a variety of reasons, this represents a mathematical challenge in a democracy where 51% wins. Ironically, the Republican brand has shifted from the fat-cat, Wall Street, country clubber to the middle-class, Blue Collar worker in flyover country. The duo of Michael Horn and Jeff Selingo makes for a must-listen podcast.
Depending on your point of view, Bari Weiss is either the champion for sensibility and truth, or a flame-throwing provocateur. We are decidedly in the camp of the former. In this piece, Weiss makes 4 main points:
DEI must DIE.
Stop amending the First Amendment when it doesn’t align with your views
Hire more (lowercase L) liberals to create a healthier point-counterpoint environment
Replace “my truth” with the truth.
As Gotham’s former mayor Michael Bloomberg points out, both parties have failed our students. Every time you point a finger, three more will point back at you, and that is especially true here. When the Secretary of Education celebrates wholesale mediocrity, we as a nation need to rise up and change the game.
October 7 was a day of infamy. The only possibly positive thing to come from it was that peoples’ eyes were opened to the truly upside-down culture that has been created in our so-called elite institutions. Think about this for a second, half of university students support Hamas - yes, Hamas. December 5 is a day that will mark when Ivy League leaders showed their true colors on camera for the country to see. The presidents of MIT, Penn, and Harvard testified before a House panel and needed to have “context” to determine if calls for genocide would be considered bullying on campus...which would only make sense to somebody from another planet. Timing in life is everything, and and UATX’s timing could not be more perfect.
Valiant Cross is an all-male, faith-based academy that sits in the heart of downtown Montgomery, Alabama and just across from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s church. Selected as the $1 million dollar winner out of a pool of 33 semifinalists, they were awarded their prize at Forbes on Fifth in the heart of the Big Apple. Valiant Cross is a shining example of how to make a difference by helping one student at a time.
This is another example of why the once-great city of Chicago is in the past tense. Mayor Johnson recently made a clever, but absurd characterization of school choice being akin to the “Hunger Games”. Aligning incentives with objectives is a fundamental principle of how to optimize outcomes. Being able to choose schools based on what’s best for the student, with the money following the student should only be controversial for the adults that are losing students due to ineffective teaching. Market forces might sound mean when framed as taking resources from one to give to another. However, what’s truly cruel is relegating a kid’s future to hopelessness by trapping them in a failing school.
We welcome with open arms a well regarded strategist and thought leader like Fareed powerfully articulating the urgent need to rid the rot. We have been saying for years that universities should be pursuing excellence over political agendas…and we’re glad to have others join us.
We appreciate that we have been beating a dead horse on Higher Ed for the past couple of weeks, but we want to make sure there is no pulse. Harvard grad and Navy Veteran Senator Dan Sullivan gives a first hand account of a recent visit to the Crimson’s Widener Library during finals week. Obviously, raucous protests inside the library creates a challenging study environment. Sullivan’s cordial discussion with two demonstrators quickly turned to them sticking their phones in his face and labeling him a murderer due to their difference of views. The kids are not alright.