The Greedy Bureaucracy is the Only Force that Will Be With George Lucas and His Billions

Posted: November 6, 2012 in From Student to Teacher
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I am a product of the Star Wars generation.  Han Solo was my ideal mate and Luke Skywalker my alter ego.  We waited on a line that wrapped around the block in downtown Manhattan when I was still a single digit, to watch the release of this epic saga.  Most of the students I have taught over the last several years had virtually no knowledge of the allusions I offered in class, with respect to Star Wars.  

My respect for George Lucas, the mastermind of Star Wars, grew exponentially when I watched his interview on the Oprah channel.  He is a very intelligent man, had the common sense to fall in love with a beautiful Black woman, and raised his children in a very practical, non-spoiled style.

But I was devastated to read this on the other night:

“I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education. It is the key to the survival of the human race. We have to plan for our collective future –- and the first step begins with the social, emotional, and intellectual tools we provide to our children. As humans, our greatest tool for survival is our ability to think and to adapt – as educators, storytellers, and communicators our responsibility is to continue to do so.”

George Lucas is dedicating approximately $4 BILLION dollars from the sale of the Star Wars rights to Disney, to EDUCATION.  Apparently, he will set it up with a foundation, which has yet to be disclosed.  In the article, the assumption is that he will funnel the money through Edutopia.

Okay.  I absolutely, wholeheartedly, and passionately agree with Mr. Lucas’ above quote about education.  It is the fundamental core of how I raised my children and how I was raised.  Every biography of someone who has made tremendous personal and societal strides to benefit humanity has had its inception in education.  We know this.

What makes me want to find his offices, or write him a long, passionate letter, or just shake some sense into this wonderful man is that I am terrified, petrified even, that such a large sum of money that can provide so much to the field of education will be squandered away by power-hungry administrators, smooth-dressing, fast-talking, earnest representatives who will craftily leech onto the folks managing Mr. Lucas’ money, with superficial talk of the latest, greatest education reform which only compounds the problem.

Look at the debacle in Atlanta Public Schools.  Bill Gates pumped millions into APS, which resulted in beautiful buildings but no beautiful minds.  Beverly Hall’s bank account grew significantly, her engineered data rose, but the education of the children remained stagnant.

Perhaps they’ll use some of the money to collaborate with behemoths like Pearson, and develop a NEW and IMPROVED test for students in America, who are like a wrung out rag because they are so exhausted from perpetual testing cycles.  Perhaps they’ll create new charter schools, which are just another form of segregation in American society.

The bottom line is:  who knows where his money will go and into whose hands, which will continue to exacerbate the problems in a system that has been mismanaged for so long…


Sit down with some teachers first.  Ride across the country in a cushy tour bus and visit randomly selected schools all across the fifty states, and ask to sit with the teachers.  Ask them what they see as the biggest detriment to effective education.  Have your assistants record everything into a database.  Then decide where to put your money.  I will work for you for free, around the clock, if it means that these useless administrators and testing leeches won’t sink their greedy claws into your hard-earned money.



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