Elon Musk To Open Texas Schools, But What Will They Accomplish?
Elon Musk, through his charitable endeavor The Foundation, has begun the process of opening primary and secondary schools, aiming to ultimately create a new university in Austin, Texas. Yes, the Austin, Texas that already has UT. So what difference will these schools make, and what will they accomplish for Texas students?
We have some clues. We know that $100 million has already been earmarked for this project and that Musk is seeking a tax exemption for it. We also know it will be a private, not a public school, so while some students may receive scholarships, it likely won't be open to just any student who can't afford it or doesn't have the academic prowess to obtain funding. So, we can make the reasonable guess that this school will recruit academic overachievers, which makes "winning" high marks a bit of a shoo-in.
If it provides brilliant kids with teachers who can push them into excellence, I'm all for it. However, I think it would be naive to assume these schools will improve the education of more than a select few. The primary school is set to enroll a mere 50 students to begin will, with plans to scale up as time goes by.
We also know the focus will be on a STEM education, that is, one primarily focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, which are some of the most employable fields, although I am happily employed with my English degree.
Musk disdains language learning, as "Mr Musk has said learning languages is pointless because AI will be able to instantly translate between different tongues." While that may be true, learning a new language has been shown to improve overall intelligence.
If these schools provide an opportunity for Texas students that didn't already exist, then I'll be its biggest cheerleader. I'm choosing to be cautiously optimistic, and I have my fingers crossed that students will be taught to write, even if AI can generate an "article".
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