Carlos Leyva

Silicon Stories

Chapter 9: What Comes After What Come Next?

Prisons or Schools

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There is not another investment in social capital that I can think of (granted I am no expert on social policy but I am willing to listen) that will level the playing field of economic opportunity for all our citizens, and ensure the future of the nation, than an investment in public education at all levels, but especially K-12. In order to guarantee the possibility of a chicken in every pot, let us find a way to provide a laptop in every student’s backpack.

People will harbor a hopeful view of what they can achieve only if their societies do, in fact, offer some scope for individual accomplishment. If their societies provide them with the opportunity to grow as individuals and to have an impact on their environment, their attitudes will reflect those realities.

I am sick of the demagogues of both the right and the left that cannot find a way to improve the current state of affairs with respect to public education (funded by whatever creative means our best minds can devise). Perhaps public education should become the poster child of The Radical Center so that, at least on this one issue, we can move beyond political labels and the politics of personal destruction, however entertaining and amusing we might, from time to time, find these devices. It is not at all amusing that we jeopardize our children’s (and through them the nation’s) future because of a fucked up, broken and outmoded way of thinking.

Let us within the technology industry assume our share of civic responsibility and take a lead role in the public education space. I challenge the dominant corporations to collaborate in creating the necessary processes, and seed the program with the necessary resources, in order to provide a framework for individuals to leverage when donating their time and energies. Let us take our experience, humble as it may be at the moment, related to KM, infotainment and eLearning and apply it where it is likely to do significant good. Consider it an investment in the great developers and visionary leaders of the future, precisely the ones that will lead our corporations to even greater triumphs tomorrow.

Make your educational laws strict and your criminal ones can be gentle; but if you leave youth its liberty you will have to dig dungeons for ages.

—Michel de Montaigne

He who opens a school door, closes a prison.

—Victor Hugo

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