On Wednesday, an op-ed written by Ivanka Trump appeared in the New York Post.
Joining a long list of public school-meddling billionaires who have no education qualifications nor children in public school of their own, Ivanka claimed the nation’s children as the subject of her White House pet project by calling for expansion of computer science and coding in America’s public schools.
The call is built on a long-propagated but thoroughly debunked myth that our nation suffers from a dearth of workers with STEM qualifications.
In fact, the claim that we need to get kids coding by kindergarten is little more than convenient cover to get more kids hooked up to digital devices in their classrooms and sending data to the cloud.
“Coding is at intersection of tech ed and edtech,” explains Hadi Partovi in an interview with digital learning guru, Tom Vander Ark. “People get online Computer Science. It may be an easier sell to blended Computer Science than blended math.”
And that, of course, is exactly what Wall Street investors and Silicon Valley tech titans are trying to do: sell us on the idea that we need to spend more time learning online. (The term “blended” refers to learning that takes at least partially online.)
No surprise, then, that Ivanka mentions joining Partovi and Microsoft President Brad Smith in Virginia for – in Partovi’s own words – the Hour of Code “marketing gimmick” with the students of Middleburg Community Charter School.
In an email to the Clinton campaign (because yes, this is a thoroughly bipartisan ruse) Partovi urged staffers to think beyond the marketing stunt and make “Computer Science” a key piece of their platform.
“Any time Hillary says “STEM”, if she instead, said “Computer science” she’d have more voters understand and support her. For winning an election, STEM is not what voters react to,” Partovi advised.
Hillary lost, of course, but Partovi lost no time buddying up with Ivanka Trump to push his agenda.
Partovi, a long-time liberal, wrote: “I knew many would ask me: “How can you support something the Trump administration is doing?”
“[We] may be divided by our politics, but we’re united by our love for money,” he said.
Did I say “money?” Okay, he actually said our love for “children.”
But we all know what he really meant.