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Education

When Does School Life Begin? Zuckerberg's New School To Admit Fetuses 170

theodp writes: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan's latest initiative to tackle educational inequity is The Primary School, a "private, non-profit school" which will eventually provide both free education and free healthcare for 700 low-income students from the Palo Alto area. "In addition to early childhood and K-12 education," Zuckerberg explained in a Facebook post, "The Primary School will also provide prenatal support for families and on-site healthcare for children. By bringing healthcare and education together in one place, the goal is to support families and help children from underserved communities reach their full potential." A job listing for Assistant Teachers notes that "the school will admit students at or before birth." Zuckerberg joins other Silicon Valley luminaries like Elon Musk and Sal Khan in what Wired calls The Tech Elite's Quest to Reinvent School in Its Own Image.
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When Does School Life Begin? Zuckerberg's New School To Admit Fetuses

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  • by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @10:29AM (#50809731)

    College dropouts championing schools.

    Zuckerberg, Jobs, Gates, Dell, Ellison, Branson, etc.

    • Well, yes, they want fully indoctrinated, indentured servants, educated to their specifications.

      This has nothing to do with giving a damn about children, as it does creating their workforce of the future, which has been raised on the kool-aid and is beholden to them.

      I trust Zuckerfuck not at all in this situation.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Well of course. Rich people hate competition, the last thing they want is more people like themselves. By controlling the "education" of others, they also control future competitors, and make sure the next generation of workers aren't filled with nonsense about law and rights, but instead are conditonned to keep running on that treadmill.

    • College dropouts championing schools.

      They are championing early education, not college.

    • You have to first go to school before you can drop out. :)
    • Re:Irony (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @01:43PM (#50811483)

      College dropouts championing schools.

      Zuckerberg, Jobs, Gates, Dell, Ellison, Branson, etc.

      Dropouts from (if I recall correctly) fairly well-to-do families...

    • College gives you a piece of paper which tells a prospective employer that you aren't lying when you say you're competent at the job you're applying for. That piece of paper is unnecessary if you're starting your own business - you can't lie to yourself about your own competence (well, you can, but people who do that usually wind up bankrupt pretty quickly).

      The folks you've listed didn't drop out of college because they lacked competence or didn't think education wasn't important. They dropped out beca
      • College degree doesn't say anything about job competence, and it's not really the point. What the degree says is that you've been educated, you understand the concepts, possibly there was a little training on the side, but mostly it says that you learned how to learn. Thus an English major degree is better than nothing because there's been at least a year or two of rigorous mental activity, learning how to write, learning how to research, etc, stuff that you almost never get in a high school.

    • College dropouts championing schools.

      The best way for them to prevent competition and ensure their place.

  • No, dumbass (Score:4, Informative)

    by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @10:33AM (#50809767)

    "Prenatal support" means that the program serves pregnant women, not that we're educating the fetuses.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You have to forgive him, theodp is a confirmed life-long virgin. He doesn't know what all the terms are and how it all works.

      • I heard they initially tried educating the fetuses, but it was more trouble than it was worth. First there's the time consumed in getting each mother miked up to communicate, then you have the fetuses disrupting the classroom by spouting Republican talking points in their tiny high voices.

        • by vux984 ( 928602 )

          then you have the fetuses disrupting the classroom by spouting Republican talking points in their tiny high voices.

          While literally leeching off the people around them. :p

  • by trybywrench ( 584843 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @10:37AM (#50809805)
    My kids are 5 and 3, my oldest spent a lot of time in daycare as an infant since both my wife and I were working. Here's a couple honest suggestions if anyone is listening

    Our best experience with a daycare was one with a stable solid staff. The lady that ran the place was a no nonsense hardass. A stickler for procedure and didn't take shit from anyone. This really helped us feel like someone was in charge and on top of things. The lady who took care of our infant was there the whole time we were enrolled and had been there for quite some time before. It really helps the child when there are no staff changes, the child has to get adjusted and use to the adult and feel comfortable and secure. If there's high rollover then it can really make things awful for the child and therefore the parents.

    One final suggestion, it would be useful to have some sort of program that reaches out to parents and helps them emotionally as much as possible during enrollment and especially the first day. It's pretty gut wrenching to drop off your child who hasn't left your arms in months to a stranger, you can always tell the new kids because their parents are the ones crying their eyes out in the parking lot. It's hard on fathers (i cried) but especially mothers. My wife couldn't do it, I had drop off duty every day.
    • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @10:53AM (#50809923) Journal

      Here is another thought.

      Stop pursuing money for gain while you have kids under 60 Months of age. Whatever you spent on daycare it wasn't worth it. Your kids would rather have you, than the things the second job affords.

      • by trybywrench ( 584843 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @11:03AM (#50810039)
        "Stop pursuing money for gain while you have kids under 60 Months of age. "

        For our first we didn't have an option. However, I was able to make a large jump in pay when the second came and my wife is now a stay-at-home-mom so it's a much better situation. She's going to go back to work ( she's a high school teacher ) once the youngest is in 1st grade. No mother I've ever met chose daycare out of convenience it's usually just not an option to stay home.
      • Is pursing "money for gains" different than pursuing money for the rent, electric bill or diapers? Life is like diapers, one size doesn't fit all.
        • Cost of Day Care vs Stay at home?

          If you are paying for daycare, you have choices. You might not think of them as choices, but they are there. I have a 20 year old car, because I spend my time with my family, not chasing the dollar. The problem is, you do have a choice if you're paying for daycare.

          All the other things you mentioned are necessities, but paying for daycare isn't one of them, that is a choice. Unless you're in the mostly preventable single parent realm, you have choices.

      • Amen. My first wife wanted to get right back to work. I disagreed, but respected her decision. Fast forward 10 years: second marriage, second son - wife back in university (on line courses) and is at home with our boy, of whom we both get to see more of this way because there's no lost commute time for HIM. I earn more than I did before, but not so much that this isn't a sacrifice in some ways. But the way that it's not? My family. The time with them is worth so much more, and even the older two (she had
      • by nwaack ( 3482871 )
        How cute. You must be very lucky and/or wealthy to be able to just up-and-quit your job for five years and assume that something similar will be available to you when you get back. Here's yet another thought. Don't judge people you don't know.
        • I didn't judge anyone. I said paying for daycare isn't worth it. That is a value judgement. And unless you are part of the mostly preventable "single parent" family, you do have choices. And yes, I can judge others, just like they sneer at my wife who stayed home to raise our family (how quaint).

          IMHO the people who keep saying "don't judge" know they aren't doing the right thing, and don't want to be reminded it isn't the right thing. Make the choices you want to make, and I will think whatever I want. If y

          • by mvdwege ( 243851 )

            Just out of curiousity, why was it your wife that stayed home? Couldn't you have taken the care duties and stayed home?

            • I earn more than my wife. I could have stayed home too. I also spent 40 hours working, and not 60-80. It cost me plenty, but the rewards I received are infinitely more precious to me.

              • by mvdwege ( 243851 )

                Funny that. A few posts ago you were telling someone else to give up the pursuit of wealth to care for his kids. That's just a tad hypocritical, don't you think?

                • My commute is 8 minutes, when there is traffic. I have no debt and only make about 50K year. I have a house, my car is 20 years old and I don't make payments on it. It cost me $1700 when I bought it.

                  The problem is, that people WANT things, a nice BMW, Diamonds, big screen TVs and leverage their future to get their toys. I want a happy family, and that doesn't cost a nickel, but it is expensive.

                  • by mvdwege ( 243851 )

                    You're deflecting. You started the thread by attacking the thread opener for caring more about pursuing wealth than caring for his kids. You just admitted you did the same.

      • by crgrace ( 220738 )

        The vast majority of people who use daycare do it because they have to. Kids need a place to sleep and food to eat. Also, a recent study showed that kids cared for by others do not develop significantly differently from children cared for exclusively by their parents. Since you'll probably be asking for a reference, here you go:

        Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, DHHS. (2006). The NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD). Findings fo

        • Single Parenthood is a mostly preventable problem. It is a mostly* a result of poor choices. Don't punish your kids because you can't choose your mates better.

          *I say mostly because in the more rare cases, single parenthood isn't a choice due to a death of one of the parents. In almost all other cases, poor choice in life mate isn't an excuse.

      • Here is another thought.

        Stop pursuing money for gain while you have kids under 60 Months of age. Whatever you spent on daycare it wasn't worth it. Your kids would rather have you, than the things the second job affords.

        For us, that would have meant either:

        • My wife abandoning her Biochemical, Molecular and Cellular Biology PhD about18 months before completing it, or
        • Me abandoning my career and us selling our modest house to move into a studio apartment, as PhD stipends don't make good sole incomes for a family of three.

        We put our kid in my wife's school's day care center, which effectively cost us as much as my wife earned at her PhD program. Our kid thrived there: she got some outstanding early education, grew socially, bl

        • Your kid liked day care more than mom and dad, and you think that is okay?

          • Your kid liked day care more than mom and dad, and you think that is okay?

            Wait, I said that?

            • It was absolutely right for our family--mom, dad, and kid alike

              For it to be "right" for your kid, s/he must have liked day care more than being home with mom and dad. You might want to ask him it if was "right" for him, or if he would have preferred to be home with you and your spouse. My guess, your idea of "right" and theirs is not the same.

              • For it to be "right" for your kid, s/he must have liked day care more than being home with mom and dad. You might want to ask him it if was "right" for him, or if he would have preferred to be home with you and your spouse. My guess, your idea of "right" and theirs is not the same.

                Goodness yes, my wife's and my idea of "right" is decidedly different than that of a preschool child! I mean, even today my daughter would vastly prefer to not go to first grade in favor spending her days riding bikes with dad, baking with mom, painting, playing with friends, and visiting grandma and grandpa--but abandoning her schooling to satisfy these desires would be a pretty dumb thing for her parents to do, yeah?

                Woe to the parent who uses their two-year-old's wants as a compass for determining what's

                • Here is what I know about day care babies. They aren't raised by parents, but by strangers.

                  1) wake up, get ready for "Day Care", have breakfast and a commute to the day care center.
                  2) Drop off at day care, parents off to work.
                  3) 9-10 hours later, the parent(s) come and pick the kid up
                  4) Go home have at most an hour with "exhausted" parent(s) who has been at work all day
                  5) Get ready for bed
                  6) Go to bed, sleep 10-12 hours
                  7) ????
                  8) Profit!

                  You think that is "right" ? Oh, you have the kids on the weekends. This

                  • ...and yet here we are, my wife, daughter, and I, the three of us happy, loving, and well-adjusted. Thanks in no small part to her early and routine exposure to lots of other kids her age, our daughter has a natural comfort interacting with her peers that my wife and I lacked at her age. Her math and reading skills are several years ahead of her age group, thanks in no small part to the well-designed curriculum of her day care center. She's inquisitive, adventurous, kind, thoughtful, and boundlessly energet

                    • by mvdwege ( 243851 )

                      Look at the little exhange I had with him upthread. It's not about day care. It's about you being a bad role model because you don't think your wife should stay at home and care for the kids.

                      He is just rationalising his sexism and using the kids as a shield. Quite a despicable little toad.

      • by jedrek ( 79264 )

        This is a massive oversimplification. Preschool does a lot more than let parents go back to work, it teaches kids to interact with adults and children they're not related to. It gives them a chance to fight for their wants and needs, to get people to pay attention to them, all this stuff that's useful later in life. Good day care and pre-school are well worth it.

      • Stop pursuing money for gain while you have kids under 60 Months of age.

        That requires either paid parental leave or ridiculous levels of savings.

        Your kids would rather have you, than the things the second job affords.

        The things a second job affords is increasingly including such luxuries as a roof over your head.

  • Palo Alto public schools spend around $14,700 per student when the average cost per student in the nation is around $8500. Someone needs to tell Zuckerberg he is opening the school in the wrong place if he truly wants to help the "underserved".

    • If he truly wanted to help people he would have never created facebook.
    • by Alascom ( 95042 )

      "...free education and free healthcare for 700 low-income students from the Palo Alto..."

      Low-income in Palo Alto? That is like offering a free house to everyone living on Mars.

      A few facts about Palo Alto:
      Median home value: > $2,500,000
      Median Income: $125,000/yr
      Per Capita Income: $80,000/yr
      Bachelor's degree or higher: 80%
      Demographics: 94% white or asian.

      I guess this is what passes for poor struggling working class to Billionaires in 2015.

      • by crgrace ( 220738 )

        He is providing services to low-income kids in the Palo Alto area . That includes East Palo Alto.

        Since you're so interested in demographics...

        A few facts about East Palo Alto:

        White alone 1,754 â" 6.2%
        Black or African American alone 4,458 â" 15.8%
        Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 18,147 â" 64.5%

    • Palo Alto public schools spend around $14,700 per student when the average cost per student in the nation is around $8500. Someone needs to tell Zuckerberg he is opening the school in the wrong place if he truly wants to help the "underserved".

      East Palo Alto != Palo Alto. This school is actually intended to tap from the Ravenswood City School District in Palo Alto

      Although East Palo Alto spends nearly $13,000/student, about 2/3 of the students are English language learners. The district many full-time Spanish translators for school office, classroom support, and attending parent-teacher meetings as well as to comply with special education requirements (the law requires reports to be translated for non-english speaking parents).

      A few years ago, th

      • by Sangui5 ( 12317 )
        Also, every school in the Bay Area hits up the parents for volunteer time and charitable donations which are not accounted for in the $13/14K per student numbers. The not-for-profit private preschool I send my kids to has a quota of hours of volunteer time! I showed up and did 8 hours of miscellaneous woodworking/construction/yardwork last year, and my wife was essentially a part-time unpaid administrative assistant the full year. Even the public schools endlessly nag their attendees for cash donations.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Silicon Valley Luminaries like Salman Khan, who lives in Boston and got his three degrees from MIT?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I am not sure how theodp gets all of his rants on the front page. The school doesn't "admit fetuses". The school provides prenatal health support for LOW INCOME PEOPLE where no support exists. Theodp needs to JUST STOP with his anti-education diatribes. Disgusting.

  • Make your snide comments, but as a parent, this approach makes a pile of sense. Especially for poor/low income. I'm fortunate enough to have a decent income, education and a spouse with similar background and income. Even with what advantages we have, having kids and supporting kids is a fucking mess of administrivia, not to mention a pile of money.

    So getting into a program like this when you are pregnant can literally be a life-changer for a low income person. Not because of the educational content per se,

    • by Sangui5 ( 12317 )
      Beyond what you (enjar) mentioned, there is also the insane competitiveness for spots in good schools (and preschools and daycare) in the Bay Area. *Accepting* infants before they're born is new, but letting people put their name on the list is old hat. The silly joke is that you should sign up on a waitlist for a preschool when you get engaged, because that's how long the wait is. If you wait to sign up until you have a positive pregnancy test you're already too late.

      I wish that was more of a joke th
      • by enjar ( 249223 )

        Yep. People hear the term "good daycare program" and they think it's somehow the equivalent of the Ivy League of daycare. It's not. It's a program with adequate staffing levels, no televisions and plenty of stuff to keep the kids engaged. For infants to preschoolers, that means stuff like toys, blocks, coloring books and so on. Not rocket science. When you go below "good daycare program", it gets scary and it gets scary fast. Day cares where kids are provided nothing but orange food. Day cares where the wor

  • What with FB's new "premie-book" social media accounts, where you share your InstaSonoGram posts, and enjoy in-the-womb targeted ads for Pampers.
  • This reminds me of the episode of the Sopranos where Paully donated to the church fair. He thought donating money would partly make up for all the bad things he'd done and was planning to do in the future.

  • This is a new trend, not educating fetuses, but allowing parents to register their kids for the school as soon as the parents know the kid is coming. This has been happening in several "private" schools for years. It's to reserve a spot in a competitive school. This is the same nonsense that Manhattan pre schools use now in advertisements where they say XX% of our students go on to Ivy League or something similarly silly. More fuel for the hype train. 700 kids? drop in the bucket, want to do real good? Put
    • My guess is EPA, where it's much less. Also, 700 kids is an entire K-8 school in the Redwood City district, the annual operating costs of an entire school including construction, teachers, supplies and administrators is millions.

      I'm in the Bay Area, and we're talking about parents hiring aids for our teachers because the student to teacher ratio is 30:1. Any relief from the local communities is welcome. All of the weird projects California funds without funding art, physical education, and music in the l

    • by enjar ( 249223 )

      Keep in mind that this includes day care. It's very common to line up day care before a kid is born, it's not like you can turn up somewhere with your baby and just drop it off without prior notice. Day cares need to make sure they have adequate staff and space. When we had our first kid we had this all sorted out well before we gave birth.

    • This has been happening in several "private" schools for years.

      It's been happening at least as far back as the late '40s:

      For instance: The University of Michigan education department ran a laboratory school until a couple decades ago. Each class year initially admitted 30 boys and 30 girls. The students were subject to longitudinal tests for research as they progressed - so when someone had to leave (for instance, as a foreign exchange student) another was admitted to fill the place - and the student als

  • I'm having a hard time seeing the negatives. This is a prototype to try new educational ideas, but really what they are doing is helping the local community. Odds are good it's East Palo Alto (EPA) that will be most served, Palo Alto schools are quite good. The EPA schools are rated low, and any family brought into it will be getting more than they could get from public schools.

    And if underprivileged children should have project-based learning that adapts to their learning capabilities, is that really so

  • This is Zukerberg's Asperger's coming through, loud and clear. I do not mean this in a mean way.

    He simply does not understand why most people would not embrace this. It seems perfectly logical to him. It is efficient. It is through. It saves time and energy. It puts a "team" on raising your kids.

    And it is not what most parents would want. It is creepy as hell. It is corporate parenthood.

    For kids who have medical issues - and their parents - they can be unavoidably public, or intensely private. I think we ha

    • He simply does not understand why most people would not embrace this. It seems perfectly logical to him. It is efficient. It is through. It saves time and energy. It puts a "team" on raising your kids.

      And when the time comes, they'll trust the company enough to be easier to cook and eat [gawker.com] -- hold on, that line wasn't supposed to make it into the press release. Send it back to PR and have them review *the whole thing* and let me know when the next draft is ready. Sheesh.

  • Imagine Beowulf clusters of coding fetuses in jars

  • Google, now FB think they're being innovative; what's old is apparently new again:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    "Historic Pullman was built in the 1880s by George Pullman as workers' housing for employees of his eponymous railroad car company, the Pullman Palace Car Company. He established behavioral standards that workers had to meet to live in the area and charged them rent. Pullman's architect, Solon Spencer Beman, was said to be extremely proud that he had met all the workers' needs within the neighb

  • Many years ago(previous millenium) I lived and worked on the Peninsula, not too far from PA.
    It was a wonderland of opulence, beauty, charm, character, and the weather could not be beat.

    During my work routine I had to occasionally make a deliveries to East Palo Alto, which was, at the time, a very different place from PA and the rest of the Peninsula. East Palo Alto was a low income "working class" neighborhood/town that was 180 degress different than PA.

    Crossing over into EPA, aka "Hubbaville"(a re
  • Low income in Palo Alto area? What's that? $200k annual household income? :P
  • Congratulations! All of your personal, private data, intimate thoughts, shopping lists, and friends - even those without accounts - is being harvested, categorized, mined and cross referenced for sale to marketeers who will spam you, inundate you with click bait, and harass you will illegal robocalls so 1 man can live like a king while he builds a socialist institution.

    An I didn't even get flowers.
  • Ignatius Loyola is purported to have said "Give me a child until he is seven, and he will be mine forever". Sounds like The Zuck believes that too.

    The sad thing is that a large percentage of the population-at-large will probably think this initiative is a good thing, instead of seeing the dangers inherent in it. What better way to extend and entrench the hold that corporations have on the lives of 'free' citizens?

  • This is an excellent plan, soon we will be able to raise children completely in a sterile homogeneous government/corporate environment and won't need parents at all!!!

  • These van der Snoot Academies do far greater harm than good.

  • I wonder how many of those 'low income students' parents work for Facebook?

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