Bill Gates, who supposedly scored 1590 on the SAT (which is equivalent now that the maximum has been raised to 2400 and scoring made easier, to about, oh, roughly, a million today), is, notoriously, the World`s Biggest IQ Snob in his personal business (at which he`s been rather successful). And yet, the Gates Foundation, the chief meddler in American public schools, is as allergic to thinking about the impact of IQ variations on education as every other spouter of the Conventional Wisdom. Not surprisingly, the Gates Foundation has been rather unsuccessful at improving public schools, according to Bill Gates.
Gates`s IQ elitism in his personal life is evident even in his writing for the Gates Foundation. Here are excerpts from the first page of his 2009 Annual Letter on the work of the Gates Foundation, where he discusses his transition from Microsoft to fulltime work at the Gates Foundation:
My job at Microsoft had three magical things. ... Finally, the work let me engage with people who were smart and knew things I didnâ€™t....
I love the work at the foundation. Although there are many differences, it also has the three magical elements. ... Second, I feel like my experience in building teams of smart people with different skill sets focused on tough long-term problems can be a real contribution. ... However, I am equally confident that our maniacal focus on drawing in the best talent and measuring results will make a difference. Finally, I find the intelligence and dedication of the people involved in these issues to be just as impressive as what I have seen before. Whether they are scientists at a university or people who have worked in the field in Africa most of their lives, they have critical knowledge and want to help make the breakthroughs. The opportunity to gather smart, creative people into teams and give them resources and guidance as they tackle the challenges is very fulfilling. [Emphasis mine]
In contrast, as the boss of the Gates Foundation, Gates argues that everybody must complete a post-secondary degree or certification. Of course, Bill Gates, himself, is a Harvard dropout.
That Gates is a dropout is not a secret, but it`s just the kind of fact that`s not considered relevant in thinking about school policy.
Look, lecturing kids who are struggling to graduate from high school that getting a high school degree is useless except as preparation for getting a postsecondary degree is a catastrophic strategy. It`s the old Yale or Jail syndrome, which encourages a lot of youths to believe that an honest life of reasonably compensated work is hopeless for them, so they might as well drop out of high school now and start dealing drugs.