Raising Entrepreneurs – David Stelzl Speaks to Educators in Sacramento, CA

Preparing to speak to over a thousand educators this morning in Sacramento, CA on building an Entrepreneurial mindset…one quote stands out that should make us all think twice about how we approach professional development as well as the educational development of the next generation:

Andrew Carnegie, in the Early 1900s, wrote (concerning the development of our educational institutions here in the US…)

“We need compliant workers…willing to work for less than the value their productivity creates… …The best way is to build an educational industry designed to teach workers just enough to get them to cooperate.”    No wonder it’s so hard to hire good people!

© 2011, David Stelzl


4 thoughts on “Raising Entrepreneurs – David Stelzl Speaks to Educators in Sacramento, CA

  1. ““We need compliant workers…willing to work for less than the value their productivity creates… …The best way is to build an educational industry designed to teach workers just enough to get them to cooperate.”

    This one really hits home with me at a level of disgust that’s even now bothersome some many years later as it cost me no small amount of lost time and opportunity and I am certain I am not alone.

    I graduated from high school 40 years back this past June. Over the course of my six years of post elementary education (grades 7-12) I went from a top track student (those that are considered the above average learners) to graduating 692 of 695 in my senior class.

    After getting over my hate for the public educational system which I saw as at best “advanced kindergarten” I returned to a local community college at age 22, earned a 3.96 in the two year engineering transfer program and won a scholarship to Carnegie Mellon University to finish my engineering studies.

    It would appear that there is a dissonance here that begs clarification.

    According to the high school the problem was of course me. The problem according to me was I bored to death with the childishness of how the students, already young adults, were treated and with the foolish regimentation of it all. Bear mind this is 1970-1971. Within a year I could have been serving in Vietnam but in my senior year of high school still had to ask permission to go to the bathroom.

    At the time I wasn’t sufficiently wise to the ways of the world to know that Mr. Carnegie’s dictum was being played out in spades, but not surprisingly, as the high school of which I speak is in the Pittsburgh suburb of Monroeville. Some years later it became, to my chagrin, abundantly clear to me that the public school system of the time *didn’t*, contrary to it’s lofty prose on the walls of the installed ruling class, want to build independent thinkers and entrepreneurs. Their mission was to provide the worker bees and managers to fill the slots needed by the existing infrastructure, but certainly not those that would challenge the entrenched institutions.

    In fairness there were those rare exceptions among the faculty I had in my journey that did encourage each to achieve as they could but as stated, they were the exception, not the norm.

    Fortunately, it appears that many of the items myself and others of that time, and those both before and after, endeavored to change have and largely for the better.

    The Internet has done more to break down traditional hierarchies then probably any revolution has since Gutenberg put ink to plates and brought affordable knowledge to the growing masses of 15th. century Europe.

    Even more heartening are the growing numbers of people, such as the the author of this blog, that are taking direct responsibility for the creation of capable, young adults that will at least be mentally prepared and have the personal skills to help rebuild the increasingly dysfunctional economy of our nation (US).

    Mike Shafer
    Pittsburgh, PA USA

    1. Thanks for the personal experiences on this…yes, the Internet does change things for the better in this case. I also appreciate some of my teachers – just because the system is corrupt doesn’t make the teacher bad.

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