Today Henry Cisneros takes the cake with his shameless shilling for the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. If there ever was reaching in attributing what may help alleviate the Latino high school dropout rate, this opinion piece by the former HUD Secretary attempts to explain that consolidating cell phone providers and internet access companies will now allow Latino students to have a key tool to be successful.
According to wise Latino elder Cisneros:
“Today’s mobile technology allows teachers to teach their children about the Seven Wonders of the World in a way never before experienced by kids who came before. Learning comes to life with the Internet; it allows kids to experience almost firsthand what the teacher is teaching. This added dimension in the classroom backed up by access at home or on a teenager’s smartphone will add to the sentiment that nothing is out of reach for this child.
The importance of high-speed Internet service can be seen everywhere these days. Not just in classrooms as mentioned, but also in the entrepreneurial world as small businesses continue to fuel the engine of growth and job creation. Any new business today needs instant access to customers and suppliers. President Obama has been a leader on this, calling for all Americans to have high-speed Internet access and setting a goal of covering 98 percent of Americans by 2016. The proposed ATT/T-Mobile transaction is purported to cover 97.3 percent of Americans, giving them the ability to access 4G LTE mobile technology. This is the fastest wireless Internet access available, and it’s the kind you need to take full advantage of new online opportunities in areas such as business and education. In pure numbers, the merger has the potential to bring high-speed service to an additional 55 million Americans.”
That is why I urge federal officials to approve the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger. The company has committed to spend an additional $8 billion to expand next-generation wireless Internet service if the deal is approved. Wireless service offers the best, fastest hope to reach President Obama’s dream of universal Internet access. This is quite literally an investment in our future competitiveness. It means more students will graduate prepared for college. It means more businessmen and women will open more businesses in their communities which will in turn create jobs. And so forth.”
Plainly, this opinion piece by Cisneros was written to push the momentum that many Latino organizations have helped propel in support of this planned merger. Improving educational outcomes has more to do with promoting literacy, persistence, creating better learning environments at home and in our communities. While I love the internet and online learning, it is only one piece of the pie or rather one tool to help a student achieve success. Some may even argue that the internet creates distractions for students (time spent on social media, online games, and other time sink activities that are now online or available via cell phone).
Finally, Henry Cisneros has a history of inserting himself into corporate ventures that have failed or cost the public tremendously. Once upon a time, he sat on the board of the now-defunct Countrywide mortgage company. For those of you needing a refresher, click here to read about how his adventures in the mortgage industry turned out. Any company or organization who uses this guy to speak on behalf of the Latino community has to consider his reputation and credibility.