Brad Pitt and Moneyball on Improving the Quality of Education in AmericaBy Chris Brandt, UniversityHerald Reporter
In the film Moneyball, Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, the general manager of a baseball team running on a very tight budget. Faced with this challenge, Pitt's character had to find ways how to reinvent his team in order to win against the big shots. But how does a baseball film apply to education?
Like the Oakland As, there are still a lot of schools across the nation which run on a very tight budget, maybe not even enough. And like the Oakland As, this problem can be solved and improve the quality of education by using the Moneyball principle, which relies more on data and evidence rather than politics. Groups, such as Results for America are already championing and adopting the principles used in the movie.
Greg Moore, the former editor of Denver Post, said that the federal government had already invested huge amounts of money in finding out the results to reading and math yet there have been no improvements.
Moore, who grew up in a segregated community in Cleveland, came from a low-income family in the poorer section of the town. He was the first in his family to go to university, which was attended by elites who were mostly white. That achievement along with others have made him an authority in various communities no matter what ethnic or social background it is from.
"I wanted to discover why we spent so much money, and, still, education isn't improving, especially where there is a concentration of poverty, and in places where a lot of black and Latino kids live," he said.
Another concept from Moneyball is that they didn't use the same people who are on the table already. Instead, they bring in new people, fresh voices, performers with slugging and efficiency percentages. Thus, when it is that player's turn, something happens, results happen.
Furthermore, he mentioned that data analysis is the key to success. The most popular belief states that careers in STEM are the path to higher earnings. On the contrary, what is also needed in order to be successful are problem-solving skills, liberal arts traits, and communication.