EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.24.10

Boston Globe Writes About Gates’ Dangerous Influence on US Education, Memphis Provides New Example

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft at 4:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Namibian students

Summary: Ravitch is in the press again, the Washington Post turns a semi-blind eye, and the Gates Foundation asks schools to change in order to receive money

THE Boston Globe has some new coverage about Bill Gates’ hijack of the United States education system. This helps Gates and Microsoft too (children raised only with Windows in sight). The paper cites Ravitch’s new book, which we previously wrote about in [1, 2, 3]. To quote from the Boston Globe:

Bill Gates’s risky adventure

[...]

But in “The Death and Life of the Great American School System’’ Ravitch writes that Gates and other so-called venture philanthropists, including Eli Broad, are experimenting thoughtlessly. There is no proof, she writes, that Gates is on the right track now any more than he was from 2000-2008, when he pumped about $2 billion into a campaign to restructure large American high schools into smaller schools. That effort, writes Ravitch, was marginal at best.

Ravitch argues that high-flying, unaccountable philanthropists are dictating the country’s public school agenda through their grant-making instead of listening to the field. The “current obsession with making our schools work like a business,’’ writes Ravitch, “threatens to destroy public education.’’

Gates may be innovation-happy, but he is hardly laying waste to the nation’s public education system. If anything, he is seeding it for future success in ways similar to his funding of biotechnology research to improve the yields of crops in developing nations. Of course, his agricultural effort has its share of critics, too.

As for his limitless power, Gates says his charter school work is possible only in states where the public and lawmakers are willing to support experimentation. His home state of Washington, he adds, has blocked the creation of charter schools.

“The education system is always decided politically,’’ said Gates. “If she (Ravitch) thinks foundations are dictating, I don’t see it.’’

It’s not quite so simple. The pressure is mounting on school systems to conform to the foundations’ visions, especially when the current trend is to fund projects with measurable outcomes, not discretionary grants. And pushing back against the big foundations, or modifying their requirements based on local knowledge, was a lot easier a decade ago when the foundations were smaller and less bureaucratic.

The Gates Foundation is in a state of denial. We have provided evidence of its harmful influence on education for well over a year and Ravitch is far from a lone critic (the issue extends beyond the United States too). We cited many other people whose position on Gates’ intervention in schools was similar if not identical. To deny this is simply to be closed-minded or deluded by PR (the previous post hopefully helped show how far PR goes).

There is some more here in the Washington Post (about Ravitch and Meier), but interestingly enough it mostly leaves out Ravitch’s criticism of the Gates Foundation. Could this have something to with the Gates family ties to the Washington Post's board? The Washington Post hardly ever criticises Gates and/or his foundation, unlike other publications; the same goes for the Seattle Times, which knowingly ignores confirmed stories that disagree with its agenda.

Anyway, here is a brand new example of Gates funds for education with strings attached.

In the story, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen is cited as pushing legislation that made student test scores 50 percent of annual teacher evaluations, something critical for Race to the Top.

“Bredesen points to an earlier development in his state, that, he says, had ‘broken the ice.’ In 2009, the Gates foundation provided a $90 million grant to the Memphis school system — the state’s largest — on the condition that teachers there allow 35 percent of their performance ratings to be based on student test scores.”

The message is clear: change the agenda or be left out. We have shown many examples like this before. We also explained how the foundation’s influence can be converted into profit.

“Education and training: Target both developer and knowledge worker environment; Money and resources for curriculum development; Money and resources for teacher training; Subsidized certification on MS products”

Confidential Microsoft document [PDF]

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Site Focus for The Remainder of the Year

    What we plan for the rest of 2014 and why



  2. Links 20/4/2014: EFF FOSS, Easter Drone Strikes, Copyright Industry Fear of Google

    Links for the day



  3. Links 19/4/2014: Slow Easter News Day

    Links for the day



  4. Links 18/4/2014: New KDE, Kubuntu, and More

    Links for the day



  5. Some Perspective on Heartbleed®

    Our views on the whole Heartbleed® bonanza, which seems like partly a PR stunt (for multiple stakeholders)



  6. Microsoft is Leaving Windows -- Including Vista 8.1 -- Vulnerable to Non-Government Crackers, Not Only to NSA

    Microsoft makes it ever more evident that securing users of Windows is not at all a priority, and perhaps not even a desire



  7. Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

    Links for the day



  8. Racing to 1984: Mass Surveillance, Cracking, 'Targeted' Assassinations, and Illegal Torture

    Links for the day



  9. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll



  10. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS



  11. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day



  12. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  13. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  14. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  15. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  16. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  18. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  19. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  20. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  21. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  22. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  23. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  24. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  25. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day



  26. KDE News: Kubuntu at the Centre Again KDE Applications Updated

    Links for the day



  27. Techrights Rising

    Effective immediately, Techrights will do what it takes to bring back old volume and pace of publishing



  28. Links: Surveillance, Intervention, Torture and Drones

    Links for the day



  29. Mobile Linux Not Just Android: Jolla, WebOS, and Firefox OS News

    Links for the day



  30. Google's Linux Revolution: New Gains for Android, Chrome OS (GNU/Linux)

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts