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

06.22.10

Bill Gates and Microsoft Use Government Support to Turn Public Schools Into Private Business

Posted in Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 3:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: More lobbying for school reform the Gates way; Microsoft’s ‘School of the Future’ makes the headlines again and shares similar goals

D

iane Ravitch, a well-regarded and respected figure and author, has criticised the Gates Foundation for taking over public education in the United States [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Ravitch has just published this article where she explains Obama’s role in allowing it to happen:

My sense is that it has a lot to do with the administration’s connections to the Gates Foundation and the Broad Foundation. Although both are usually portrayed as liberal or at least Democratic, their funding priorities have merged with those of the very conservative Walton Family Foundation. I explain this curious power elite in a chapter of my book called “The Billionaire Boys Club.”

For those who don’t know Gates’ connections to the Democrats, this recent post about Clinton and Gates ought to help. On the face of it, based on another article from last week, there is a stronger connection that may also involve staff:

Prior to coming to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Burwell spent 8 years in the Clinton Administration, including a stint as Deputy White House Chief of Staff and Chief of Staff to Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.

Howard Bornstein tells another new story:

As a young analyst at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Howard Bornstein witnessed the massive philanthropic impact of the Microsoft founder and his wife. Bornstein realized his best chance to have a remotely similar impact would be to sharpen the philanthropy of others.

Today we are going to address the subject of schools being captured by Gates and by Microsoft. We have given many examples before, some also involving public libraries.

“The fastest way to the top of the Gates Foundation’s queue for new PC donations,” explained Ryan last night, “is to tell them you’re considering keeping you old systems and rolling out Linux. That’s how our library got tons of new Windows XP machines a couple years ago (Microsoft offered Vista, but they chose XP instead). I think I’ve mentioned before what a gulag those things are. You’re not allowed to use Flash. You can’t open a PDF. There’s no Firefox. I think last time I had to print out a PDF, I had to convert it to a Word document and email it to myself so I could print it at the library (they do have MS Office).”

For more on the same subject, see:

Bill Gates’ former public school turns out to be targeted by Gates right now.

And at one point the school received a major donation from the Gates Foundation, because a savvy parent who discovered that Bill Gates had attended View Ridge many years ago, and had used that as the basis for a successful appeal for a sizeable grant. Teachers and parents were working together to make a better school. Things were good, G-O-O-D, good. HUNH!!!

One of Gates’ biggest experiments with schools is actually in Hillsborough. We wrote about it in:

In Hillsborough, it sometimes seems like Gates won a bid to look after the education programme and methods. It’s a testing ground and based on the latest news, it’s truly treated as an experiment that only the Gates Foundation conducts (so it’s a franchise or monopoly):

District officials say their $100 million Gates grant also is helping them figure out which places — education schools, states, or even regions — produce their most effective teachers.

[...]

Thanks to the Gates money, statistician James Goode will now work full time to analyze the performance of such new hires.

Here is another report from Hillsborough. This type of programme has a codename now, namely “Empowering Effective Teachers” (from AP, also available here):

Called Empowering Effective Teachers, the plan was the basis for a proposal made last year to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation approved the plan and has given the district $40 million for efforts to improve teacher quality.

The district and union worked on the Gates proposal together, and rolled that into contract talks.

This codename is similar to “Elevate America” in the sense that it contains euphemisms (“Effective” and “Empowering”). It is just another case of state-supported hijack of citizens’ minds — one which is defended/advertised here:

Elevate America is an initiative by Microsoft to improve workforce readiness skills. The program will provide one million vouchers for Microsoft e-learning courses and select certification exams at no cost to recipients. Elevate America is being implemented in cooperation with state governments across the country.

For Microsoft to play “parent” with entire states would be insane. But that’s exactly what the government lets this monopoly abuser get away with. All of those actions are not donations at all; Gates’ own actions are also mentioned in [1, 2, 3]. It’s a form of lobbying.

Memphis, Tn – In the fall of 2009, the Memphis City School System was given a $90 million grant from the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation. But, in order to get the money, schools have to prove they are putting it to good use. That’s where the Envoy Program comes into play.

Here is another new article about Memphis:

With $1.1 million this year from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant to Memphis City Schools, Efficacy plans to train several hundred “student envoys” responsible for preaching the gospel of discipline and self-esteem, and delivering the message that smart isn’t by chance.

[...]

With $90 million from the Gates Foundation, the district is trying to improve the learning climate in several ways, including beefing up teacher skill and nearly six-figure salaries.

Memphis is part of the experiment, as we noted in previous posts about Gates’ programme in Memphis, specifically:

“Public officials to discuss educational standards,” says this new report.

The Council of State Governments is assisting the effort, with financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Public officials”? Private officials rather. Just look who organised such meetings and who attended. It is not the first such example that we give and here is Kauffman mentioned for similar intervention that would probably startle Ravitch.

While other major philanthropies, such as the Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation of Bentonville, Ark., have given millions of dollars to charter schools, it is believed that the Kauffman Foundation is the largest and most prominent private foundation to have decided to run its own charter school. And though other organizations with “foundation” in their names have started charter schools, staff members from national charter school organizations and philanthropic organizations couldn’t point to any that are grantmaking foundations, as is the Kauffman Foundation.

And now we come to Microsoft’s own role. It’s almost inseparable. Microsoft has this thing called “School of the Future”, which sounds similar to some of Gates’ objectives.

From USA Today:

When the Microsoft-designed School of the Future opened, the facility was a paragon of contemporary architecture, with a green roof, light-filled corridors and the latest classroom technology, all housed in a dazzling white modern building.

It might as well have been a fishbowl: Educators and media from around the world watched to see whether Microsoft could reform public education through innovation and technology.

Microsoft’s potential connection to the Gates Foundation when it comes to schools mustn’t be ignored (also in public libraries, as we showed before). There is a lot in common there. “Microsoft could reform public education through innovation and technology,” says the above. Well, “reform” being a euphemism for control is the same term Gates uses when he gives money to schools with strings attached (conditional upon reform).

There was some more coverage about Microsoft’s “School of the Future” last week [1, 2, 3] and this time there are no sob stories like there were a few years ago. Children from the school were literally crying.

AP has this article titled “Microsoft’s Philly high school traveled rocky road”:

Microsoft’s liaison to the school, Mary Cullinane, says the school has overcome its early challenges.

Microsoft is in the school “business”. What would be the reaction to having a “BP university” or “Walmart academy”? It’s pretty much the same idea. It’s ludicrous when schools are branded by and run by corporations.

Meanwhile, Microsoft pretends to be a defender of children for PR purposes. It also appeals to the religious community with more PR [1, 2] which ignores Microsoft’s embarrassing advocacy of underage sex (the Kin “boob” incident if just the latest among more). Why would anyone sincerely believe that a company like Microsoft should be interested in real education? It has shareholders to serve.

Interestingly enough, a few days ago we found more lobbying regarding education and other areas, courtesy of Brad Smith:

Top Microsoft executive shares company views on state issues

[...]

Education, livability, and economic ties with Asia will determine the long-term success of Washington, according to Microsoft’s top public-policy man.

So Smith is lobbying for Microsoft again. What could possibly go wrong? We’ll discussed this in the next post.

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. Rumour: European Patent Office to Lay Off a Significant Proportion of Its Workforce

    While the Administrative Council of the EPO praises Battistelli for his financial accomplishments (as laughable as it may seem) a lot of families stuck in a foreign country may soon see their breadwinner unemployed, according to rumours



  2. The Patent Trolls' Lobby, Bristows and IAM Among Others, Downplays Darts-IP/IP2Innovate Report About Rising If Not Soaring Troll Activity in Europe

    Exactly like last year, as soon as IP2Innovate opens its mouth Bristows and IAM go into "attack dog" mode and promote the UPC, deny the existence or seriousness of patent trolls, and promote their nefarious, trolls-funded agenda



  3. Links 20/2/2018: Mesa 17.3.5, Qt 5.11 Alpha, Absolute 15.0 Beta 4, Sailfish OS 2.1.4 E.A., SuiteCRM 7.10

    Links for the day



  4. Replacing Patent Sharks/Trolls and the Patent Mafia With 'Icons' Like Thomas Edison

    The popular perceptions of patents and the sobering reality of what patents (more so nowadays) mean to actual inventors who aren't associated with global behemoths such as IBM or Siemens



  5. The Patent Trolls' Lobby is Distorting the Record of CAFC on PTAB

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), which deals with appeals from PTAB, has been issuing many decisions in favour of § 101, but those aren't being talked about or emphasised by the patent 'industry'



  6. Japan Demonstrates Sanity on SEP Policy While US Patent Policy is Influenced by Lobbyists

    Japan's commendable response to a classic pattern of patent misuse; US patent policy is still being subjected to never-ending intervention and there is now a lobbyist in charge of antitrust matters and a lawyer in charge of the US patent office (both Trump appointees)



  7. The Patent Microcosm's Embrace of Buzzwords and False Marketing Strives to Make Patent Examiners Redundant and Patent Quality Extremely Low

    Patent maximalists, who are profiting from abundance of low-quality patents (and frivolous lawsuits/legal threats these can entail), are riding the hype wave and participating in the rush to put patent systems at the hands of machines



  8. Today, at 12:30 CET, Bavarian State Parliament Will Speak About EPO Abuses (Updated)

    The politicians of Bavaria are prepared to wrestle with some serious questions about the illegality of the EPO's actions and what that may mean to constitutional aspects of German law



  9. Another Loud Warning From EPO Workers About the Decline of Patent Quality

    Yet more patent quality warnings are being issued by EPO insiders (examiners) who are seeing their senior colleagues vanishing and wonder what will be left of their employer



  10. Links 19/2/2018: Linux 4.16 RC2, Nintendo Switch Now Full-fledged GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  11. PTAB Continues to Invalidate a Lot of Software Patents and to Stop Patent Examiners From Issuing Them

    Erasure of software patents by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) carries on unabated in spite of attempts to cause controversy and disdain towards PTAB



  12. The Patent 'Industry' Likes to Mention Berkheimer and Aatrix to Give the Mere Impression of Section 101/Alice Weakness

    Contrary to what patent maximalists keep saying about Berkheimer and Aatrix (two decisions of the Federal Circuit from earlier this month, both dealing with Alice-type challenges), neither actually changed anything in any substantial way



  13. Makan Delrahim is Wrong; Patents Are a Major Antitrust Problem, Sometimes Disguised Using Trolls Somewhere Like the Eastern District of Texas

    Debates and open disagreements over the stance of the lobbyist who is the current United States Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division



  14. Patent Trolls Watch: Microsoft-Connected Intellectual Ventures, Finjan, and Rumour of Technicolor-InterDigital Buyout

    Connections between various patent trolls and some patent troll statistics which have been circulated lately



  15. Software Patents Trickle in After § 101/Alice, But Courts Would Not Honour Them Anyway

    The dawn of § 101/Alice, which in principle eliminates almost every software patent, means that applicants find themselves having to utilise loopholes to fool examiners, but that's unlikely to impress judges (if they ever come to assessing these patents)



  16. In Aatrix v Green Shades the Court is Not Tolerating Software Patents But Merely Inquires/Wonders Whether the Patents at Hand Are Abstract

    Aatrix alleges patent infringement by Green Shades, but whether the patents at hand are abstract or not remains to be seen; this is not what patent maximalists claim it to be ("A Valentine for Software Patent Owners" or "valentine for patentee")



  17. An Indoctrinated Minority is Maintaining the Illusion That Patent Policy is to Blame for All or Most Problems of the United States

    The zealots who want to patent everything under the Sun and sue everyone under the Sun blame nations in the east (where the Sun rises) for all their misfortunes; this has reached somewhat ludicrous levels



  18. Berkheimer Decision is Still Being Spun by the Anti-Section 101/Alice Lobby

    12 days after Berkheimer v HP Inc. the patent maximalists continue to paint this decision as a game changer with regards to patent scope; the reality, however, is that this decision will soon be forgotten about and will have no substantial effect on either PTAB or Alice (because it's about neither of these)



  19. Academic Patent Immunity is Laughable and Academics Are Influenced by Corporate Money (for Steering Patent Agenda)

    Universities appear to have become battlegrounds in the war between practicing entities and a bunch of parasites who make a living out of litigation and patent bubbles



  20. UPC Optimism Languishes Even Among Paid UPC Propagandists Such as IAM

    Even voices which are attempting to give UPC momentum that it clearly lacks admit that things aren't looking well; the UK is not ratifying and Germany make take years to look into constitutional barriers



  21. Bejin Bieneman Props Up the Disgraced Randall Rader for Litigation Agenda

    Randall Rader keeps hanging out with the litigation 'industry' -- the very same 'industry' which he served in a closeted fashion when he was Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit (and vocal proponent of software patents, patent trolls and so on)



  22. With Stambler v Mastercard, Patent Maximalists Are Hoping to Prop Up Software Patents and Damage PTAB

    The patent 'industry' is hoping to persuade the highest US court to weaken the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), for PTAB is making patent lawsuits a lot harder and raises the threshold for patent eligibility



  23. Apple Discovers That Its Patent Disputes Are a Losing Battle Which Only Lawyers Win (Profit From)

    By pouring a lot of money and energy into the 'litigation card' Apple lost focus and it's also losing some key cases, as its patents are simply not strong enough



  24. The Patent Microcosm Takes Berkheimer v HP Out of Context to Pretend PTAB Disregards Fact-Finding Process

    In view or in light of a recent decision (excerpt above), patent maximalists who are afraid of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) try to paint it as inherently unjust and uncaring for facts



  25. Microsoft Has Left RPX, But RPX Now Pays a Microsoft Patent Troll, Intellectual Ventures

    The patent/litigation arms race keeps getting a little more complicated, as the 'arms' are being passed around to new and old entities that do nothing but shake-downs



  26. UPC Has Done Nothing for Europe Except Destruction of the EPO and Imminent Layoffs Due to Lack of Applications and Lowered Value of European Patents

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is merely a distant dream or a fantasy for litigators; to everyone else the UPC lobby has done nothing but damage, including potentially irreparable damage to the European Patent Office, which is declining very sharply



  27. Links 17/2/2018: Mesa 17.3.4, Wine 3.2, Go 1.10

    Links for the day



  28. Patent Trolls Are Thwarted by Judges, But Patent Lawyers View Them as a 'Business' Opportunity

    Patent lawyers are salivating over the idea that trolls may be coming to their state/s; owing to courts and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) other trolls' software patents get invalidated



  29. Microsoft's Patent Moves: Dominion Harbor, Intellectual Ventures, Intellectual Discovery, NEC and Uber

    A look at some of the latest moves and twists, as patents change hands and there are still signs of Microsoft's 'hidden hand'



  30. Links 15/2/2018: GNOME 3.28 Beta, Rust 1.24

    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