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08.26.10

Bill Gates’ Plan to Control US Education Proceeds as Planned, Now Assisted by Lobbyists

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Marketing at 2:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Girl drawing back to school

Summary: The latest batch of critical news about what Gates is doing (using his foundation) to change the structure and operation of schools in the United States (and increasingly beyond that)

TECHRIGHTS has published a few dozens of posts about ways in which the Gates Foundation became the underground department of education (it gradually becomes an international issue as even Vietnam and Greece get affected). It really is an attack on the independence of school systems because the personal agenda of one family is being served rather than the agenda of many parents who send their children to school. “YES The Gates foundation IS trying to tear down public education and replace it with CHARTERS,” says one headline from Democratic Underground this month. SeattlEducation2010, a site which we first mentioned last week, has a response to “an open letter to Seattle public school parents” by its schools’ coalition. It says:

The Alliance for Education is backed by Bill Gates and the Broad Foundation. Both organizations are big backers of charter schools and high stakes testing among other things

[...]

That seems innocuous enough. Who doesn’t want the best quality education for their children? Unfortunately, after several groups signed on to this statement, it was then used by the Alliance for the purpose of pushing the Race to the Top agenda fueled by Gates and Broad money.

“The Problem With Billionaire Philanthropists” is another new article which names Gates as a big problem because of education (note that Education Week is funded by Gates, but the following author does not seem to know it and we’ll cover this later):

In 2006, for example, Education Week named Bill Gates the single most influential person in education of the past decade – more so than President George W. Bush, who had passed the No Child Left Behind law. (Gates had just spent over $2 billion to promote the creation of small high schools, with much of this money wasted by his own account). Eli Broad, another billionaire — and strong charter school fan — has also spent a vast fortune to influence public education, long thought of as one of America’s most democratic arenas.

SeattlEducation2010 goes on and writes about “The Gates’ Foundation and the Department of Education.” It’s a guest article.

I conclude with a discussion about the final category, the Gates Foundation, particularly the waiver for James H. Shelton III, Assistant Secretary for Education and Improvement, and, to a lesser extent, Margot Rogers, the Secretary’s Chief of Staff (Note: Rogers has since left her post and Joanne Weiss, former COO of NSVF and head of the Race to the Top, is now Duncan’s Chief of Staff). I have focused on these two appointees because they hold important positions; their waivers allow for the most extensive contact with their former employer; and their background in philanthropy raises some interesting questions.

While I am not aware of any other analysis of waivers for Executive Agency appointees, various media outlets have picked up on the Gates Foundation’s significant involvement in federal education policy: Michelle McNeil of EdWeek noted multiple Gates employees filling the Department of Education; Sam Dillon of the New York Times reported on the foundation’s role in helping some states write their Race to the Top application, including complaints the foundation was trying to hand-pick eventual winners; Dana Goldstein of The American Prospect wrote about the i3 fund and how much of the federal agenda is “borrowed” from the philanthropic community; Libby Quaid and Donna Blankinship of the Associated Press began one article with, “The real secretary of education, the joke goes, is Bill Gates,” and noted the foundation’s growing influence on education policy; Erik W. Robelen and Michele McNeil noted in EdWeek that some observers suggest the Education Department and philanthropic organizations are “collaborating to an extend that may well be unprecedented”; Clay Holtzman of The Puget Sound Business Journal noted the similarities between the foundation’s agenda and the federal Department of Education’s agenda; and a recent Washington Post headline read, “Gates Foundation playing pivotal role in changes for education system”.

From the same author we found some other posts which go as far as warnings about "neo-eugenics". “A New Civil Rights Movement or A Neo-Eugenic Mass Treatment of Children,” says one of the headlines. It’s a grey area, just like abortion at the Gates Foundation, not just birth control. Either way, sticking to education, the thing about Gates’ staff is that they are trying to control, not to help. If they also help while they control, then that’s just an added value (bonus), but it rarely actually happens. Here is another school which is shaped by Gates:

The new STEM school, financed in part by the Gates’ Foundation, looks to Nova High School as an example of project-based classes.

They are hiring marketing firms to do their legwork:

What I want to focus on briefly is how the Alliance shamelessly used our students to promote their, rather the Gates and Broad, agenda last night. Under the umbrella of the Alliance for Education and paid for by Broad and Gates money is their offspring “Our Schools’ Coalition” developed and produced by Strategies 360, a national marketing firm paid for by Stand for Children. Stand for Children, also backed by Gates’ money, apparently has joined forces with the Alliance or at least they did last night.

Another issue we covered here before is the throwing of millions at more self-serving ‘studies’ (ones that support Gates’ position). Here is a new complaint about it:

This is the business perspective that has been the model for the Broad Foundation and Gates in terms of how they think schools should be run and children taught.

This report was sponsored by the Alliance for Education and has received funds, $9M from Bill Gates and $1M from the Broad Foundation. Some of that money was used to pay for this report as is described on page 2.

This report is a precursor to merit pay, high stakes testing and ultimately charter schools. This has been the method that the Broad Foundation and Bill Gates have used in other school districts around the country to introduce their ideas of “venture philanthropy” in our educational system.

I’ll hit some of the highlights.

“About this study:
This study was undertaken on behalf of the 43,000 school
children who attend the Seattle Public Schools.”

Or on behalf of Bill Gates? I didn’t know that the students and parents of the Seattle School District or any school board members asked for this study.

This is really scaring some teachers. Suddenly they need to look up to some private foundation rather than their government.

A good example of education going more private in Gates’ hands is Hillsborough. For background see:

Gates is advertised in just about any article about those Hillsborough schools [1, 2, 3]. Hillsborough is the model example Gates is trying to present before expanding the same policies he’s pushing for to other school districts. Here is more PR (and putting of the teachers under examination). Over in Memphis, which is another Gates experiment in schools, there is this new article:

Is $1,500 a day enough for a new Memphis City Schools consultant (Aug. 18 article, “New venue / Consultant’s ideas for turning around failing schools earned failing grade from parents at last stop”)?

[...]

Oh, well, Supt. Kriner Cash probably needs help figuring out how to spend the gazillion dollars MCS is getting from the Gates Foundation.

We wrote about this scheme in Memphis under:

There are other schools which are controlled by Gates:

Vince served as teacher leader of The Discovery School, one of five Gates Foundation “small schools” within Mountlake Terrace High School, where he has taught for 22 years. Vince was twice named the state journalism adviser of the year and Edmonds School District Educator of the Year.

Why is the Gates Foundation treating school boards and teachers like pupils? It is demeaning.

But unlike in baseball, which has a wealth of commonly accepted statistics that are better than batting average, teaching doesn’t, at least not until such efforts as the Gates Foundation’s yield results.

As another example of spin:

But to prevent those outcomes, more of us must step up to intervene. Help from foundations such as the Belk Foundation is especially needed. The work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation shows how transformative such help can be when it is targeted on education issues. The Gates Foundation has been instrumental in promoting strategies and school innovations that have become national models for improving educational outcomes for struggling students from economically disadvantaged homes.

No, that is just the story they are telling because they are forcing change, appointing their own people to run things, and/or funding people to move their agenda. There is also full-time paid staff allocated/assigned to it. As a new example from the news:

Mark Milliron, Deputy Director of Postsecondary Success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, stresses that the United States is simply not producing enough trained workers.

One has to be abundantly careful here because of the self-fulfilling prophecy which gets spread when they refuse to hire locals and thus discourage them. It looks like the same tactics that Gates and Abramoff used to get more visas to enrich themselves, by cursing the intelligence of people in the US educational system. Vilifying the existing system (as Gates is doing) in order to change it is the crudest tactic. Money talks and rich people get to tell the government what’s right for education. Some days ago in CNET we found this reminder:

For instance: In 2005, midway through the Bush administration, Microsoft’s Bill Gates told a Washington audience that curbs on immigration and guest workers would provide a boost to research institutions in China and India. A year earlier, then-Intel CEO Craig Barrett warned that the U.S. must dramatically improve its education system.

That’s just an excuse and a pretext for taking over that system, not just import cheaper labour that receives no benefits. Gates has his share of education lobbyists, too:

Additionally, several Gates and Broad Foundation-funded lobby groups have been disseminating inaccurate information relating to the current contract negotiations and the issues involved.

More here:

In truth, the Alliance has an “education reform” agenda that is largely funded by Los Angeles AIG billionaire Eli Broad’s foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates’ foundation. LEV is also primarily funded by the Gates

[...]

As for the poll that the “Coalition”/Alliance/LEV/Gates/Broad paid for that allegedly claims parents and community want “merit pay,” by all accounts it started off as a highly questionable and biased “teacher quality” survey, which was withdrawn when genuine school community members protested, and reemerged as a very slanted push-poll taken of a curious cross section of community members (including some teachers via their private cell phone numbers).

This is the first time that we see proper lobbyists being employed to push such an agenda. The rest is mostly additional evidence for what we already knew.

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