Summary: Microsoft plutocrats together with Bill Gates are taking control of schools and this post contains over 50 new references about the subject
THE previous post ought to have shown that people are no longer as gullible as the Gates Foundation requires them to be. Well, older generations may not yet have been ‘charmed’ by Gates-run schools, so they retained some critical skills and could therefore see past the fog.
MSN, which is Microsoft’s means of controlling some news output, expands to more areas while increasingly dominating minds through the media. Techrights wrote so much about the subject of marketing and media control and it is assumed that most people are aware of the problem. Media control is expensive. PR is expensive. Journalists are also expensive, but in later posts we are going to show that Bill Gates is buying many of them. He specifically targets journalists in the areas where he does business, so by being selective he avoids having to buy every single journalist in every area. But, here comes the key point…
Where does one acquire free marketing?
Yes, that’s right. Free (as in very cheap) marketing.
To ask this differently, how does one get taxpayers to fund their own indoctrination?
If information is power, then brainwash is extremely valuable.
“How about using schools and teachers, who are funded by the taxpayers via the state, to teach/preach one’s own agenda?”To be a little less vague, how about taking all those whose characters is being shaped for later in life when they perform repetitive tasks? How about using schools and teachers, who are funded by the taxpayers via the state, to teach/preach one’s own agenda? This is notorious among religious and atheistic circles, which always strive to use compulsory education to further their world views. But what about Gates? How many people bother to question Gates’ hijacking of US education and global education at large (he starts with the States, then expands for scalability reasons)? Sadly, not enough people think about it, let alone write about it to their elected officials or local papers. Gates is not alone in this. There are other rich families like the Broads and they operate via shells with AstroTurfing (fake grassroots). It’s just too easy to come across Teach for America (TFA) in recent months. It seems like a new euphemistic banner for what Gates et al. do to the education system in the States. In our many posts about Diane Ravitch, who was last mentioned the other day for criticising other megalomaniacs who claim to “aid” schools, we did try to give exposure to her writings because she is very influential and almost revered among teachers. She can reach many of them through her books and hopefully stop Gates’ abuse of the school system, which is a multi-billion-dollar PR assault with masqueraded blackmail (“do this of you won’t get the funds”). Diane Ravitch recently won the Moynihan Prize and made Salon’s “Best of 2010″. She won an award and special recognition because she dares to investigate and say what many others are too afraid to utter (for fear of retaliation or deviation from false consensus). Diane Ravitch spoke about Teach for America, Inc. during a recent forum in Seattle. In blog posts such as this (there are several more) it is made abundantly clear that more and more teachers get exposed to facts that Gates paid enormous amounts of money to hide. He even ‘bought’ education-oriented magazines and/or sites by paying them millions in ‘donations’. They just cannot be gagged, can they? Techrights admires Diane Ravitch’s bravery when upon new year’s eve she says: “Insisting on controlling the use of one’s gift of money is another low form of philanthropy. Today’s givers want to control others’ lives.”
She also says (writes actually, but it’s informal) that “[i]nsisting on recognition for philanthropy (cf. Mark Zuckerberg) is the lowest form of philanthropy. It is ego-driven.”
We quoted these tweets some days ago because they capture what we have been saying for years and they come from a figure of high authority and regard in the relevant sector. Mark Zuckerberg’s alleged ‘giveaways’ are just a gimmick and in future posts we’ll provide more references where experts explain why that is the case. Enlightenment rarely comes from passively reading newspapers which only pretend to be independent and historically speaking, the rich have almost always used the press to control the masses. Now they try to distort blogs, too (more on that in an imminent post).
“It’s a classic collusion between the press and the PR industry and this is a taboo subject among both sides.”Here is an example of Microsoft PR for domination of schools in India. Watch it for educational reasons alone. See how journalistic propaganda works*. It’s pretty cheap to grant an award and get so much good press for it, produced in part after pressure from PR agencies that Microsoft assigns to the task. It’s like lobbying because their operation involves prodding journalists and sometimes passing to them some pre-made (ghostwritten) ‘articles’, just like proposed legislation. It’s a classic collusion between the press and the PR industry and this is a taboo subject among both sides. Secrecy harbours mischief.
Techrights has so much more to say about the subject, but owing to my daytime job I cannot sacrifice any more time writing this long post and I apologise for just dumping many links to make up the remainder of this post. I will annotate them (in brackets) for our smart readers to find it easier to see the purpose and relevance. So here it goes:
i. “Microsoft donates $1 million to L.A. school to bridge technology gap (thank you Microsoft! $1 million will be enough to bridge the technology gap)
iii. Microsoft Makes Its Largest Technology Donation Ever to a Single Los Angeles School to Help Prepare Students for Their Future (this is the official press release from the greatest, bestest [sic] company in the whole world)
iv. Microsoft donates $3M to refugee children (so that it can carry on with abusive leverage over schools. Thanks, AP, for the very insightful, in-depth, ‘investigative’ reporting)
v. Microsoft donates $2M to help veterans find jobs (we covered this very recently and here it is covered by the Seattle Times, which is known for its shallow, pathetic coverage of Microsoft/Gates Foundation issues)
vi. Microsoft donates $3M for legal services for kids (from the Seattle Times)
vii. Microsoft gives $1.4M total to local schools, libraries (more lousy reporting from a Microsoft blog in Seattle)
On we move to “Teach for America, Inc.”:
xii. Teach for America, Inc. is in Seattle (welcome to home of Microsoft). To quote: “Why was it so important to bring TFA, Inc. to our state? Because there are well paid lobbyists and Broad/Gates backed organizations along with DFER, who just set up shop in our state, who are already lobbying for charter schools.”
“Teach for America” is like “Elevate America”, which we humourously call “American EDGI”. “Teach for America” it a silly euphemism intended to whitewash privatisation of a public system which already works. They curse the system and then use that to take over it, just like Abramoff/Gates did for cheaper labour at Microsoft. On we go:
xiii. Controversial “Teach for America” Back on the Agenda for Seattle’s Schools (this blog increasingly mentions the Dells for obvious reasons — because they too play the rich men’s game)
(Not to worry, though, we’re being told by the district: the Gates Foundation will pay for it. Good old Bill — always ready to foot the bill for his reformite friends, thus avoiding a possibly uncomfortable public discussion about the cost and value of bringing another reformite agenda item to town. What a nuisance is that thing called democracy!)
What does Teach for America, Inc. do with all its money?
Teach for America, Inc. is a multimillion dollar enterprise. It collects tens of millions of dollars from the Gates and Broad foundations and various others (see below). For some reason the Obama administration recently determined that TFA, Inc. needed another infusion of $50 million. So why is TFA, Inc. also demanding another $4,000 per year from cash-strapped school districts like ours? How much can five weeks of training possibly cost?
Why, at a time when the corporate ed reformers have turned the national Klieg lights on the humblest of professional teachers and declared them failures and demanded they perform miracles, are these same enterprises (Broad, Gates, Goodloe-Johnson, Carlyle et al) out of the other side of their mouths pushing for uncredentialed, inexperienced “teachers” to take on our most challenging schools?
I did some research and was surprised to discover that Teach for America, Incorporated is actually a multimillion-dollar enterprise. It is funded by all the usual suspects and then some: Gates, Broad, the (WalMart) Waltons, Dells, (the Gap) Fishers. Its founder sits on the board of directors of the Broad Foundation (alongside Seattle’s Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson), one of the unelected, unqualified but main drivers of education policy in America right now.
Meanwhile, some parents have wondered in the blogosphere whether Bernatek, who came up with the false 17 percent figure was “just following orders” to find a low number that would instill a sense of crisis in SPS that would justify the new’s superintendent’s severe reforms.
If so, is Bernatek merely the latest fall guy for this scheme?
Another speculation is that Bernatek will land softly in the Gates Foundation, alongside Vicki “Hurricane” Phillips, the former controversial superintendent of Portland’s public schools.
Probably the one issue that the Gates Foundation tries to address that stimulates the most critical analysis is US education. No surprise there. Educated American voices can be raised. Uneducated African or Asian farmers have problems being heard. With all the voices being raised, Gates Keepers don’t need to say much.
I just found your website and read the post noted in the subject line. After reading it, I suspect that private investment in public schools are Obama’s bargaining chip with Gates, et al. I really enjoyed reading your other blog articles since very little is published about Gates east of the Mississippi that he has not had some degree of influence. After perusing your blog, I noted you have many articles on Gates Foundation donations to medical and energy interests, but not so much on his education giving. Those of us in the education community are very unnerved by his and the president’s education reform initiatives. Obama and his Sec of Ed Arne Duncan’s (Gate’s secretary of education puppet) Race to the Top Mandates are Bush’s No Child left Behind on steroids.
In the comments, from Dora Taylor of SeattlEducation2010 (excellent blog by the way):
And needless to say, read anything at Seattle Education 2010
to find out what’s going on with Gates and the other billionaire bullies in terms of public education.
In reply, Gates is being called “bully” (it’s that blackmail technique we mentioned earlier, but it’s disguised as generosity). Here is how Murdoch’s press puts it (the implicit rule is that the rich protect the rich, so Murdoch’s bias is expected):
xvii. Gates Foundation partnership will lead us down slippery slope (very encouraging to see more people coming out, daring to point out the obvious and not shying away because of the PR machine, such as Murdoch’s tabloids/rags)
Rochester City School District (RCSD) Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard earlier today announced a new charter school partnership project between the city school district and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The partnership proposes to create opportunities for new and existing charter schools and city school buildings to share various resources, including training and data systems. RCSD, like other city school districts that are participating in the program, was able to negotiate its own agreement specifying resources the district will supply to charter schools currently operating in Rochester.
According to early reports, the agreement includes a mentoring program that will serve to bring together successful city school principals with their charter school counterparts. Charter schools, though, do have the option of not partnering with the city school district. Charters are privately operated but publicly funded; they have until now functioned separately from public schools.
This is indeed a blockbuster announcement but creates a whole bunch of questions. For starters, did the school board sign off on this partnership? How long have discussions between the RCSD and Gates Foundation been in the works? Are city residents going to have meaningful opportunities – referendum, community meetings – in which to voice their opinions? Would their opinions even matter? Are those principals who are deemed successful considered as such based on what criteria? Test scores, for instance?
“This appears to be the idea du jour of how to change our schools,” she says. “I honestly appreciate the interest in trying to figure out some way for our schools to address the huge budget shortfalls and the cuts to education. I see this as an attempt, perhaps a misguided one, to try and figure out some way to stretch those dollars.”
She also says now is not the time to be debating teacher pay kinds of issues.
“When your house is on fire, you probably need to focus on putting out the fire and not worry about decorating your living room,” Lindquist says. “We need to be looking at the bigger issues and broader problems facing our schools and not trying to do these interesting, perhaps intriguing ideas. We need to take a step back and really address the bigger issue.”
xix. Consensus or Groupthink? (rhetorical or not?)
The issues have been raised now and then in connection to K-12 education — amid concerns that the Gates Foundation has excessively influenced Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s Race to the Top program — but when discussed at all in postsecondary education, they are raised quietly, since rare is the higher education association or think tank or researcher that is not receiving checks from Gates, Lumina or both.
Which leads us to the LEV/Gates Charter Lovefest (the C-word that dare not speak its name in Seattle)
Though Washington State voters have voted “No” to charters multiple times, and we certainly have good, qualified teachers available, the League of Education Voters and the Gates Foundation brought two charter school franchise operators and a teacher-training operation to town this past Monday under the rubrics of “Voices of the Revolution” and “Leaders of Innovation.” Why do you suppose they did that?
“We’ve put together a powerhouse panel of three innovators in education: Richard Barth, CEO of KIPP Foundation, Timothy Daly, President of The New Teacher Project, and Steve Barr, Founder of Green Dot Public Schools. The discussion will be moderated by Adam Porsch of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation”
Noticeably absent from much of the press material for this gathering was the word “charter,” even though both KIPP and Green Dot are charter school franchises. Hmm… interesting. Why don’t these pro-privatizing ed reformers just come out and say what their agenda is? The reformers have this strange stealthy manner that implies dishonesty.
xxi. How to create a faux grassroots ed reform organization! (as we showed before, for power over schools Gates has resorted to AstroTurfing, funding of propaganda films, etc. [1, 2, 3, 4])
1. Think of a name using these words: STAND, KIDS, STUDENTS, FIRST, ALLIANCE, EDUCATION, ED, OUR, SCHOOLS, COALITION, COMMUNITY, VOTERS, REVOLUTION, REFORM, NOW
2. Put two or three of those words together in any order (possibly linked by a preposition like “with,” “of,” “for” — or if you want to be really with-it, use “4″ instead of “for”!).
3. Add an exclamation mark at the end!
8. Ask for money. This is the easiest part of all. Just pick up the phone and dial 1-800-BROAD or 1-800-B&MGATES. Operators standing by!
xxii. Lessons To Be Learned
And below is a link to a paper regarding the Gates’ Foundation and their influence in our country. An interesting read. It’s sad to think that so much money has been spent by the Gates Foundation thinking that what they are doing is the right thing and yet it is turning out to be so wrong for our children.
If only they had started with the appropriate “experts”, educators, students and parents. Unfortunately, we have been left out of the picture entirely and in the process what is occurring is chaos and uncertainty within our public school systems.
The Gates’ Foundation and the Future of U.S. Public Education: A Call
for Scholars to Counter Misinformation Campaigns
xxiii. Thank you
There is a Broadie, by the way, in charge of grants who our Broad-trained superintendent hired but we think that the only grants they look for are the ones from Gates and Broad.
Shanta Driver, the National Chair of BAMN and one of the attorneys on the case, said “This decision rejects the educational program and the political methods that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and plutocrats like Bill Gates and Eli Broad have used in their attempt to destroy public education.
During this time, Don Nielson was on the Board of Directors for the Alliance for Education, a foundation that now receives the majority of its’ money from Gates and Broad, The Seattle Foundation, heavily funded by Gates and on the Board of Advisers at the University of Washington’s School of Education. As a side note, earlier this year, just before our superintendent introduced a proposal to bring in Teach for America to the school board, the Dean of the School of Education at UW wrote an Op Ed on how Teach of America was such a great organization and how students can benefit from their presence in the classroom. Coincidence? I think not.
That same year, Raj Manhas issued his district newsletter describing “strong partnerships” with the Gates’ and Broad foundations. This was also the year that Raj Manhas brought in Brad Bernatek, as a Broad resident. This action is described in the Status Report issued in 2006.
In 2007, the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Graduate School in Education hosted the Public Education Leadership conference. The participants included Steve Barth, founder of the KIPP charter franchise who recently as a guest of the Broad/Gates backed League of Education of Voters spoke in a forum on the glories of charter schools in Seattle, Don Nielson, who at that time was Chairman of TeachFirst, a company that later was to become a part of editure, Thomas Payzant, an educator at Harvard who would later become active with the Broad Foundation and was to lead our superintendent’s evaluation with the school board in 2009 as a representative from the Broad Foundation, and, as always, Randi Weingarten who at the time was president of the UFT in New York. Eli Broad later states that his foundation had given money to the two charter schools that Ms. Weingarten had opened in New York. See Eli Broad Describes Close Ties to Klein, Weingarten, Duncan.
This is also the year that our Broad trained superintendent, Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson, was appointed by the school board and began to “lead” our district.
Her reign as superintendent and the confluence of the Broad/Gates’ agenda in Seattle will be described in Hijacked!:Part 4.
Gates & Co. can spend their millions on tests and online learning but that will not have a positive impact on education if the child cannot focus on what is in front of them.
For too long now, the wealthy, including Gates, Broad, the Walton’s and all the wall street milkemaires have ignored their responsibility of paying their share of taxes, of returning some of what they have gained by living in this country, using our resources and taking advantage of tax incentives in making their own fortunes. Because of that, the educational system in this country has been weakened. Along with that, the systems that are in place to support families with the greatest need are faltering due to a lack of financial support. Those very systems that would help any child succeed in school are being chipped away even here in our state as we look at a recession/depression that we never thought we would see again in this country.
It’s ironic that Bill and Melinda Gates can be exhorted for helping the babies in Africa while ignoring the children who need help in the city where they live. And by assistance, I mean help that would really make a difference and is not based on some out-of-touch billionaire’s idea of helping. That would mean ensuring that instead of losing the school counselors that so many families have relied on based on determinations made by our Broad-trained superintendent, that we gain counselors instead. And instead of having students losing library time which for many means tutoring time and time online because of a lack of funding for our public libraries, that they have more time to spend in a quiet place where they are safe and warm and can do their homework.
xxvii. The United States of Gates
Through the sheer power of his dollars, Gates has cast himself as the central figure in the deliberations of American public school policy even though the educational expertise he brings to the table is impressively empty. But then again, “When you’re rich they think you really know.”
Gates’s influence on American public education has become so thoroughly pervasive that Michael Petrilli, vice-president of the conservative Washington, D.C., think tank, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a recipient of nearly $3 million dollars in Gates Foundation grants said, “It is not unfair to say that the Gates Foundation’s agenda has become the country’s agenda in education.”
Tom Loveless, an education analyst at the Brookings Institution, believes that Gates’s influence is everywhere “in absolutely every branch of education, whether you’re talking about the federal, state or local levels of government, schools, the press, politicians or think tanks.”
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has a number of Gates Foundation people working for him in highly influential positions at the federal Department of Education and President Obama has openly shared his enthusiasm and support for the Gates campaign to change the culture of American schooling from local public control to authoritarian corporate control.
Gates’s educational largesse is motivated by a new kind of giving called venture philanthropy, which is strikingly different from the more-traditional 20th century philanthropy of foundations such as Carnegie, Rockefeller and Ford, who viewed their giving through the lens of public obligation.
Venture philanthropists (VPs), on the other hand, view their grants through the lens of investments, employing business models to leverage their objectives. VPs have set their sights on turning public schools into private schools and have for-profit educational management organizations run them as corporate entities grabbing as much as they can of the roughly $600 billion the public spends each year on educating their children.
Understanding how useful propaganda is in weakening resistance to one’s efforts, Gates and his cronies, among them The Broad Foundation and the Walton Family Fund, have successfully, with the support of a generally unquestioning and irresponsible mass media, particularly NBC, MSNBC and Tom Friedman of the New York Times, carpet bombed the nation into believing all our public schools are failures. Such claims are beyond absurd! They are lies. If people believed their local public schools were indeed failures, the results from the latest Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll (September 2010) would reflect such feelings.
If Gates and his buddies hold even the slightest degree of sincerity in their pursuit to improve American public education they would cease their claptrap and surgically focus their efforts on mitigating the poverty suffered by 25 percent of America’s school children.
Hello, Thomas Friedman. Which invasion does he want to evangelise today? For much of his other pro-Microsoft propaganda see this post, which had us produce this:
Watch what a Microsoft employee does in the Huff & Puff. Does Arianna and her husband the oil plutocrat know that they promote harm to US schools? Is this the notion of “third-world America” Arianna promotes in her new book? An America which needs to be run by Gates, whom she has dinners with?
Here is similar PR that’s tied to Microsoft’s annual Imagine Cup. It shows the difference between large sites and small sites, which hopefully get the word out to antagonise the PR. This is all fine, but many of the above items come from blogs (people, not corporations) while the Gates Foundation reaches the masses by ‘buying’ TV channels (shows like Oprah), newspapers, etc. We’ll write about that later. That’s a true danger to society — accentuated when people lose their voice to plutocrats and corporations.
“That’s a true danger to society — accentuated when people lose their voice to plutocrats and corporations.”As another new example of corporate press playing ball for Gates, watch Newsweek, which has ties with MSN. Gates’ school agenda/propaganda was there in a couple of articles towards the end of the year [1, 2] and there is so much more that we’ve missed over the past 2.5 months while not watching the Gates Foundation.
Finally, there are also more bribed-for ‘studies’ from the Gates Foundation — ones that promote its agenda by insulting schools and teachers, thereby justifying intervention by Gates. For example:
A relatively new Stanford University- Associated Press survey is published in today’s Seattle Times in which the main spin presented by the AP is the statistic that 78 percent of respondents say they think bad public school teachers should be easier to fire.
(Not surprisingly, this survey was funded by the Gates Foundation, which is currently obsessed with public school teachers.)
xxix. Gates Foundation Teacher Study Reaches Halfway Point (and thank AP for its spineless ‘reporting’ of paid-for propaganda disguised as ‘studies’)
xxx. New lawmaker knows of student debt (more fake ‘studies’ that are agenda-setting)
To quote: ‘The Project on Student Debt, a nonprofit research group funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Ford Foundation, says it’s not uncommon for Americans, particularly those with professional degrees, to still be paying off their student loans into their 40s. “It’s taking longer and longer as people borrow more,” said Edie Irons, the project’s communications director. “We’re definitely troubled by it.”’
Remember why Melinda Gates is no longer in the Washington Post. All that lobbying can anger quite a few people because the Gates family tries to gain power at their expense.
xxxi. Canadians want jobs they don’t have to relocate for (Microsoft probably tries to influence Canadian lawmakers already, using another ‘study’)
The survey, done by Ipsos-Reid and commissioned by Microsoft Canada, showed that three-quarters of those asked believe employers limit their hiring options by not offering the choice of working off-site — possibly in a different city.
xxxii. Canadian firms too limiting on technology: Survey (like the above, but headlines still omit Microsoft)
xxxiii. Over half of 16s to 18s think they know more about tech (Microsoft-funded version/perception of reality, the headline says nothing about Microsoft’s role in it)
Going back to education:
xxxiv. Oops, I Did It Again!
Brad was brought on board to be the interim manager for research, evaluation and student assessment and was paid by the Broad Foundation. He was a History major in college and received an MBA from Indiana U but has no experience in education. But education, schmeducation as far as Eli Broad, Bill Gates or Wendy Kopp with Teach for America, Inc. are concerned.
The biggest players in ed reform — President Obama, Ed Secretary Arne Duncan, billionaires Bill Gates and Eli Broad: the “Superman” crowd, let’s call them — keep pushing privately run charter schools as the answer to all that ails our public schools (the central theme of ‘Superman’). One of the main winning traits of charters, they say, is their freedom to “innovate.” Indeed, free of public and school district oversight and mandates, privately run charter schools are granted the right to create their own curricula and empower their teachers to, allegedly, “innovate.” (They’ve also been allowed to exclude and expel students who don’t perform to their liking, a serious flaw of charters that even Secretary Duncan has acknowledged.)
Unfortunately this is just one of many conflicting messages coming from this latest breed of ed reformers. Those who are driving the national dialogue about the direction of our kids’ public education — from President Obama, Secretary Duncan, and lurking in the shadows with their open checkbooks, Bill Gates, Eli Broad, the Waltons, the Fishers and the Dells — are saying one thing out of one side of their mouths and another thing out of the other.
Obama’s teacher-bashing policies as pushed by Ed Secretary Arne Duncan and his Broad-trained and Gates-funded minions and cheered on by the odious L.A. Times have damaged Democratic Party-teacher relations beyond repair. Yet another segment of the Democratic Party’s base that’s been betrayed by this presidency. This one is more serious than just the mere loss of individual votes because unions have traditionally provided foot soldiers and funding for political campaigns.)
The moderators included Tom Vander Ark, Executive Director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dan Katzir, Director of Program Development at the Broad Foundation along with Wendy Kopp, Founder and President of Teach for America and an assortment of representatives from KIPP and Aspire charter schools.
In 2005, according to a Seattle school district publication titled An Overview of Accomplishments, Seattle Public Schools received an $800,000 Gates Foundation Grant to fund the strategic implementation team, work on the first round of school closures, something that Manhas had not been “successful” at doing, and “implement additional recommendations from the Community Advisory Committee on Investing in Educational Excellence”.
It was also stated in the handout that “A grant-funded Broad Foundation resident is working on strengthening strategic planning capacity in the district”.
Gates was also busy in 2005 on another front, electing Michael DeBell, the now president of the Seattle School Board, to his first term as school board director. Gates, along with nine board directors for the Alliance for Education, including Hanauer, Don Nielsen, Anne Farrell, Peter Maier, who himself is now a school board member, and John Warner, a retired Boeing executive, funded the campaign to elect DeBell and two other candidates through a PAC named Strong Seattle Schools. According to an article in the Seattle Times, a PAC had not been formed “in recent memory” to support the election of a school board director.
As you will see in the next installment, The Alliance for Education will figure prominently in this race to “education reform” as dictated by Eli Broad and Bill Gates.
When a district is run by Broad and Gates, no one outside their realm of associates has a voice in the decision-making process. You will not have a voice in the vision and goals of the schools in your communities. You will not have any say in the nature of individual schools, the curriculum or the caliber of teachers, principals or superintendents who are a part of those schools. You will have no control over how your children are taught and who teaches them. Capiche?
Stay tuned for what might be the last installment in this series. Looking at my notes though, I see at least two more posts on the horizon. A lot has gone on in the last few years that needs to be described.
xxxviii. Gates Foundation commissions Ghanaian artist – El Anatsui work will be centrepiece of new campus in Seattle (an artwork ‘gift’ is assured to inspire a lot of studying, right?)
MIAMI. Microsoft’s Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have commissioned a major new work by African artist El Anatsui to be the centrepiece of their foundation’s new campus, due to open in spring 2011.
xxxix. Bill Gates Is At It Again In Seattle (see previous item and put those two together)
For anyone out there who still doesn’t believe that Bill Gates is not pulling the strings in Seattle to get his way with charter schools, check out his latest donations.
Amount: $40,000 given to the League of Education Voters “to support a series of education-related speakers in Seattle”.
And who were those speakers? Kevin Johnson who spoke about how wonderful charter schools are, Richard Barth with KIPP Schools, a charter franchise, Steve Barr, founder of Green Dot Charter Schools and of course, Adam Porsch from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation who moderated the discussion. Was that rigged or what?
Amount: $105,000 given to the League of Education Voters in October, 2010 “to support raising awareness of educational attainment issues in King County”.
Like…Teach for America and charter schools.
Check out their blog. It is an advertisement for all things ed reform and all things that Bill Gates thinks is best for the rest of us.
And now for the icing on the cake.
Amount: $235,000 given to Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession in October, 2010 “to develop a network of teachers in Seattle Public Schools who are informed about and actively supportive of district education reform”.
…like Teach for America, good luck with that, and charter schools that do not hire unionized teachers.
So now he is trying to buy the teachers on something that for them is self-destructive, de-professionalizing the field of teaching.
Of course now the League of Education Voters (LEV) is touting Teach for America but I’ll get back to that in another post. The irony of this is that part of the “community engagement” that Teach for America did was to meet with the League of Education Voters! Teach for America, by the way, received $1,000,000 from the Gates Foundation in 2009. So much for “community engagement” that’s required.
For now, just know that Bill Gates is trying to buy us. He wants charter schools in our state, he wants to pull the strings and control how our children are educated. It doesn’t matter if we agree with his vision or not, he doesn’t care. He is bound and determined to get his way and will pay any price to get it.
And one more from Gates. Videotaping teachers while they work. 1984 anyone?
Now Bill Gates, who in recent years has turned his attention and considerable fortune to improving American education, is investing $335 million through his foundation to overhaul the personnel departments of several big school systems. A big chunk of that money is financing research by dozens of social scientists and thousands of teachers to develop a better system for evaluating classroom instruction.
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, which has several affiliates participating in the research, also expressed reservations. “Videotaped observations have their role but shouldn’t be used to substitute for in-person observations to evaluate teachers,” Ms. Weingarten said. “It would be hard to justify ratings by outsiders watching videotapes at a remote location who never visited the classroom and couldn’t see for themselves a teacher’s interaction and relationship with students.”
xxxxii. The Battle for Seattle
xxxxiii. The Battle for Seattle: Part One
That retreat, as well as others, had been funded by the Alliance for Education which receives the majority of its’ funding from the Broad and Gates’ Foundations. See The Lines of Influence in Education Reform.
Both the Alliance for Education and the Seattle Foundation receive most of their funding from the Gates’ and Broad Foundations and the Alliance for Education was instrumental in ensuring the election of our now school board president, Michael DeBell.
xxxxiiv.Plummeting teacher morale in Seattle’s Public Schools — a serious issue (thank you, Mr. Gates, for making teachers feel like incompetent unwanted idiots)
Please take a look at this article in today’s New York Times in which Bill Gates speaks out against advanced degrees for teachers and against smaller class sizes.
Quite frankly, this is nuts. Research shows that children most definitely do benefit from more one-on-one teacher time, and professional development for teachers is indeed valuable.
Gates has zero expertise in education, yet he is a driving force behind ed reform. He supports the deprofessionalization of the teaching profession, and along the way, is aiding and abetting the current, ugly national trend of teacher-bashing. (Local observers fully expect his foundation, or perhaps the Seattle Foundation with funding from Gates, to pay the TFA annual fees, thus enabling an agenda item Gates supports but which most Seattle Public Schools parents don’t even know about.)
Finally, here is a “Testimony Regarding Teach for America”. Teachers don’t want it, do you?
Our message to heroic US-based teachers who fight back: there is nothing wrong with you, just with the surrounding environment which is dominated by the wealthy, greedy few. The same ploy used to belittle you was previously used by Gates to bemoan US programmers, in order to raise quotas for visas of foreign workers, thus improving the bottom line of corporations such as Microsoft. Gates is not a pedagogue, he is not even a programmer by trade (he is a law school dropout with exceptionally affluent parents). These pretexts are used by corporations in many walks of life to turn public services into private franchises. So please fight back by informing people, for the betterment of all nations that sooner or later fall prey to the same hooligans (who use ‘free’ trade agreements and other internationalised instruments of expansion). Teachers help raise tomorrow’s adults while today’s adults are too busy at work, battling for survival as wages stagnate and work hours expand. Don’t allow Gates and his buddies to turn teachers into his taxpayers-funded docile PR agents. Teachers are fantastic at informing people and we are grateful to bloggers from SeattlEducation2010, whose site is underrated and criminally under-subscribed. █
* As a fun exercise, sometimes I like to pick up the daily newspaper, raise it in front of people, then deconstruct its components (cover page, centrefold, etc.) and explain how the classic structure works and how each is designed by the editor/s to tell people how to feel and think, with headlines that are written or modified by the chief editor to shape the overall message so as to evoke panic, fear, hatred, jealousy, artificial craves etc. (usually a combination of these) whilst also providing something to appeal to the less sophisticated readers (e.g. references to celebrities and the sport section at the side parts). People find this exercise entertaining because they rarely or never thought about it that way, but that’s just how it works. Advertisers too are factored in by the publishers who manage the budgeting.