Summary: The Gates Foundation helps us understand why children are brought up to accept those who rob them and why certain “foundation”-named umbrellas increasingly become a burden to society
PUBLIC education is big business and private education can substitute public education, too. The Gates Foundation is the vehicle Bill Gates uses to influence this big business and even buy publications that cover the subject of education. He pays them millions (i.e. slush funds) to deceive the public and expand coverage of his paid-for ‘studies’ whose purpose is to tilt the education agenda. Not just the United States is affected by this anymore and our last comprehensive coverage of this was centered on Teach for America (TFA), which is one of Gates’ many lobbying groups that he keeps at his disposal (not lobbying per se, but a vehicle of influence nonetheless). If Gates can control how money is spent on education in the United States alone, then he has in his hands a budget of $500 billion per year (yes, that’s half a trillion, nearly the cost of the big bank bailout). A reader has just told us that PR Watch (an excellent Web site by the way) is addressing the subject right now. The headline is telling. It is “How Billionaires Rule Our Schools”, but the pluralism is perhaps an attempt not to criticise Mr. PR Love directly (although his photo is right there). To quote the opening:
The cost of K–12 public schooling in the United States comes to well over $500 billion per year. So, how much influence could anyone in the private sector exert by controlling just a few billion dollars of that immense sum? Decisive influence, it turns out. A few billion dollars in private foundation money, strategically invested every year for a decade, has sufficed to define the national debate on education; sustain a crusade for a set of mostly ill-conceived reforms; and determine public policy at the local, state, and national levels. In the domain of venture philanthropy — where donors decide what social transformation they want to engineer and then design and fund projects to implement their vision — investing in education yields great bang for the buck.
Hundreds of private philanthropies together spend almost $4 billion annually to support or transform K–12 education, most of it directed to schools that serve low-income children (only religious organizations receive more money). But three funders — the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Eli and Edythe Broad (rhymes with road) Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation — working in sync, command the field. Whatever nuances differentiate the motivations of the Big Three, their market-based goals for overhauling public education coincide: choice, competition, deregulation, accountability, and data-based decision-making. And they fund the same vehicles to achieve their goals: charter schools, high-stakes standardized testing for students, merit pay for teachers whose students improve their test scores, firing teachers and closing schools when scores don’t rise adequately, and longitudinal data collection on the performance of every student and teacher. Other foundations — Ford, Hewlett, Annenberg, Milken, to name just a few — often join in funding one project or another, but the education reform movement’s success so far has depended on the size and clout of the Gates-Broad-Walton triumvirate.
Gates’ subversion of US education for his selfish purposes is similar to his lobbying for visas*. Nobody should assume that Gates is interested in improving education. It’s about money and power. This subject is to be covered properly at a later date and that’s a promise. Maybe it will take until March. In the mean time, we wish to share the words of a a reader who mailed us yesterday. In her message she wrote about what Microsoft calls “the slog”
[PDF] (or sloggers), stating: “speaking of slogging and Microsoft spin…after the Google accusations about Bing cheating, and after the ghost data problem on the Win7 phone, as well as the lack of sales, and all the Patch-Tuesday news…oh yes, and the Quarterly Reports news…
“It seems that Bill (Senior Slogger in Chief) felt the need to do some damage control. The Slashdot headline regarding Bill’s talk about vaccinations (and the B&G Foundations vaccination goals), came at the perfect time to help defuse all the bad Microsoft news.
“It seems that whatever damage Steve causes, Bill just has to fire up the PR machine and swoop down like the Pope waving his saintly halo, and proclaim His Goodness throughout the land.
“In the end, it will be much harder to undermine the Foundation than it’s been to undermine Microsoft.”
–Anonymous reader“Since most people in the world still connect Bill Gates with Microsoft, they couldn’t possibly dislike a guy who gives his billions away just to keep children healthy. Therefore, continuing to buy Microsoft’s products will help Bill to support children’s health.
“It just seemed to me that the timing was interesting. The “good works” by the Foundation (children’s health, etc) obviously trumps any sleazy behavior by the company.
“You’ve likely already noticed this, but the waning power of Microsoft seems to be equal to the growing power of B&M Gates Foundation (and its investment arm). In the end, it will be much harder to undermine the Foundation than it’s been to undermine Microsoft. People tend to be less sympathetic to a giant corporation, when it comes to bad behavior. But pointing out bad behavior of a saintly foundation that “helps” children will be viewed as baseless criticism.”
As we pointed out before, the tactic of Gates right now is to buy the media and then harm society enormously behind closed doors while every critics who stands in his way will be discouraged with a statement like, “by criticising Gates you are killing hungry African children.” For what it’s worth, Gates is not the only person using this tactic as it has been done many times before. It’s a form of sentimental blackmail. █
* As we’ve explained in separate posts, Gates also drains the coffers of taxpayers’ money all around the world by lobbying politicians to license patents and solicit purchases from the likes of Monsanto and the Pharmaceutical Cartel (incidentally, they have staff inside the Gates Foundation which they use as a lobbying vehicle for their former employers).