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08.14.11

Gates Monitor: February 2011 on Bill Gates-Funded Lobbyists Who Drive US Education Agenda

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception at 5:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: TFA lobbying and other Gates-funded groups that harm teachers, for control and for profit

LAST YEAR we wrote about TFA [EN | ES], the Gated-funded group that would help him privatise education (not just put Microsoft, Office and Windows in the classrooms and inside children’s minds at taxpayers' expense). The Seattle Education blog has some updates on this lobbying group, as well as others that are funded by Bill Gates through the Gates Foundation. It’s about business, not charity. Here is some of the latest:

Why I am not a defender of the ‘status quo’ in education — because the ‘status quo’ is failed ed reforms

The status quo is national public education policy largely determined by unelected billionaires with zero expertise in education. “Venture philanthropists” Eli Broad and Bill Gates spend millions shaping public education policy. Formers staffers from the Gates Foundation now seed the Obama Administration’s Department of Education.

“Two of Duncan’s top aides, Chief of Staff Margot Rogers and Assistant Deputy Secretary James H. Shelton III, came from the [Gates] foundation and were granted waivers by the Administration from its revolving-door policy limiting involvement with former employers.”– “Bill Gates’ School Crusade,” July 15, 2010, Bloomberg Businessweek.

Obama’s secretary of education, Arne Duncan, and former chief economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, are both former members of the Broad board of directors. The “Broad Prize for Urban Education” is a trophy and large cash sum awarded annually by the private Broad Foundation to school districts performing to its liking. In its 2009-10 Annual Report, Broad boasts that the trophy itself “resides at the U.S. Department of Education.”

You couldn’t ask for a better symbol of the infiltration of private corporate interests into federal government.

Have Mr. Broad or Mr. Gates been elected to public office, or to direct education policy? Do either have any expertise or experience in public education? No and no. Do either seek genuine parent input? No.

Teach for America’s Wendy Kopp is Coming to Town

The League for Education Voters, LEV, that same Broad-backed, Gates’ funded organization that brought us Kevin Johnson, a big proponent of charter schools who spoke to a mostly African-American audience in an African-American church in Seattle and by the way, the only event that was not held at the MOHAI Museum, Steve Barth with KIPP, and my personal favorite, Ben Austin with the Parent Trigger, is now sponsoring an evening with Wendy Kopp, the founder of Teach for America, Inc. (TFA), to extol the virtues of her organization.

Seattle TV Audience Gives Big Thumbs-Down to School Superintendent’s “Strategic Plan” (& Supt. Goodloe-Johnson Misses Another Public Forum)

Also in the audience (most of the speakers were not identified by affiliation): Liv Finne of the conservative, business-centric Washington Policy Center, Michael DeBell and Steve Sundquist, the past and current presidents of the Seattle School Board, Estela Ortega from El Centro de la Raza, Chris Korsmo and I believe Lisa Macfarlane from the League of Education Voters (LEV), the Gates-funded group that has jumped on the ed reform bandwagon, teachers, parents, bloggers, including Charlie Mas and Melissa Westbrook from the Seattle Public Schools community blog, Sara Morris and Solynn McCurdy from the Alliance for Education (another Gates-funded, pro-corporate ed reform entity), school board candidate Michelle Buetow, and others.

What Works

I believe that if you’re going to talk the talk you need to walk the walk.

You won’t see that with Obama’s choice of schools for his children or Gates for his children. Their talk is for other people’s children, not their own.

Proposed House Bill 1609: More of the Same But Worse

This new bill proposed by, among others, our own Representative Reuven Carlyle who was instrumental in pushing through the ed reform Bill 6696 with the help of the Washington and Seattle PTA and the usual list of Broad backed, Gates funded suspects, states that when there are budget cuts and a reduction in force (rif) is required, that teachers should be fired based on their “performance”.

These teachers are not attacking Gates; they are defending themselves from Gates’ attack on their occupation and their children’s education. This is reactionary.

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