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08.21.11

Bill Gates Buys More Blogs and Papers, Creates Puppet Group “Teaching First” to Lobby the Press

Posted in Bill Gates, Marketing at 10:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: With financial stake in many channels of communication (even seemingly small ones like Crosscut), Bill Gates continues to push his educational ‘reform’ agenda, additionally creating yet another puppet that pushes for this agenda while hiding its roots in the Gates Foundation

THE LOBBYING to take over the education system just never stops. Indoctrination of children a taxpayers’ expense is at valuable resource for the greedy. One teacher complains about this dubious “Open Letter”, perhaps not realising that the source, Crosscut, is funded by Gates [1, 2, 3, 4]. He is taking over everything which covers particular topics, or at least seeding his propaganda in sources which he controls. To quote the teacher-turned-activist:

“4. Use the coming year as a chance to put in place some serious educational reforms, creating a powerful task force with members from the Gates Foundation, the UW College of Education, national foundations, and others to make Seattle a leading example of one or two key reforms along the lines of the Gates/Arnie Duncan idea of getting more students in front of the best teachers. Not every reform idea: just two or three that make a difference and where Seattle could (with Gates funding) lead the nation rather than dragging behind in the rear.”

Brewster wants to bring in people from the Gates Foundation and University of Washington to push reforms in SPS?! They’re already here! Goodloe-Johnson was their gal. Gates already funded her to the tune of $9 million and apparently is the sugardaddy for another of her dubious reforms, bringing TFA, Inc. to Seattle. Dean Tom Stritikus of UW’s College of Ed is a Teach for America alum who wrote an op-ed last year in support of charter schools coincidentally just before TFA got introduced to the school board agenda.

For more information about Goodloe-Johnson, see this recent post about her firing. It is rather disturbing that minions of Gates can be appointed to high positions without much trouble. Gates provides the money which they need to buy that pedestal.

Later on it turned out that more new puppets were funding the propaganda of Gates and fellow billionaires. To quote “The Fordham Institute and the National Council on Teacher Quality: Manipulating Teacher Layoffs (& Union-Busting?)”:

What the Fordham Institute Wants

The Fordham Institute, which supports research, publications, and action projects advocating “education reform,” is funded by billionaire foundations such as the Broad Foundation, the Doris and Donald Fisher Fund (the Fishers own the GAP clothing stores), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation (the family that owns WalMart). It also receives support from the Fordham Foundation, a charitable foundation for charter schools in Ohio.

[...]

And who are its customers? That information is readily available on their Web site. NCTQ funders include the Fordham Institute, the Gates Foundation, and the Doris and Donald Fisher Fund. Members
of the board of directors also include charter schools groups like the KIPP Foundation and the NewSchools Venture Fund, and teacher preparation groups like Teach for America, Inc. and the New
Teacher Center – all organizations with a financial interest in altering teacher contracts in order to create openings for new, low-paid teachers with less training.

Manipulation of Contract Negotiations in Seattle: A Case Study

Seattle provides a prime example of how the NCTQ operates. In October 2009, less than a year before contract negotiations, the NCTQ produced a report called “Human Capital in Seattle Schools.” This report was commissioned by the Alliance for Education, one of many local education funds (LEFs) around the country. Like the other LEFs, it takes money from prominent billionaires and local companies. It uses that money to influence policy in the Seattle Public Schools system, and then works closely with the district to make sure that policy is implemented.

NCTQ’s “Human Capital” report cost $14,000, and was paid for in part by the Gates Foundation. (The Gates Foundation has funded the Alliance, NCTQ, and the report itself.)

And that’s not all. From around the same week we have “15 Reasons Why the Seattle School District Should Shelve the MAP® Test—ASAP”:

2. Too costly. MAP® = an unfunded mandate. The initial subscription to the test cost $370,000. But the district has spent much more since then in implementation costs. A portion of the $7.2 million Gates Foundation grant to SPS in 2009 went toward MAP®. Another $4.3 million of the February 2010 school levy was also earmarked for MAP®. Some believe that the proposed $2 million network capacity upgrade currently before the school board is also associated with the test. By some measures, MAP® has cost our school district as much as $10 million.

It has become hard keeping track of all of Gates’ front groups in education. TFA for example was a major one some months ago and last year. But they keep nym-shifting, multiplying, and using decoys, just like some of Microsoft’s front groups. “Teaching First is a puppet organisation of the Gates Foundation,” writes Gates Keepers, pointing to the article which explain what Teaching First is all about. It’s very blatant based on this opening paragraph:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is spending at least $3.5 million to create a new organization whose aim is to win over the public and the media to its market-driven approach to school reform, according to the closely held grant proposal.

The organization is tentatively called “Teaching First,” and already has a chief executive officer: Yolie Flores, a member of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education, who has championed such issues as public school choice and teacher effectiveness. Flores did not immediately return phone calls for comment. A Gates foundation spokesman said she would take over the job fulltime when her board term is up in June.

The Gates proposal lays out a strategy to win public approval for the foundation’s investment of more than $335 million in teacher effectiveness programs in four school districts that involve controversial initiatives including linking teacher pay to student standardized test scores. Critics (including me) say this “value-added” model-based test scores is unfair measure of how well a teacher is doing because there are many factors that go into how well a student does on a test.

The Gates Foundation should not be mistaken for Bill’s apology to the society he hurt. Gates Foundation is yet more punishment to yet more people, even those who do not have a computer. We will explain why in the next few posts. In the mean time, internalise the reality that Gates remains around here for many years to come, probably to hurt society while imposing self-censorship on journalists. Well, read the following response to the article. It was posted here:

So, The Gates foundation strategy is an attack from the front and on the flank (Please excuse the battle metaphor). Note that Gates is approaching (aka, controlling) his corporate edu-reform propaganda from two points of entry.

He is directly funding favorable PR to organizations for his ill informed education initiative at the same time he is rating independent media reports at his obnoxious “Media Bullpen” http://mediabullpen.com/

Does anyone think that this bullpen is anything other than an intimidation tactic to marginalize public criticism of his education privatization scheme? Check out the batting averages and home runs for school choice, teacher’s unions, and funding.

Well, eventually he bribes his way into the desired outcome (desired by Gates, who sends his children to private schools, just like his pawn Arne Duncan, whose legitimacy is being lost). US education is in a state of crisis because it becomes a private business benefiting very few people and misinforming tomorrow’s children. Gates does not “think of the children”. He exploits them to gain more money and/or power. And at the end of the day when they are all suffering from this exploitation he’ll just leave them to rot in the puddle of their own misery. That’s the Mr. Gates we knew all along when he worked full-time for Microsoft. He only refers to getting children “addicted” (to Microsoft products) as a valid business model. Why should anyone accept his PR?

I'm sorry

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