Original photo by Matthew Yohe, modified by Boycott Novell
Summary: Recent articles of interest about corporations and plutocrats seeking to take the education system away from ordinary people, including teachers
THE EDUCATION system teaches the next generation rights and wrongs, indoctrinating kids by shaping their perceptions and thus their behaviour. It is an obligatory tax-funded system because it is essential for a uniform society that thinks alike and obeys orders. Whose orders? Those in power of course. It has always been the case that the rich and powerful passed their own ideology not only to their children but also to other people’s children, to the extent that they can afford.
We are appreciative of the Seattle Education blog, which is run by teachers to counter the attack on schools — the attack by the rich who want to turn teachers into their slaves. In one recent blog post we learned a little about Bill Gates’ role in this:
* What is your opinion of wealthy individuals and foundations backed by those individuals offering money to a school district and thus altering the focus of that school district? For example, the Gates funded Seattle Foundation provided money to pay for the expense to have TFA, Inc. in our district for the first year even though the majority of teachers and parents did not want to have TFA, Inc. in Seattle. Where would you draw the line between an individual determining the fate of our school system and a more democratic process?
The Ed Reform movement that is being furthered by Gates, TFA, Broad and other non-profits is a takeover of public education that has led us in the wrong direction. We need a new school board that will restructure control of the district so that it is exclusively shared by the stakeholders, not powerful special interests acting through proxies.
Another blog post from the same site says:
And “values”? What does that mean? Whether we value public education or not? Whether we value the democratic process or would rather have mayoral control and a lack of transparency that charter schools enjoy while making large profits? That we value our teachers who are part of our school communities rather than a TFA recruit who might be with us for two years and has no teaching experience? That we refer to teachers as teachers and not as “human capital” as NCTQ, LEV and others have referred to the human beings who show up every day doing their best to educate our children while at the same time becoming hemmed in more and more with less and less in terms of support and resources? What are your values Ms. Munn? Receiving a nice pay check by way of Bill Gates, et al? Are you truly with our community or just for the betterment of your own career up the ladder of privatization?
The authorship loves Weil’s term “philanthropirates”, which relates to this other post that says:”Formed in think tanks, by the likes of philanthropirates like Bill Gates, ‘double speak’ is a form of mental discipline whose goal, desirable and necessary to all of those in power, is to be able to believe in two contradictory truths at the same time. Also known as ‘cognitive dissonance’ double speak lies behind the ability of those in power to formulate and thus manage perceptions through the use of language. The ‘Injustice System’ in America is the ‘Justice System’; ‘inheritance tax (for the lucky 1%) is called the ‘death tax’; the Secretary of Defense is really the Secretary of War; the War on Drugs is actually the distribution of drugs; torture is enhanced interrogation while permanent war is is clothed in the language of permanent peace.”
Going back to the Seattle Education blog, a more recent and very long blog post asks: “What is your opinion of wealthy individuals and foundations backed by those individuals offering money to a school district and thus altering the focus of that school district? For example, the Gates funded Seattle Foundation provided money to pay for the expense to have TFA, Inc. in our district for the first year even though the majority of teachers and parents did not want to have TFA, Inc. in Seattle. Where would you draw the line between an individual determining the fate of our school system and a more democratic process? [...] We commit to this freeze for a year and use that time to take stock of what we have and where we need to go. “We” are the people of Seattle, without the League of Education Voters, The Alliance for Education, Stand For Children, Seattle Foundation, Broad’s Brood, The Gates Foundation, and all the other outside voices that have been drowning us out. They can all go…away. [...] Besides that, we need a Superintendent who is unfettered by any association with the Corporatists. We don’t need anyone who sits on the Board of NWEA, or has ties to the Broad Academy, or used to work for the Gates Foundation.”
Later comes up a resemblance between major polluters and Bill Gates (who invests his money in several major polluters):
The Koch Brothers and Bill Gates, See Any Similarities?
You could just about replace the words “Koch brothers” with “Bill Gates” in this 11 minute film Why Do the Koch Brothers Want to End Public Education? in terms of what’s been happening in Seattle, a school board in lock-step with the former Broad-trained superintendent and a Student Assignment Plan that brought us back to neighborhood schools and therefore the re-segregation of our schools. The lack of choice for minority students now nicely dovetails into then providing the minority communities with what they think might be their only salvation, charter schools.
Check out this video and see if you see parallels between what has been happening in Seattle if you just replace the words “Koch Brothers” with “Bill Gates”.
From Tennessee comes this analysis of a “corporate education reform”. It says that “Tennessee could not be better positioned to become the poster state for embracing Duncan’s federalized extortion racket aimed to bend every community to the corporatized visions of Bill Gates and Eli Broad. Bend or break, take your pick. After all, Tennessee has its own homegrown oligarch as governor, the soft spoken Bill “Pilot Oil” Haslam, who has allowed Gates and Broad to put in charge of Tennessee schools a major cult leader from Teach for America, Kevin Huffman (former spouse of Eduwitch Michelle Rhee). Even though one in four Tennesseeans remain illiterate, the state is and has been a fav of the corporatistas judging Race to the Top and other tax-supported ventures of the U. S. Chamber of Horrors’ Business Roundtable.”
Gates’ minions, those whom he buys with money, are finding a new ‘host’ to leech, this time in Florida:
Broad-Trained Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson Reappears in Broward County, Florida
The following article should be a red flag to you about hiring anyone who has anything to do with Bill Gates or the Broad Foundation.
3. According to e-mail exchanges between NWEA members, Dr. Goodloe-Johnson and Michael Casserly of the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS), there was a sizable grant of $3.7 million from the Gates Foundation that NWEA wanted to get their hands on.
11. The Native American grant program scandal including the time that a grant proposal did not get submitted on time by SPS and the program was not awarded necessary dollars. It would have been a slam dunk to receive the funds but the supe’s own appointee who was to be in charge of grants, missed the deadline. I guess she was too busy trying to keep up with all the money that Gates and Broad were funneling into SPS by way of the Alliance for Education.
This whole ‘reform’ is further chastised by one who used to be very influential in the US eduction system. One blog post states that the “ed reform movement, titled Race to the Top, that now flourishes thanks to billionaires like Bill Gates, Eli Broad and millionaire hedge fund managers who know nothing about how to educate a child, along with Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education who has no experience in education, and President Obama, who has his children in private school, is based on this policy.”
Steve Jobs is joining this bandwagon, leading to protests at Apple stores based on this post which says:
Steve Jobs with Apple has gotten on the ed reform bandwagon and is offering free iPads to Teach for America recruits but of course none to real teachers who have teaching experience, degrees in education and have devoted their lives to their school communities. Nope, this is for the TFA, Inc. recruits with five weeks of training to teach to the test and nothing more. I guess they need some sort of way to track all of those test scores.
Increasingly, Apple has been trying to abduct the curriculum and this subject will be properly addressed here in the future. The above is merely an example among several we’ve learn about in IRC recently.