EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.13.11

Steve Ballmer and His Wife Connie Join Gates and Co. in Their Crusade Against Public Education

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft, Steve Ballmer at 10:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News suggests that more people from Microsoft (not just Raikes and Gates) are occupying the obligatory system which shapes the next generation at taxpayers’ expense

INJUSTICE is prevalent when the legal system is operated directly or indirectly by those who are affluent. Such status quo would be prejudiced against those who are unable to pay. Tax law is similarly dependent on the influence of money, which means that those who are very rich will make up ways to pay little or no tax. This is a famous problem in the United States of America and increasingly in the UK too. People pay more tax the richer they are but once they get to a certain level they can become almost tax-exempt, using loophole which they lobbied to create and call “legal”.

“Additionally, Gates uses the publicly-funded education system to do what it tells everyone to do.”So-called foundations make the situation ever more outrageous because they glorify those who do not pay tax and sometimes help rob the public, too. Citing this article, Gates Keepers alleges that “The public subsidises the Gates Foundation” — a subject that we covered here before. To repeat the crux of the argument, what the Gates Foundation is doing is lobbying politicians to funnel taxpayers’ money into companies that the foundation invests in for profit. It is about monopolies, patents, and public subsidies. We gave many examples and showed how this is done.

Additionally, Gates uses the publicly-funded education system to do what it tells everyone to do. These acts are an injury and an insult to future generations, which Gates believes he is responsible for along with fellow plutocrats, shaping the minds of children not for critical thinking but for obedience and admiration of those in power (like himself).

There is a new article titled “The Money Behind the School Board Incumbents”. It is one among many recent articles that portray Bill Gates as the villain in the education scene. They know he is up to no good, a self-servitude of sorts that also buys the media to hide those real interests. To quote:

All the School Board incumbents are supported by zillionaire donors who don’t have children in our schools. Most live on the Eastside. They generously funded The Seattle Foundation to bring Teach for America into Seattle Public Schools. Most also backed the defeat of Initiative 1098. The anti-1098 donors include Steve and Connie Ballmer, Matt Griffin, Evelyne Rozner, John Stanton, and James Faulstich. In addition to backing TFA and the incumbents, Connie Ballmer sits on the WA advisory board of Stand For Children, a national lobbying organization that aggressively promotes charter schools. Jeff Raikes, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and his wife Patricia did not donate to defeat I-1098, but they support TFA, charter schools and the incumbents. The same holds true for John Faulstich.

What if any connection is there between defeating Initiative 1098, supporting Teach for America, Stand for Children and the incumbent School Board Directors?

First– why the opposition to I-1098 from anyone who supports public education? Initiative 1098 would have provided $2 billion a year as a trust fund dedicated to public education, health services and middle class tax relief. The year I-1098 was filed, Seattle Public Schools had a budget shortfall of $34 million. It’s safe to assume these people don’t want a miniscule portion of their ginormous incomes to support public education as it is now. They must have another plan.

Teach for America provides public and charter schools with conditionally certified teachers who have received a total of five weeks of training during the summer. Charter schools hire many of their teachers through Teach for America. Wendy Kopp, founder, CEO and relentless marketer of TFA draws an annual salary of $660,000, paid for by funds presumably raised for public education. TFA also received $50mil from the Obama administration last year. TFA is very much a part of a national movement to privatize and profit from public education through charter schools.

[...]

The challengers in this race are trying to move us beyond this phase of Ed Reform to the next. Our vision of effective Ed Reform is about meeting the individual needs of our students, rather than imposing a one-size-fits-all standardized education. We must increase pathways to success by offering compelling programs that engage students all the way through high school, and help them prepare for the futures they want. We must improve our curricula and give struggling students more support. We must open up our district to far greater community input and control. We need to restore more choice to our student assignment plan. And we can do it all without diverting public funds into the pockets of people like Wendy Kopp and others who profit from charter schools.

We found it most interesting that even the Ballmers are in it now. Ballmer’s wife is a PR person (professionally), which says a lot on its own. These couples also sponsored Obama's PR campaign, which got him elected. Ballmer routinely visits the White House now. We gave examples in the past.

Here is another new article critical of Gates, despite his sponsorship of education news sites (with aim of influencing coverage). The headline says Bill Gates’ Big Play: How Much Can Money Buy in Education?

What would happen if one of the wealthiest men in the world decided to remake the institution of public education in America? What if that man believed he understood the secrets to success, and sought to align the nation’s schools to his vision and methods? What if he decided to devote all his time and considerable money to this objective? Could he succeed? We are in the process of finding out just how far money and a sharply defined agenda can take you.

Why is Gates deciding on educational policy in public education? This is a person who went to prestigious private schools and sends his kids to these. There is a poor article titled “Bill Gates: Poverty not excuse for no education”. So says the man who was born rich and didn’t finish college. Here is a copy of it (the original expired):

Bill Gates: Poverty not excuse for no education

Microsoft founder Bill Gates told the National Urban League on Thursday that a child’s success should not depend on the race or income of parents and that poverty cannot be an excuse for a poor education.

This is just the usual shallow coverage from AP, but what’s troubling here is different; who is he to talk for the poor? Or to demand better education/results from these people? Just because he is wealthy and employs lobbying groups to run a lot of things (for profit) does not make him a figure of legitimate authority. The AP not only parrots or promotes his so-called ‘studies’ (sponsored propaganda, as we showed before in AP). In this case it also lends to the man’s status by quoting him as though he is an education expert. This is truly troubling. But the BBC is worse. We’ll deal with that next.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

9 Comments

  1. Michael said,

    November 13, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Gravatar

    While I can see being against many of the specifics, the general idea of wanting even the poor to be able to receive a decent education is something to be supported.

  2. kozmcrae said,

    November 13, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Gravatar

    Think of it this way.

    For six hours a day, five days a week, your children are locked behind a door and taught by people who are qualified by the state you live in. Only the state has the key to that door. You trust the state because the people who run it are elected by you and the other people in your state. That gives you some control over how they govern you and choose the people who teach your children.

    Now think of giving the key to that education door to someone else, say, a private corporation. You have been removed by another layer between you and your child and you have just lost control over what goes on behind that door.

    Bill Gates knows nothing about education and he is surrounded by yes men. Couple that with enough money to bribe the entire population of the United States and we are faced with a very dangerous situation.

    I read an article by Preston Gralla recently that said Bill Gates deserves more adoration than Steve Jobs. Adoration? Really? There was one 20th Century leader who was adored by his countrymen. He met with a violent end. Leaders should be respected and criticized without fear of reprisal but adoration should be left for movie stars.

    I wouldn’t consider Bill Gates a leader but I think he dearly wants to be one. He often presents himself as an expert in areas he knows nothing about like he does with education. He once gave a lecture on supercomputers at a convention. He went on and on as if he built one yesterday. Putting Bill Gates’ software on supercomputer hardware is like putting molasses in the crankcase of a Formula One race car. It’s the same old myth; If you have tons of money, then you must be an expert on everything. And Bill Gates is riding that wave for all it’s worth.

    Michael Reply:

    For six hours a day, five days a week, your children are locked behind a door and taught by people who are qualified by the state you live in. Only the state has the key to that door.

    Actually, as a parent you have the right to home school or to observe the school. When I taught in the K-12 system I encouraged parents to visit as often as they wanted.

    Now think of giving the key to that education door to someone else, say, a private corporation.

    Many parents opt to send their kids to a private school. If you are talking about public schools, however, they are not run by private corporations (in general, there may be some outsourcing).

    FUD:

    Bill Gates knows nothing about education and he is surrounded by yes men. Couple that with enough money to bribe the entire population of the United States and we are faced with a very dangerous situation.

    I have never seen any bribe by him. I did have MS “wine and dine” me as they tried to sell me products, as I have had Cisco and many other companies do (Cisco was the most extreme I have encountered).

    As I said above, I can see being against the specifics of what Bill Gates says and does in terms of education – there are many valid “takes” on the subject. But the general goal of improving the education of US students is something I wish more people would back. It is a shame to see folks fight against it based on their own fears.

    kozmcrae Reply:

    You have the right to home school your child if you have the means. Kind of tough if you’re a single parent though.

    Yes, many people do opt to send their kids to private schools but that choice would be eliminated if Bill Gates gets his way. Every child would be taught by a corporate run tax paid school system. To put it another way, every child would attend a private school, some by choice, some not by choice.

    You have never seen Bill Gates bribe anyone? Neither have I. I would expect that no one has ever seen Bill Gates bribe anyone. He does spend over a million dollars a day making sure he and any endeavor he’s involved in gets good press. That’s not called a bribe by the way. It’s called business… PR business.

    His wife, Melinda, up until recently was on the board of directors of the Wall Street Journal. Do you think there was ever any investigative reporting done on The Gates Foundation while she was there? How about NPR, that bastion of unbiased reporting. Sorry, Microsoft is one of their primary advertisers. You’ll hardly hear Microsoft’s name associated with any account of malware ripping holes in the Internet or any serious in-depth look into Bill Gates activities. And on it goes. Bill Gates has so much money he can purchase advertising in every major paper, magazine, Web site and television station in the United States and have plenty left over to cover major media outlets over the rest of the World. But no, he doesn’t bribe anyone.

    It does seem counter intuitive to try to stop someone from spending millions of dollars on improving education. But Bill Gates is attempting to turn a state-run agenda-neutral institution into his private market place. Every school uses Microsoft computers and software. Every computer curriculum teaches Microsoft programing languages. Only Microsoft partners get a piece of the pie. But worst of all, children learn what the corporation deems best. And that will be what ever puts the corporation in the best light. It’s a nightmare in the making.

    There are public schools that are doing very poorly but there are also some that are outstanding. That’s all the information we need right there. Try to use the programs that work and avoid the ones that don’t. We don’t need to hand the entire education system over to a guy who never finished college.

    Michael Reply:

    Yes, many people do opt to send their kids to private schools but that choice would be eliminated if Bill Gates gets his way. Every child would be taught by a corporate run tax paid school system. To put it another way, every child would attend a private school, some by choice, some not by choice. … It does seem counter intuitive to try to stop someone from spending millions of dollars on improving education. But Bill Gates is attempting to turn a state-run agenda-neutral institution into his private market place. Every school uses Microsoft computers and software. Every computer curriculum teaches Microsoft programing languages. Only Microsoft partners get a piece of the pie. But worst of all, children learn what the corporation deems best. And that will be what ever puts the corporation in the best light. It’s a nightmare in the making.

    I would love to see support for this. If so, of course I am heavily against it.

    Looking at the education section of the Gates Foundation site, I see only one reference to any software and it does not mention a company name that is preferred – and software is only one of many items listed as being important. Looking at Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_%26_Melinda_Gates_Foundation#Education) I see nothing that supports your claims. In fact, one of the criticisms is that they support neighborhood schools *over* private schools, which directly contradicts the idea that he wants all schools to be private schools.

    There seems to be plenty of room to disagree with the MGF education goals – but the complaints you and Roy speak about come across as paranoid fear and not realistic criticisms.

  3. kozmcrae said,

    November 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Gravatar

    Do you really believe Bill Gates will lay all his cards out on the table? His education reforms are a business deal. He’s not going to telegraph his punches. If he gets his way, all public schools will be run by a private enterprise. His private enterprise. Once that happens he gets to choose the teachers, how they are trained, what materials are used and who they are purchased from. All of that will still be paid for by our tax dollars.

    If there is any institution that should not become a monoculture it’s our education system. There would be no checks and balances, no second opinions and no comparisons.

    We may be paranoid but our fear is based on Bill Gates past actions. He has never varied from his MO. If you wish to see the real Bill Gates then view his testimony on Judge Penfield Jackson’s witness stand. To the best of my knowledge that is the only time someone has been in a position of authority over him and asking serious questions. You can watch Bill Gates as he slowly crumbles into a fetal position. It’s an amazing piece of footage.

    Michael Reply:

    I am not saying anyone lays all their cards on the table. I am saying making the kinds of accusations you and Roy make, in the absence of darn good support, is wrong. And you have no support. You have paranoia… that is it.

    Show where he gets to pick teachers.
    Show where he gets to pick how they are trained.
    Show where he gets to pick what materials they use.

    Right now you have paranoid accusations. Can you get anything else to back those things you claim?

  4. kozmcrae said,

    November 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Gravatar

    You are lumping Roy and me together. If you interpret us as saying the same things that’s fine but be advised, I don’t speak for Roy or anyone else. I will sometimes offer my opinion as to what other FLOSS followers believe but that’s about it.

    No of course you are not saying anyone lays all their cards on the table. Neither am I, that’s the point. My accusations are based on past actions and proclamations by Bill Gates himself and those close to him. There’s no crystal ball stuff going on here. Could Bill Gates change his colors? Sure, anything is possible. Maybe he’ll get struck by lightning and suffer a complete personality reversal. Show where he gets to pick the teachers…? I hope I never get to show you that or any of the other things. That’s where I stand on that issue.

    Am I paranoid? Not yet.

  5. Michael said,

    November 14, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Gravatar

    You are lumping Roy and me together. If you interpret us as saying the same things that’s fine but be advised, I don’t speak for Roy or anyone else. I will sometimes offer my opinion as to what other FLOSS followers believe but that’s about it.

    Fair enough criticism. My apologies… in general the folks who post comments here very much echo his claims and wording, to the point where I suspect some are his socks (though I have no strong evidence!). I apologize for grouping you in with them.

    No of course you are not saying anyone lays all their cards on the table. Neither am I, that’s the point.

    Again, fair enough.

    My accusations are based on past actions and proclamations by Bill Gates himself and those close to him. There’s no crystal ball stuff going on here. Could Bill Gates change his colors? Sure, anything is possible. Maybe he’ll get struck by lightning and suffer a complete personality reversal.

    I would agree it would be wise to be watchful – but that is true of any group. I can even go so far as to say it is wise to be extra watchful considering his history and his ties.

    Show where he gets to pick the teachers…? I hope I never get to show you that or any of the other things. That’s where I stand on that issue.

    I am looking to see where that is a part of the “plan”. So far I have seen this accusation repeatedly but no support. Now he does support merit pay, which is fine if you can find a reasonably fair way to measure who has “merit”. Basing it on test scores, though, is rather absurd – the *students* are the ones taking the tests, not the teachers. Yes, teachers influence their students, but they do not control them nor do they pick them. Should AP teachers get paid more? Why punish teachers be punished for working with the “slower” students? It makes no sense – there are just too many variables. It would be like paying programmers by how many lines of code they produce… it has been done and it is a *bad* idea.

    Am I paranoid? Not yet.

    Maybe not.

What Else is New


  1. Links 26/8/2016: Maru OS Resurfaces, Android More Reliable Than 'i' Things, PC-BSD Becomes TrueOS

    Links for the day



  2. Good Job, David Kappos, Says the 'Boss' (IBM)

    Responses to the latest call against Alice (eliminator of many software patents), courtesy of the man from IBM (still paid by IBM) who was responsible for the policy that blindly approved a lot of software patents in the US



  3. Being for Patent Quality or Against Patenting Excess Does Not Make You Anti-Patents

    Like IAM, which tries to portray sceptics and critics of software patents as "anti-patents", IP Watchdog (or Watchtroll as we call it) is 'trolling' the Electronic Frontier Foundation, simply because it expressed an opinion that patent maximalists cannot tolerate



  4. Erosion of Patent Quality Enables Patent Extortion With Large Portfolios of Low Validity Rate

    Revisiting the EPO's vision of poor patent examination and the effect of discriminatory granting practices, favouring patent bullies such as Microsoft (which actively attacks Linux using low-quality and usually pure software patents)



  5. The EPO's Francesco Zaccà Presenting in Turin Alongside Patent Trolls (Like the Patent Mafia Sisvel) and Lobbyists/Front Groups for Software Patents, UPC

    Benjamin Henrion (FFII) on seeing the EPO alongside patent trolls and other nefarious actors, doing what they do best, which is undermining public interests and harming patent quality



  6. The EPO, USPTO, and Patent Microcosm Peddle Myths About Patents in Public Universities and Research

    Tackling some of the commonly-spread myths about patents as "saving lives" and "promoting research" (in practice leading to the death of poor people and promoting trolls)



  7. Large Corporations' Lobbyist David Kappos Disgraces Former Employer USPTO by Meddling in Their Affairs on Software Patents, Downplaying the Supreme Court

    The latest lobbying from David Kappos, who blatantly exploits his connections in patent circles to promote software patents and work towards their resurgence after Alice v CLS Bank



  8. Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice Calls the European Patent Office “Rotten”, Other Sources Scrutinise Recent Moves

    The patent office which was once known for being the best bar none is rotting under the Frenchman Benoît Battistelli, who made himself and his friends the main clients of the Office



  9. PTAB Emerges as Hero of USPTO Because Quality of Patents Improves, Software Patents Are Effectively Dead (or Dying Once Reassessed)

    With help from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) -- not just patent courts -- software patents drop like flies by the thousands



  10. Creative Technology, Now Operating in 'Patent Troll' Mode, Shot Down by the ITC; Jawbone Too Shot Down

    Some good news from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which may have put an end to Creative's new war on Android (using old patents)



  11. Corporate Media in India Misrepresents Startups to Push for Software Patents

    A parade of misinformation as seen in Indian (but English-speaking) press this week as questions about patentability of software resurface



  12. Links 25/8/2016: Linux Turns 25, NetworkManager Turns 1.4

    Links for the day



  13. Links 24/8/2016: More From LinuxCon, Uganda Wants FOSS

    Links for the day



  14. Links 23/8/2016: GNOME 3.22 Beta, Android 7.0 Nougat

    Links for the day



  15. The Linux Foundation Gives Microsoft (Paid-for) Keynote Position While Microsoft Extorts (With Patents) Lenovo and Motorola Over Linux Use

    This morning's reminder that Nadella is just another Ballmer (with a different face); Motorola and Lenovo surrender to Microsoft's patent demands and will soon put Microsoft spyware/malware on their Linux-powered products to avert costly legal battles



  16. Not Just President Battistelli: EPO Vice-Presidents Are Still Intentionally Misrepresenting EPO Staff

    Evidence serving to show that EPO Vice-Presidents are still intentionally misrepresenting EPO staff representatives and misleading everyone in order to defend Battistelli



  17. Battistelli the Liar Causes a Climate of Confrontation in French Politics, Lies About Patent Quality (Among Many Other Things)

    Battistelli's lies are coming under increased scrutiny inside and outside the European Patent Office (EPO), where patent quality has been abandoned in order to artificially elevate figures



  18. The Collapse of Software Patents and Patent Law Firms Trying to “Overcome” Alice

    The United States continues its gradual crackdown on software patents (which are viewed as abstract and thus unpatentable), whereas in Europe things are murkier than ever



  19. Apple's Patent Wars Against Android/Linux Make Patent Trolls Stronger

    Apple's insistence that designs should be patentable could prove to be collectively expensive, as patent trolls would then use a possible SCOTUS nod to launch litigation campaigns



  20. Links 22/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC3, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Beta

    Links for the day



  21. Links 21/8/2016: Apple and Microsoft Down, Systemd Spreading to Mount

    Links for the day



  22. Links 20/8/2016: Android Domination, FSFE summit 2016

    Links for the day



  23. Patents Roundup: Trolls Dominate Litigation, PTAB Crushes Patents, Patent Box Regime Persists, and OIN Explains Itself

    Another roundup of patent news from around the Web with special focus on software patenting



  24. The Cost/Toll of the 'New' EPO and Where All That Money Goes or Comes From

    The European Patent Office has become a servant of the rich and powerful (including large foreign corporations) and even its own employees now pay the price associated with misguided new policies (or 'reforms' as Battistelli habitually refers to these)



  25. Links 19/8/2016: Linux Mint With KDE, Linux Foundation's PNDA

    Links for the day



  26. The End of an Era at the USPTO as Battistelli-Like (EPO) Granting Policies Are Over

    The United States is seeing the potency of patents -- especially software patents (which make up much of the country's troll cases) -- challenged by courts and by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)



  27. Battistelli's European Patent Office Goes to the United States to Speak About the UPC and Software Patents

    The European Patent Office is showing its utter contempt -- not just disregard -- for the very fundamental rules that put it in its place and brought it into existence



  28. Turkey Subjected to the European Patent Convention (EPC) But Benoît Battistelli is Not?

    The ‘constitutional crisis’ at the European Patent Office in the context of Turkey, which has signed "the EPC and as such recognises the competence and the decisions of the institutions which have been introduced in the convention."



  29. Links 18/8/2016: EFF Slams Vista 10, Linux Foundation Makes PNDA

    Links for the day



  30. Links 17/8/2016: GNOME and Debian Anniversaries

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts