Bill Gates Pays League of Education Voters, Stand for Children for Lobbying, Wolfram for Self-Serving ‘Study’
Summary: A look at the machinations of Bill Gates in education, or rather, the privatisation of the education system
Teachers in Seattle, essentially neighbours of Mr. Gates, are very upset and they have a popular blog where they express their anger towards Gates’ tyranny in education:
To follow is the strategy that the folks who are basically paid for by Bill Gates are planning to do in January to take over our public school system. The organizations that will represent the 1% are the League of Education Voters(LEV) led by Chris Korsmo and Kelly Munn, Stand for Children (SFC), the Excellent Schools Now Coalition (a brand new astro turf organization) and unfortunately, the Washington State PTA that has lost its’ way under the tutelage of LEV and SFC and with loads of money from Bill Gates and Boeing.
Boeing and Microsoft have been funding LEV and working with them on two “megabills” as they are termed by Korsmo of LEV. When I say “working with them”, I mean that Microsoft and Boeing are lending them their “corporate lobbying power” (LEV’s term, not mine) for the bills that will be put forth by certain legislative representatives. Keep in mind that the two school board members who were able to hold onto their positions in the last school board election in Seattle, Harium and Carr, both are employees of Boeing. I am not implying that they will consciously go with what their employer is spending major cash and “man hours” on, but it can be a psychological influence, so I would watch for that and remind them that they are to be representing the rest of us and not the 1%.
The Nation has a massive article titled “How Online Learning Companies Bought America’s Schools”. Gates is mentioned too:
But Levesque wasn’t delivering her hardball advice to her lobbying clients. She was giving it to a group of education philanthropists at a conference sponsored by notable charities like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. Indeed, Levesque serves at the helm of two education charities, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a national organization, and the Foundation for Florida’s Future, a state-specific nonprofit, both of which are chaired by Jeb Bush. A press release from her national group says that it fights to “advance policies that will create a high quality digital learning environment.”
Like other digital reform advocates, the Bush nonprofit is also supported by Microsoft founder Bill Gates’s foundation. The fact that a nonprofit that receives funding from both the Gates Foundation and Microsoft pressures states to adopt for-profit education reforms may raise red flags with some in the philanthropy community, as Microsoft, too, has moved into the education field. The company has tapped into the K-12 privatization expansion by supplying a range of products, from traditional Windows programs to servers and online coursework platforms. It also contracts with Florida Virtual School to provide cloud computer solutions. Similarly, Dell is seeking new opportunities in the K-12 market for its range of desktop products, while the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, the charitable nonprofit founded by Dell’s CEO, promotes neoliberal education reforms.
This new study released in Friday’s news dump, entitled “Charter-School Management Organization: Diverse Strategies and Diverse Student Impacts,” has more bad news for school privatizers who prefer the charter route. Even though a swarm of urban school colonizers from Gates, Walton, and the New Schools Venture Fund helped set up the parameters for this study in order to get the most favorable outcome, and even though the Gates “research” hothouse, the Center for Reinventing Public Education co-authored the study, there’s enough bad news for charter proponents that mirrors years of previous research on charters that this study, too, has been ignored by the corporate media. Ed Week had a piece on the new study entitled “Academic Gains Vary Widely for Charter Networks,” and Time had a pre-release gloss by corporate spinner extraordinaire, Andy Rotherham. That was it for coverage, except for a misleading and dissembling press release by Jim Peyser at the New Schools Venture Fund. And only one of the national charter school associations offered a press release on this big event. And most telling, the Gates “research” hothouse that co-authored the study, the Center for Reinventing Public Education, does not even mention it anywhere on its website. Shhhh.
Mathematica led the study, and as their Press Release indicates, the study “was commissioned by NewSchools Venture Fund, with the generous support of the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation.” An undisclosed number of the sludge-tank “thought leaders,” including Andy Rotherham, carefully set up the parameters for the sample to pump the corporate welfare Charter Management Organizations (CMOs). These are the corporate non-profit tax sponges preferred by the vulture philanthropy movement.
This is the sort of ‘study’ that the lobbyists — groups like League of Education Voters and Stand for Children — use as ammunition later on when they strive to change policy for their paymasters. █