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11.28.13

Convicted Monopolist Near Our Children

Posted in Bill Gates at 4:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: White-collar criminals controlling schools not a smart idea, neither in theory nor in practice

THE Gates Foundation, a worldwide lobbying organisation, seeks to commercialise schools like Microsoft commercialised information, putting profit before knowledge and depriving many from access to knowledge/source code or even to choice. This is a serious issue here in the UK and fortunately a lot of writers are catching up, gradually realising the seriousness of the matter.

A new article titled “Bill Gates Imposes Microsoft Model on School Reform: Only to Have the Company Junk It After It Failed” came from AlterNet a few days ago. This author says that “New school systems are stuck with a model designed to trash teachers, while Microsoft employees collaborate and work on teams.”

The author explains: “Using hundred of millions of dollars in philanthropic largesse, Bill Gates persuaded state and federal policymakers that what was good for Microsoft would be good for the public schools system (to be sure, he was pushing against an open door). To be eligible for large grants from President Obama’s Race to the Top program, for example, states had to adopt Gates’ Darwinian approach to improving public education. Today more than 36 states have altered their teacher evaluations systems with the aim of weeding out the worst and rewarding the best.

“Some states grade on a curve. Others do not. But all embrace the principle that teachers continuing employment will depend on improvement in student test scores, and teachers who are graded “ineffective” two or three years in a row face termination.”

This is a vision of businesspeople; it’s not compatible with services. As the author concludes: “Big business can turn on a dime when the CEO orders it to do so. But changing policies embraced and internalized by dozens of states and thousands of public school districts will take far, far longer. This means the legacy of Bill Gates will continue to handicap millions of students and hundreds of thousands of teachers even as the company Gates founded, along with many other businesses, has thrown his pernicious performance model in the dustbin of history.”

We have already explained how Gates profits from this privatisation of schools. It’s all about self interest, it’s not about benefiting teachers and students.

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