Happy Mother’s Day Melinda Gates, Mommie Dearest

Joan Crawford: Did you scrub the bathroom floor today? DID YOU?
Christina Crawford: Yes, Mommie.
Joan Crawford: Yes, Mommie what?
Christina Crawford: Yes, Mommie Dearest.
Joan Crawford: When I told you to call me that, I wanted you to mean it. ~  IMDb Mommie Dearest 

In honor of Mother’s Day, please join me in wishing Melinda Gates, Mommie Dearest a Happy Mother’s Day.


Melinda’s Family: Husband: Bill Gates, married 18 years; Kids: Jennifer, 16, Rory, 13, Phoebe, 10

(photo: Parent DishAmazing Mom, Melinda Gates, May 9th, 2010.)

Mommie Dearest, you SAY that “All lives have equal value.”  

We’re a bit confused because we’re not seeing your actions match your words…

We don’t understand why you’re not advocating and using your  influence to make sure our children get the same opportunities yours do…

Lakeside School – Seattle, WA

“The lawn is meticulously manicured, as if the groundskeeper’s tools include a cuticle scissors. Classic brick buildings, a bell tolling the hour and concrete lion statues almost convince me that I’m at an East Coast college. But this is Lakeside School in Northeast Seattle.” ~ Linda Thomas,  Private vs Public Education

Melinda and Bill send their children to Lakeside Prep School, Bill’s alma mater.  Lakeside sounds like the perfect place to send ALL children, as it is touted as one of the “Best Schools in Seattle“.

Lakeside School

  • “In addition to being well known as Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ alma mater, Lakeside School is also known in the area for its rigorous academic standards, resulting in 100 percent of it graduates in 2005 going onto a four-year college, as well as a consistent 40 to 50 percent of its seniors being recognized as National Merit Scholars. The required curriculum includes four years of English, three years of history, math and a foreign language, two and a half years of science, and two years of art and physical education. In addition to the required curriculum, students must also complete 80 hours of community service. Students are free to choose from a range of selective academic courses and with average class sizes limited to 16, students get plenty of individual attention.”

    Lakeside School
    14050 First Avenue N.E.
    Seattle, WA 98125
    206-368-3600
    lakesideschool.org

Read more: The Best Schools in the Seattle, Washington Area | eHow.comhttp://www.ehow.com/list_6157180_schools-seattle_-washington-area.html#ixzz1ulqxWMQ6

Let’s hear from Lakeside Prep School itself, about what it offers to the Gates children:

“Lakeside’s mission is to develop in intellectually capable young people the creative minds, healthy bodies, and ethical spirits that will contribute wisdom, compassion, and leadership to our global society. This informs everything we do and we nurture in our students a love of learning, a caring for others, and an understanding of the importance of living a life of integrity.

 

Our students are scholars; athletes; artists; musicians; community service volunteers; fundraisers; and much, much more. They are curious, active and engaged. They have an appreciation for excellence in whatever they do and a commitment to take part in their own learning. Ninety percent of them play at least one season of a varsity sport and just as many participate in our arts programs long after fulfilling their arts requirement!

 

The faculty and staff at Lakeside are dynamic and talented educators who are passionate about their work. When I meet with Lakeside students throughout the year, I always ask what they think the best part of a Lakeside School education is and they always reply, “My teachers, my coaches, and my friends.”

 

Working in small, collaborative classes, our teachers help students learn how to think, write, and speak thoughtfully about topics that range from organic chemistry to African literature in the Diaspora. We believe that academic excellence and diversity go hand in hand in the 21st century. Students here find peers from every background and every walk of life in every classroom. We recognize and celebrate the unique talents that each brings and we want the widest possible range of perspectives represented in every discussion.

 

I encourage you to learn more about this wonderful place. And, if you’re not already, I hope one day to see you as a part of the Lakeside School community!”

What about the academics at Lakeside?

“Lakeside’s 5th- to 12th-grade student-centered academic program focuses on the relationships between talented students and capable and caring teachers. We develop and nurture students’ passions and abilities and ensure every student feels known. 

The cultural and economic diversity of our community, the teaching styles, and the approaches to learning are all essential to Lakeside academics. We believe that in today’s global world, our students need to know more than one culture, one history, and one language. 

Each student’s curiosities and capabilities lead them to unique academic challenges that are sustained through a culture of support and encouragement. All students will find opportunities to discover and develop a passion; to hone the skills of writing, thinking, and speaking; and to interact with the world both on and off campus. Lakeside trusts that each student has effective ideas about how to maximize his or her own education, and that they will positively contribute to our vibrant learning community.”  ~ Lakeside School Academic Overview

What mother wouldn’t love to offer her children the educational experience provided by Lakeside Prep?

So, I have some special Mother’s Day questions for Melinda, dearest.

Melinda’s opened herself up to this conversation by heading the very public foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, that meddles in our children’s lives.

Melinda, dearest invites us into this conversation by exerting her monetary influence over PBS News Hour’s program “Ask Melinda Gates Your Question About Education Reform“.

PBS News Hour introduced Melinda and admits their Gates Foundation funds their programming.  Could that be why they didn’t post my questions to Melinda through the screening moderator, I wonder?

“Since 1994, the foundation has spent over $6 billion in the United States, looking at data-proven ways to improve student achievement and often jumping into controversial policy debates such as smaller schools in New York City, charter schools, high-stakes testing and teacher evaluation systems around the country.

While the amount of money spent on education that comes from private foundations is small compared to what comes from local taxes, state and federal governments, the foundation’s research and advocacy has become integral to the passionate debates about the future of the American education system.

Next week, Melinda Gates will sit down with PBS NewsHour Correspondent Hari Sreenivasan to talk about the Gates Foundation’s work in the field of education and we’d like to hear your suggestions.

Do you have a question for Melinda Gates about the projects they’ve funded, lessons learned, their priorities and where they plan to focus their funding in the future? Send us your questions in the comments below or tweet them to@newshouramgrad.

For the record, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is an underwriter of the NewsHour and the American Graduate project.”

Since PBS News Hour wouldn’t publish my questions for Melinda, I’ll ask them here:

Melinda – as the richest MOTHER in the world, you wield an enormous amount of power and influence.   Today I have some questions about your commitment to the very public motto of  your Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  The Gates Foundation motto is:

All Lives Have Equal Value

Melinda, dearest:

If all lives have equal value, then why does the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation fund Charter Schools that segregate children by race, selecting OUT and CULLING the nation’s children of color?

If all lives have equal value, then why does the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation tout itself as working for Civil Rights, but does not discuss the ugly racist roots of the history of the Charter Schools it funds and promotes?

If all lives have equal value, then why does the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation fund Charter Schools that segregate children by socio-economic class, selecting OUT  and CULLING the children who are the nation’s poorest?

If all lives have equal value, then why does the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation fund Charter Schools that segregate children by ability, selecting OUT and CULLING the children with special needs?

If all lives have equal value, then why do Bill and Melinda Gates send their children to Lakeside School where their own children do not need to be subjected to the same rigorous high stakes testing that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with their “authoritarian standards” foist on our public school children? (See “print screen” when I searched Lakeside School for “high stakes testing”…)

If all lives have equal value, then why do Bill and Melinda Gates send their children to Lakeside School where their teachers are not subjected to published test rankings that the Gates and  Rupert Murdoch use to humiliate, measure, sort, and CULL public school teachers with through their Shared Learning Collaborative, LLC?

If all lives have equal value, then why do  Bill and Melinda Gates send their children to Lakeside School where they are offered “Global Programs” that send them on trips around the world, while public school children, due to budget cuts, are relegated to schools that more often than not can’t even begin to fund a field trip to the local zoo?

OUR ROLE IN THE WORLD BEYOND OUR DOORS

“Lakeside’s Global Programs introduce our students to the world beyond their doors, fostering cultural awareness and responsible global citizenry. 

Global Service Learning (GSL) is Lakeside’s leading-edge program designed to help students prepare for the challenges of the 21st century. It equips them with the tools they need to meet a more interconnected world, nurturing the values of mutual respect, cross-cultural understanding, equity, and justice. 

The Lakeside Intercultural Program (LIP) has been bringing students to countries across the globe for over 20 years. LIP  often ties travel directly to classroom work and the trips are led by Lakeside teachers. All travel immerses students in life changing experiences that broaden and enhance their vision of the world. 

Students can study abroad during their junior year of high school through School Year Abroad (SYA). If they apply in the winter of their sophomore year, they can spend their junior year in Spain, France, Italy, China, Japan or Vietnam.

Lakeside is currently developing a Peru Semester program in a rural Andean village located in the Sacred Valley near Cusco and Machu Picchu. Students, in their junior year, will engage in academic, cultural, and service learning experiences while living with home stay families. The program includes significant educational field trips which provide students with opportunities to study other parts of Peru. This program is projected to start in Fall 2013.” – Lakeside School Global Programs

If all lives have equal value, then why do  Bill and Melinda Gates send their children to Lakeside School where they don’t need to comply with the almighty mandates of Common Core State Standards that Gates partnered on with Pearson Publishing, promoting them for ALL of America’s public school children?  One link when searched at Lakeside Melinda, really?

If all lives have equal value, then why do  Bill and Melinda Gates send their children to Lakeside School where they are offered extensive programming in ALL of the arts (arts performances 30 +), while the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation advocates for a narrowed curriculum for our children, based on their promotion of standardized testing and Common Core curriculum?

If all lives have equal value, then shouldn’t public schools with the highest rates of poverty have equal access to the arts, equal to the programs offered at Lakeside School, Melinda?

In a report on Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, 1999-2000, findings were reported by the National Center for Education Statistics:

“Percentage minority enrollment and poverty concentration. Although the percentages of elementary schools offering instruction in music and visual arts did not vary by minority enrollment or poverty concentration in 1999, elementary schools did vary by percentages of minority enrollment and poverty concentration with respect to several features of their arts education programs. Schools with the lowest minority enrollment (5 percent or less) were more likely than those with the highest minority enrollment (more than 50 percent) to have a dedicated room with special equipment for music instruction (71 percent versus 53 percent) and a district curriculum guide for music (87 percent versus 71 percent). Schools with the lowest poverty concentration (less than 35 percent eligible for free or reduced-price lunch) were more likely than those with the highest poverty concentration (75 percent or more) to have a dedicated room with special equipment for music instruction (70 percent versus 51 percent) and visual arts instruction (65 percent versus 42 percent); a district curriculum guide for music (88 percent versus 73 percent) and visual arts (84 percent versus 70 percent); and input from arts specialists on staff hiring (43 percent versus 21 percent), the curriculum (75 percent versus 50 percent), and the allocation of arts funds (62 percent versus 40 percent).

There was not a great deal of variation at the secondary level by percentage minority enrollment and poverty concentration. Secondary schools with the lowest minority enrollment were more likely than schools with the highest minority enrollment to receive outside funding for their music programs (56 percent versus 33 percent) and to have two or more full-time teachers who taught courses in visual arts (54 percent versus 23 percent). Schools with the lowest poverty concentration were more likely than those with the highest poverty concentration to receive outside funding for their music programs (54 percent versus 23 percent), and to have a dedicated space with special equipment for visual arts. There was no variation by either minority enrollment or poverty concentration with respect to the availability of music and visual arts instruction.

If all lives have equal value, Melinda dearest, then why does the Lakeside School have hydrotherapy spa units for their sports program students, yet public school sports programs face huge budget cuts due to increased costs incurred  to cover implementation of your Common Core State Standards and high stakes testing?

Lakeside School Seattle - Athletics Training Hydrotherapy

If all lives have equal value, then why do  Bill and Melinda Gates, who say that “class size doesn’t matter” , send their own children to Lakeside School where the average public school class size is 16 students?


slide 1

Anthony Cody, a veteran retired Oakland master teacher wrote to your dear husband, Bill earlier on the subject of class size:

“And if you are in a high poverty school, the chances are pretty much 100% that in every class you will have students who are currently experiencing traumatic events in their lives. I am talking about domestic and neighborhood violence, homelessness, eviction, parents incarcerated. As this report indicates, as many as a third of students in our tough neighborhoods suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. These problems all seep into the classroom, sometimes overtly, and sometimes through acting out behaviors. And larger class sizes make these behaviors even more difficult to handle.

This is not just my opinion. There is a large body of research that supports a strong link between class size and student achievement. And I would be very surprised if the private schools your children attend have large class sizes. On average, private schools attended by the children of the wealthy have class sizes roughly half those in neighboring public schools.”  ~  Anthony Cody, via Valerie Strauss, “Why Bill Gates Gets it Wrong on Class Size” (2011)

If all lives have equal value, then why is it that your three children deserve an education valued at $26,200 in tuition each per year, while public school children “deserve” only an average yearly allotment of $10, 591 per student.

Which half of my child deserves an education, Melinda Mommie dearest?

It’s very clear to us what are the standards you have for your children and their education.  

It’s also very clear to us that you really don’t believe that ALL LIVES HAVE EQUAL VALUE… If you did, you’d be working to give “ALL” children a “Lakeside School” experience.

Meanwhile, your investments into the Lakeside School experience could go a long ways in our schools of poverty.  I guess, “money matters”.

Instead, you’re foisting your investments in Common Core and a 20 fold increase in testing on our public schools, per Stephen Krashen —all used  to measure, sort and cull our children — which proves your ACTIONS speak louder than your words, Melinda, dearest.

I would say your declaration that ALL LIVES HAVE EQUAL VALUE is pure propaganda.

Please Melinda, dearest, prove me wrong – make your ACTIONS match your WORDS…



About Teachers'LettersToBillGates

Our mission is to create a dialogue with Bill and Melinda Gates in order to achieve a democratic influence on public education through the voices of education researchers, professors of education, administrators, school board members, professional teachers, parents, students, and community members. We would appreciate Bill and Melinda's feedback and want to influence their education policy and financial decisions by adding democratic voices to create meaningful relevant education for children. View all posts by Teachers'LettersToBillGates

2 responses to “Happy Mother’s Day Melinda Gates, Mommie Dearest

  • Susan

    All lives do NOT have equal value and all people do not have equal opportunities. To say otherwise is utter nonsense. Do you really think that my life, for example, has equal value to President Obama. I think most people would say, no. What Malinda really needs to do is define, value.The mere suggestion that all lives have equal value is naive, at best.

    • livingbehindthegates

      Susan, you are as valuable IMHO as any other human being, but do we all have equal influence over others? You are right – let’s help Melinda define “value”.

      Living Behind the Gates

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