My last posts tied the Charter Schools of Louisiana and across the country, whether they be private, public, or foundation funded, voucher funded, etc. to the re-segregation of America’s schools.
While at the Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action on July 28-30, 2011, I spoke with 100’s of teachers, parents, administrators, school board members, and education leaders across the nation. They all said the same thing about Washington State:
“At least Washington State has escaped
the whole ‘Charter School’ thing!”
Well, I’ve got news for you Washington State and the rest of you states who have narrowly escaped RTTT bribes and the charter school take-over to date. The Gates Foundation is about to change the landscape of education here unless we stop them!
Yesterday, the news was out in the Seattle Times: Gates Foundation pours funds into educational advocacy groups…by Linda Shaw. Doesn’t that headline sound benign, one intended to give you all a warm fuzzy feeling? Doesn’t that headline paint the big picture: Bill and Melinda Gates standing on the pedestal accepting the Nobel Prize and accolades of credit from children, parents, and teachers across the country? Nothing could be further from the truth!
Dig into Shaw’s article a little deeper and she will hint at the truth, but why is the man behind the curtain not completely unmasked here in Seattle as we in Washington state become the great experiment in the Gates Foundation’s petri dish of horrors?
I would argue that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have become their own “A.L.E.C.” – but that will be a topic for another blog. For now, let’s look at how yesterday’s news creates the beginning of the end for integration in Washington State and across the country.
“The Seattle-based foundation is a powerful player in public education. It underwrites groups pushing to change, bankrolls projects and helps out-of-state organizations establish themselves here.”
The foundations and organizations that the Gates Foundation is promoting this time are three: The League of Education Voters, the Partnership for Learning, and Stand for Children. Let’s look at these three players to see what they are REALLY promoting for education.
The League of Education Voters: Who are they? What do they stand for?
“The League of Education Voters works to create an educational system in which every student has an equal and adequate opportunity to succeed in college, work, and in life….
Citizen-founded and citizen-funded, LEV is the only Washington-based organization working to improve education from early learning through higher education….
Sounds like a grass-roots organization on the surface, but now the Gates Foundation is bankrolling them. Why is this important? Because now that Gates is bankrolling them, suddenly a question appears on their website: Beginning the Conversation About Public Charter Schools.
Partnership for Learning: First of all, let’s look at their board. See any educators? Again, we have corporations working to set education policy without any background on what good education consists of for the very people who are the stakeholders. Here you can see that this organization has a key initiative to promote Obama’s Race to the Top #3. Race to the Top funding is only provided to states that buy into Charter Schools. Here is Partnership for Learning’s Mission Statement:
“Our goal is for Washington state to lead the nation with an education system that prepares all students to succeed in college and work and fosters our state’s economic competitiveness. Partnership for Learning (PFL) is focused on ensuring all students graduate from high school ready for college and work and doubling the number of low-income students who earn post secondary degrees or certificates.” ~ Partnership for Learning, Mission Statement, Dateline: January 11, 2010, 1:50 pm
Again, this organization sounds benign and all about equity, doesn’t it? And of course, somehow magically this language is about to appear in Arne Duncan and Obama’s new and improved Race to the Top #3! Dig a little deeper and in their brochure they are promoting public charter schools:
“Supporting the expansion of high-performing public charter schools…”, see top left of page 4 of Partnership for Learning Brochure
Finally, Stand for Children, is the other bankrolled ‘education advocacy group’ Gates is funding . What a lovely movie in your mind the very propaganda of their name promotes! Anyone would want to get behind this cause NOW, wouldn’t they?
Stand for Children is really Stand for Corporations in disguise!
Stand for Children is a Union-busting Thug! That will be another topic for another day…
TeacherKen, author of The Daily Kos, shares a now widely circulated video showing Stand for Children’s connection to A.L.E.C., the American Legislative Exchange Council. This secret society of corporations forms legislation, votes on it, then presents it in multiples to prevent their opponents from blocking all of it at once, insuring some of their bills survive and pass. Does that tie the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to this organization now? I think Bill Gates is his own A.L.E.C., myself!
This “advocacy group” has been worming their way into school boards across Washington state, even going so far as to demand being part of collective bargaining to stand BETWEEN districts and teacher unions, as if they have such a right! Just so you know, Stand for Children is also part of Policy Innovators in Education [PIE] and Excellent Schools Now [ESN]. I draw these connections as I want you all to BEWARE of these links to Stand, as they call themselves. Here’s a little bit from Stand’s website:
“Stand for Children is an innovative, citizen-led advocacy organization of parents, educators and concerned citizens committed to improving schools for all 1 million k-12 students in Washington”.
Translation: We accept mega corporations bank rolls to push through legislation, lobbying with unlimited funds until we get what we want. Here is what they say on their one page document:
“Generous financial support comes from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Seattle Foundation, many individual donors including Connie Ballmer, Judy Bigelow, Judy Bushnell, Bill Clapp, David Nierenberg as well as dues from our 400 members.”
WaKIDS Funded by Stand for Children’s advocacy:
Translation: WaKids is a program that again, on the face of it sounds good. It has been bankrolled by Bill Gates that comes with a price: Pre-K and kindergarten standardized testing at the beginning of the year when it is critical to form relationships and establish routines with the children in the teacher’s class. Teachers in many districts are piloting this program, being asked to do home visits of 1 hour each per student with no extra monetary compensation.
“We fearlessly challenge the status quo in pursuit of solutions that help children thrive.”
Translation: Union Busting , Charter Schools, and more standardized testing tied to teacher evaluations. Stand for Children has attempted to force themselves into bargaining against teachers’ unions in the Bellevue School District. Fortunately, they failed. This was not Stand’s first attempt at Union busting. In Fred Klonsky’s blog in February 2011, he wrote:
“In Illinois the IEA leadership, in the face of the assault by Stand for Children and other anti-union political action groups, has said we must draw the line on retaining the right to strike. They have proposed a counter proposal that has conceded on everything else, from tenure and seniority to teacher evaluation.” ~ Fred Klonsky
Dwayne Truss wrote in April, 2011 on his blog, Austin Talks about the stealth work being done by Stand for Children:
“Before I go further, please understand that I am a Kool-Aid drinking supporter of unions, but those that know me know that I will support policies and legislation that makes sense for educating African-American children, unions be damned; however, billionaires and corporations are again vilifying unions through its’ front organization, Stand for Children.”
Stand for Children again claims to work for equity for ALL students, including minorities in the cause for civil rights as you can see in their statement below:
“Ensuring equity of opportunity for all children is a tremendous challenge. Even states that provide excellent public education suffer from unacceptable achievement gaps between white and minority students. Providing equal opportunity for all children is today’s civil rights struggle, a moral imperative we cannot and will not ignore.
On June 1, 1996, 300,000 citizens came to Washington, D.C., for Stand for Children Day, the largest rally for children in U.S. history. Mrs. Rosa Parks, civil rights movement icon, made a statement that challenged the nation to commit themselves to improving the lives of children, saying, “If I can sit down for justice, you can stand up for children.”“
Makes it sound GREAT, doesn’t it?
Translation: Their agenda is Charter Schools and once again, we are going right back to the problem. Charter Schools are acting as agents to re-segregate America’s schools by race and class. The model written and dreamed about by Milton Friedman is growing at an exponentially alarming rate across our country.
“Stand for Children will support the expansion of high-performing charter schools, greater opportunities to share best practices between different successful school models, and emerging collaborative models of school districts and high-performing charter schools and charter school management organizations.” ~ Stand for Children 2011 Legislative Summary
Seems unbelievable, almost surreal, doesn’t it? No, it could never happen in such a traditionally democratic state where special education was spawned by 2 parent advocates for their children….could it? Well take a long look into the future folks because here is lies the next Louisiana. Substance News reported today about this exact subject in their report:
Our Gated Schools: New Orleans is the only city in the nation where neighborhood children do not have a right to attend any of their open-enrollment neighborhood schools
“What is so unfortunate for the children and parents is that the charter school model was sold to them as an inclusive entity, when in reality it is an exclusive entity that selects students just like magnet schools or any other private selective admission school. As a result of the BESE board decision, charter schools have become “Gated Public Schools” for thousands of children.” ~ Raynard Sanders, Ed.D.
These are dangerous times and the zombie elites and faux-do-gooders are feeding off the flesh of humanity. The soft-warm-fuzzy-feel-good language of the Gates Foundation, the Friedman Foundation, and these 3 ‘education advocacy groups’ that hide their corporate claws behind a title called ‘grass roots’ is dangerous to the very fiber of our democracy and civil rights earned by blood in our country!
Do not be fooled by the Zombie Elites and grave-diggers of modern times, for once they devour the public sector, they quickly dig the graves for equity, ending integration by class and race all over our land.