Category Archives: Barack Obama

Good Night and Good Luck: Is Being a Public School Teacher REALLY Un-American, Mr. Gates?

“We will not walk in fear, one of another.”  ~ Edward R. Murrow

“The American education system has never been better, several important measures show. But you’d never know that from reading overheated media reports about “failing” schools and enthusiastic pieces on unproven “reform” efforts.” ~  Paul Farhi, “Flunking the Test”

Mainstream Media Mogul CBS Slams Newark Teacher Unions 

“Good Night and Good Luck”, as a movie, is a study of Edward R. Murrow’s role as a main stream media journalist who confronted a witch hunt brought on by Senator Joe McCarthy, otherwise known as the mass hysteria of McCarthyism.  Edward R. Murrow becomes the protagonist in this story, exposing McCarthyism for the propaganda it spread across America.

My last post “The Cruicible – NYC and the Department of Education’s Mass Hysteria” introduced the topic of the nation’s latest attack on America’s public school teachers.  Bill Gates tries his best to cover his tracks, but his MET Project and his partnership with Rupert Murdoch in their Shared Learning Collaborative, LLC  – their data system that was designed exactly for this Teacher Witch Hunt –  speak the real truth of his involvement.


The mass hysteria created by Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch surrounds public education in a similar way, but there’s something far different today.

Today’s main stream media journalists are bought and paid for by the oligarchy – they  don’t have the courage or integrity to stop this witch-hunting mass hysteria.

Take Fareed Zakaria of CNN in his special “Restoring the American Dream: Fixing Education, for example. Paul Farhi writes in his “Flunking the Test” for American Journalist Review:

“Fareed Zakaria is worried about the state of American education. To hear the CNN host and commentator tell it, the nation’s schools are broken and must be “fixed” to “restore the American dream.” In fact, that was the title of Zakaria’s primetime special in January, “Restoring the American Dream: Fixing Education.”  Zakaria spent an hour thumbing through a catalog of perceived educational woes: high dropout rates, mediocre scores by American students on international tests, inadequate time spent in classrooms, unmotivated teachers and their obstructionist labor unions. “Part of the reason we’re in this crisis is that we have slacked off and allowed our education system to get rigid and sclerotic,” he declared.

This is odd. By many important measures – high school completion rates, college graduation, overall performance on standardized tests – America’s educational attainment has never been higher. Moreover, when it comes to education, sweeping generalizations (“rigid and sclerotic”) are more dangerous than usual.” 

Farhi continues, telling us how Zakaria as a main stream media journalist, adds to the mass hysteria of blaming teachers and their unions for problems that don’t really exist. [my emphasis added]….

“Zakaria’s take, however, may be a perfect distillation of much of what’s wrong with mainstream media coverage of education. The prevailing narrative – and let’s be wary of our own sweeping generalizations here – is that the nation’s educational system is in crisis, that schools are “failing,” that teachers aren’t up to the job and that America’s economic competitiveness is threatened as a result.” 

The 50’s appeared to all who lived through the newly introduced media called Television, to be a simple time.  “Leave It To Beaver” and “Father Knows Best” showed us a world with very few problems, a simpler, innocent time.

But underneath that innocence, a Witch Hunt, the Un-American Activities Committee, McCarthyism,  and a mass hysteria to justify it, had been brewing, starting back in 1938.  People were looking for an answer to the Great Depression.

Then too, unions were demonized as the root of the problem.  

Union members were labeled as “Red”.  Union activities as a “Red Plot”.  Belonging to a union became known as “subversive” and “anti-American”.  All over the country…the friendly witnesses provide the names…the committee gives them to the press and the newspaper headlines tell the public….

In 1947, America was unprepared for what happened in congress when Senator Joe McCarthy began targeting individuals he deemed dangerous to the country.  America watched as one by one, these innocent people were hunted down.   The media was enlisted to help foster the mass hysteria with films, which would run as previews before the feature in movie theaters.   One such troublesome preview was this one:  

“How do you spot a communist?” 

Is America prepared for the devastation that will be the result of Bill Gates’ and Rupert Murdoch’s Teacher Witch Hunts?

The current teacher witch hunts  began in Los Angeles, California, spread to New York City, and are working their way to Chicago.  The mainstream media picks up stories from the outliers, like the New York Post, and then TV coverage brings it home in that VISUALLY EMOTIVE way that the newspapers can’t, just like it did in the 50’s.  Here are some examples via visual main stream media:

In Los Angeles last year, this public shaming proved to be too much to bear for 39 year old teacher, Rigoberto Ruelas, Jr who took his life after his low ranking scores, based on a flawed algorithm, were published for all to see.  Watch this video and read the story, as reported by 7 Live in LA.

“39-year-old Rigoberto Ruelas Jr. taught fifth-graders at Miramonte Elementary School. His body was found Sunday at the foot of a bridge in a remote forest area. An investigation is underway, but authorities believed he made a fatal leap on his own accord.

There’s no official motive in the case, but it’s been reported that he had been upset ever since the LA Times published his district ranking as a “less effective” teacher in its public database of “value-added” ratings.”

Now we have teachers being tried, judged, sentenced, and executed in the court of the Fourth Estate.

When did teaching and due process become “un-American”?  The union bashing of today carries with it a familiar tone, that does not go unnoticed, as seen on Twitter where GatorbonBC question by Diane Ravitch in her blogpost, Why Are Teachers So Upset, on Bridging Differences:

“Teachers in K-12 schools do not have a lifetime guarantee; what they have is a guarantee of due process if someone wants to fire them. The right to a hearing, the right to be presented with evidence against them. When did that become un-American? ~  Diane Ravitch, March 13, 2012 [my emphasis added]

GatorbonBC echoes Diane Ravitch’s recent blog post by saying “Nothing Un-American about Due Process!!”

RT @DianeRavitch http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/2012/03/why_are_teachers_so_upset.html AMEN! Nothing UnAmerican about Due Process !! Ravitch tells it like it is ! Thank You from teachers !

All this union bashing has created a mass climate of fear in teachers.  Many union activists wonder why teachers are so passive.  I believe this comes from years of oppression and the demonization of teachers fostered by the oligarchy.  Fear in teachers seems to have paralyzed unions, keeping them weak in their actions against their enemies.  Teacher Witch Hunts have created a new breed of…
Teacher Inactivists:
Are there other contemporary examples of branding unions and teachers as “un-American”?  What have been some of the other attacks on unions?  Has Bill Gates been involved in any of these attacks?
On 2-11-11, Governor Scott Walker threatened to call out the National Guard to bust unions in Wisconsin.

“Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said Friday that he was willing to mobilize the state’s National Guard force in order to address the potential repercussions of his stated proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for state employees….

There are roughly 175,000 public sector employees – including state and local government workers and teachers – who are union represented in Wisconsin, according to data maintained by Georgia State University professor Barry Hirsch and Trinity University professor David Macpherson. Of those, roughly 39,000 are state employees and more than 106,000 are teachers.” ~   Huffington Post

And in Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder and the legislature tried to take an ax to collective bargaining too.

 “While the nation has been focused on the contretemps in Wisconsin, the Badger State’s neighboring Wolverines have taken a more novel approach in the effort to defang its public employee unions.

A bill that is expected to pass the Michigan Senate today will give the state’s treasurer the ability to appoint emergency financial managers with broad powers to take over the operation of cities and school boards facing a financial crisis.

Not only can an emergency manager wipe out collective bargaining agreements, he or she can literally push aside duly elected city officials and prevent them from doing the job they were elected to do.” ~ Rick UngarUnion Busting: Michigan Style, Forbes March 9, 2011: 

 Bill Gates addressed the The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools in June 2010.
Not only did Bill Gates speak at the Chicago meeting (the speech below was delivered on June 29, 2010) but Bill Gates set the tone for the teacher bashing, union busting and privatization agenda with his main speech there.  ~  John Kugler, Substance News 2010
On ABC in March 2011, Gates compared teachers to Enron in this ABC piece,Bill Gates Criticized Long Held Norms in America’s Education System” here.
Has the press done its job in reporting the truth?  Or has it just become the creature of Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, Mayor Bloomberg, Arne Duncan, and the other Corporate EdDeFormers?
In her blog, linked above, Diane writes:
“But they are also feeling the chill wind stirred up by Arne Duncan’s Race to the Top, which demands that teachers must be evaluated in some degree by the test scores of their students. In many states, those evaluations are as much as 50 percent, and that 50 percent trumps the other 50 percent. Teachers know, almost instinctively, that this is misguided, and Linda Darling-Hammond’s recent Commentary in Education Week shows that this is a flawed idea with no support in research. The debacle in New York City, where teachers were ranked according to their value-added rating, showed what a misleading and pernicious tool this is, and how many teachers will be wrongly labeled and publicly humiliated.” ~  Diane Ravitch
Going back to American Journalism Review, “Flunking the Test”, Paul Farhi writes:
“What or who was responsible for the poorest performing schools? Quite often, news media accounts have pointed the finger at a single culprit – teachers. In late 2008, Time magazine featured the District of Columbia’s then-School Chancellor Michelle Rhee on its cover wielding a broom to symbolize her desire to sweep out underperforming instructors. The magazine endorsed her approach not just as prudent but as scientific: “The biggest problem with U.S. public schools is ineffective teaching,” wrote reporter Amanda Ripley, citing “decades of research.” This view – a favorite of wealthy education “reformers” such as Bill Gates and real estate developer Eli Broad – was also a theme in the critically adored documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman,” which featured Rhee.”

Michelle Rhee and her StudentsFirst.org ran a “Six Word Essay Contest” 
for teachers to win a free iPad.
The winning essay was
“I’ll remember her fifty years later.”, 
by Cullen, from Indiana.  
I’ll bet the students whose mouths were taped shut certainly will…remember Rhee 50 years later!
Score one for the truth tellers of journalism, as The New York Times did actually report on a small fraction of the truth about Michelle Rhee.  Rhee was a Teach for America teacher and later became Chancellor of DC schools. Rhee is currently under federal investigation for her role in the DC cheating scandal.  But why doesn’t the mainstream media cover the WHOLE truth about Rhee, who admittedly taped her students mouths shut to keep them quiet?
  • Why would DC hire her as Chancellor knowing she taped students mouths shut to keep them quiet?
  • Who was involved in getting her hired?
  • Why did it take so long for Rhee’s “conspiracy of silence” in DC to break?
  • Why would Arne Duncan share the stage with someone he is investigating?
  •  How does Rhee survive all this scandal?
  • Why are her opinions still accepted as “expert” and used in mainstream media education ‘reform’ programming?
Oakland teacher Adam Bessie writes for Truthout:
“What’s wrong with the school system, according to corporate reformers, is the bad teachers, their unions and “special interests,” as Rhee claims practically unchallenged in her Newsweek cover story and across the corporate media, including in “Waiting for Superman,” which earned ample air time on Oprah’s “Shocking State of Our Schools.” The corporate media has adopted this diagnosis, as is best illustrated in Tom Brokaw’s segment in “Education Nation,” an NBC special applauding the corporate reformers featuring Rhee and Gates (Gates also appeared in “Waiting for Superman”). The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was also one of the sponsors of Education Nation, and Gates was a star of his own show. Not surprisingly, Brokaw – a reporter, not a pundit – claims, as fact, that there is a “teacher establishment,” which is part of the problem, echoing Rhee and other corporate reformers sponsoring the event.” ~  Adam Bessie, “Let’s Not ‘Reform’ Public Education, Truthout [2010]
Just how deeply are these Corporate EdDeFormers involved in the mainstream media?  Are the nations’ teachers doomed to be the victims of this 21st Century version of  McCarthyism?

“During its first “Education Nation” summit in 2010, for example, “NBC Nightly News” aired a profile of a Gates Foundation initiative, “Measures of Effective Teaching,” which seeks to create a database of effective teaching methods. The reporter was former NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw. During the second summit last fall, Brokaw showed up on “Today” with Melinda Gates to discuss the same Gates initiative. Turning from reporter to advocate, Brokaw told host Natalie Morales, “So what Bill and Melinda have done, and it’s a great credit to them, and it’s a great gift to this country, is that they have taken the kind of episodic values that we know about teaching and they’ve put them together in a way that everyone can learn from them. So that’s a big, big step.”

Brokaw also put his gravitas behind Gates and other billionaire education reformers in a syndicated column that appeared in newspapers during the NBC summit in 2011, writing that “Entrepreneurs and captains of industry such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, home building tycoon Eli Broad, hedge fund billionaires in New York’s Robin Hood Foundation, have put education reform and excellence at the top of their personal and financial agenda.” Brokaw didn’t mention the objections to these “reforms” from teachers, nor ask why billionaires should be accorded expert status on education policy in the first place.

(An NBC spokeswoman declined to make Brokaw and Ellis available for comment, saying that the story sounded “negative.”)

NBC News does more than just report on the “reform” movement; it’s also in business with those who are promoting it. Among the corporate sponsors of its “Education Nation” summits are the for-profit education company University of Phoenix, the book publisher Scholastic Inc. and…the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Remember that Aspen Institute study showing broad public awareness of NBC’s “Education Nation” efforts?  It was funded by the Gates Foundation.

Capus says such a relationship doesn’t pose a conflict of interest for the network’s journalists because an editorial “firewall” prohibits sponsors from influencing coverage. Nevertheless, representatives of each of these sponsors, including Melinda Gates and Scholastic Senior Vice President Francie Alexander, have appeared repeatedly on “Today” and “NBC Nightly News” to discuss various education proposals and ideas (their financial connection to NBC News has never been disclosed on the air, according to a Nexis search). Meghan Pianta, an NBC spokeswoman, defended using the billionaire couple as a news source because of their “prominence and importance in the education debate.” ~  Paul Farhi, “Flunking the Test”, American Journalism Review [2012] [emphasis added]

As Diane Ravitch says: 

There is a word for this kind of anti-democratic collaboration between business and government, but we haven’t used it much since the 1940s: fascism.” – Diane Ravitch
Do journalists owe us the truth?  The Society of Professional Journalists appears to think so, with its members taking  this voluntary oath:

Seek Truth and Report It”


Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Journalists should:

— Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
— Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.
— Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability.
— Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.
— Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
— Never distort the content of news photos or video. Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.
— Avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events. If re-enactment is necessary to tell a story, label it.
— Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story
— Never plagiarize.
— Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.
— Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.
— Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.
— Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
— Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.
— Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.
— Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.
— Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.

In the 50’s Edward R. Murrow and his crew took a risk.  Although Murrow was on CBS’s payroll, he did not have CBS’s blessings when he exposed McCarthy. 

 

Here is a synopsis of how Murrow and “Murrow’s Boys” took down Senator Joe McCarthy, despite the disapproval of his network, CBS.

“Murrow’s love of common America led him to seek out stories of ordinary people. He presented their stories in such a way that they often became powerful commentaries on political or social issues. See It Nowconsistently broke new ground in the burgeoning field of television journalism. In 1953, Murrow made the decision to investigate the case of Milo Radulovich. Radulovich had been discharged from the Air Force on the grounds that his mother and sister were communist sympathizers. The program outlined the elements of the case, casting doubt on the Air Force’s decision, and within a short while, Milo Radulovich had been reinstated. This one edition of See It Now marked a change in the face of American journalism and a new age in American politics.

Soon after the Milo Radulovich program aired, it was learned that Senator Joseph McCarthy was preparing an attack on Murrow. As it happened, Murrow himself had been collecting material about McCarthy and his Senate Investigating Committee for several years, and he began assembling the program. Broadcast on March 9, 1954, the program, composed almost entirely of McCarthy’s own words and pictures, was a damning portrait of a fanatic. McCarthy demanded a chance to respond, but his rebuttal, in which he referred to Murrow as “the leader of the jackal pack,” only sealed his fate. The combination of the program’s timing and its persuasive power broke the Senator’s hold over the nation. The entire fiasco, however, caused a rift with CBS, and they decided to discontinue See It Now.

By 1961 tensions had become irreparable between Murrow and CBS and he accepted an appointment from President Kennedy as the head of the United States Information Agency.”  ~  PBS, American Masters – Edward R. Murrow, This Reporter

I would love to challenge one of today’s corporate mainstream media’s “journalists” to be as courageous.

Unfortunately, it seems most of our mainstream journalists are bought and paid for, and will tell us ONLY what their corporate owners want us to see, hear, and feel.

Research confirms that poverty is the real issue behind any academic achievement gap existing in the US and elsewhere. Instead of highlighting this fact,  the mainstream media sweeps it under the rug and focuses instead on the constant demonizations of teachers and their unions.

Yet NBC and “Education Nation” have rarely looked closely at the effect of poverty and class, the single greatest variable in educational achievement.  Academic research has shown for many years that poor children, or those born to parents who are poorly educated themselves, don’t do as well in school as better-off students.  More recent work by, among others, Sean F. Reardon of Stanford University, suggests that the achievement gap between rich and poor children has grown wider since the 1960s, reflecting in part the nation’s growing economic disparity.  The problem is vast – some 22 percent of American children live in poverty, the highest among Western democracies.” ~ Paul Farhi [emphasis added]

Remember, Bill and Melinda Gates’  message via their Gates Foundation tagline?  It’s clear their proposition that “All Lives Have Equal Value” is pure propaganda, as Teri Yamada points out when she writes about their partners, Pearson Publishing in “Blood Money:  Pearson’s Profit”.

“Meanwhile, nearly 15 million children in the United States live below the federal poverty level; one-third of all Hispanic children now live in poverty here.  Shouldn’t the cultural focus of the Gates Foundation and friends be a war against poverty instead of a war against teachers and public education?”   ~  Teri YamadaBlood Money:  Pearson’s Profit  ~ , October 2011 [emphasis added]

How is Bill Gates able to control the message delivered by the “mainstream media” in his attempt to destroy public education? 

Ventures in Media

“On October 7 and 8, 2010, the Columbia Journalism Review ran a two-part investigation by Robert Fortner into “the implications of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s increasingly large and complex web of media partnerships.” The report focused on the foundation’s grants to the PBS Newshour, ABC News, and the British newspaper the Guardian for reporting on global health. Of course, all three grantees claim to have “complete editorial independence,” but the ubiquity of Gates funding makes the claim disingenuous. As Fortner observes, “It is the largest charitable foundation in the world, and its influence in the media is growing so vast there is reason to worry about the media’s ability to do its job.” The Chronicle of Philanthropy, too, questioned the foundation’s bankrolling of for-profit news organizations and its “growing involvement with journalism” (October 11, 2010). Neither publication mentioned that Gates is also developing partnerships with news and entertainment media to promote its education agenda…

In 2009 the Gates Foundation and Viacom (the world’s fourth largest media conglomerate, which includes MTV Networks, BET Networks, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and hundreds of other media properties) made a groundbreaking deal for entertainment programming. For the first time, a foundation wouldn’t merely advise or prod a media company about an issue; Gates would be directly involved in writing and producing programs. As a vehicle for their partnership, the foundation and Viacom (with some additional funds from the AT&T Foundation) set up a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization called the Get Schooled Foundation. The interpenetration of foundations and the spawning of new ones is endless. In July 2010, Get Schooled hired Marie Groark, then senior education program officer at Gates, as its executive director. Among its initiatives, Get Schooled lists Waiting for Superman, which is produced by Paramount Pictures, a subsidiary of Viacom. This is how the New York Times (April 2, 2009) described the Gates-Viacom deal:

  • Now the Gates Foundation is set to expand its involvement and spend more money on influencing popular culture through a deal with Viacom….It could be called “message placement”: the social or philanthropic corollary to product placement deals in which marketers pay to feature products in shows and movies. Instead of selling Coca-Cola or G.M. cars, they promote education and healthy living…. Their goal is to weave education-theme story lines into existing shows or to create new shows centered on education.” 

Joanne Barkan, “Got Dough?  How Billionaires Rule Our Schools”, Dissent Magazine

Joanne Barkan is a REAL journalist, as was Edward R. Murrow.  Will anyone in the mainstream media BECOME a real journalist?  How will the Teacher Witch Hunts end?  Is it up to teachers to gather together to create enough attention to attract the mainstream media?  I still have hopes we could create enough attention to gather them to us and break the story wide open.  I have hope we will be able to do just that, before it’s too late for children.

“Senator McCarthy died yesterday in Washington,” wrote the English newspaper News Chronicle in May 1957.

“America was the cleaner by his fall, and is cleaner by his death.”  

To those who say people wouldn’t look; they wouldn’t be interested; they’re too complacent, indifferent and insulated, I can only reply: There is, in one reporter’s opinion, considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost. This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. Good night, and good luck.”  ~ Edward R. Murrow



GATEECA – Part 4

Question:  Is all this talk of Eugenics limited to my paranoia or to conspiracy theorists?  Am I alone in connecting education and Eugenics in the modern era of technology? 

Answer: In a 2011 piece, Eugenic Legacies Still Influence Education by David Cohen, he writes:

“One of the most important guiding principles in education is in loco parentis – we are morally and legally obliged to act “in place of the parent” when children are in our care.  That principle is the main reason for the sharply negative and visceral reaction I had when I read about John F. Kennedy High School using color-coded identification cards based on student test scores, and then a later article describing a similar program at Cypress High School (both in Orange County, California).  According to the Orange County Register, the different cards also led to different privileges around school, discounts on various purchases, and even led an administrator to insult a group of students in an assembly.” ~ David Cohen

Jim Horn also writes recently in Schools Matter: Charles Murray, KIPP, and the Second Coming of Eugenics:

” Just over a hundred years ago the devout social Darwinist, Andrew Carnegie, exercised his philanthropic muscle to fund the creation of the eugenics research hothouse known as the Station for the Experimental Study of Evolution, in Cold Springs Harbor, New York.  He got nothing for it except the satisfaction that his Spencerian values had been expressed in a way that would have lasting effect.  In 2012, economic enablers like Bill Gates and Eli Broad can stand on a similar belief that cultural defectives can be eliminated without the costly acknowledgment of poverty, but this time around these modern day Carnegies can make sure that they are repaid in tax breaks for their classist and racist largesse.” ~ Jim Horn [NOTE: As the author of Living Behind the Gates, I apologize for an incorrect citation when originally posted.  Dr. Stephen Krashen did not write the above blog “Schools Matter: Charles Murray, KIPP, and the Second Coming of Eugenics.  This blog was authored by Jim Horn.]

 

Question:  But has the stage been set for the Department of Eugenics to go even further than it did in the 1920’s?

Fact:  One would assume that this crime against the poor and vulnerable ended long ago.  It did not.  Forced sterilization continued in the United States long after Hitler was dead, until 1974 in fact.

“The sterilization program ended in 1974, but its legacy will not go away. Many of its victims are still alive and they bear witness to a bureaucracy that trampled on the rights of the poor and the powerless. ” ~ Kevin Begos, Lifting the Curtain on a Shameful Era,  Journal Now:  Against Their Will

Considering the facts listed above, perhaps the policy and practice of Eugenics has never ended.

Answer:  Although the tool of sterilization has not been re-instituted as yet:

NDAA has been passed and signed.

Internment camps have been built and staffed.

Peaceful protestors are gunned down with rubber bullets or pepper sprayed for no just cause.

Riot police prevent civil liberties based on our nation’s constitutional rights.

Mayoral control has reduced the rights  and liberties of local communities. 

Newt Gingrich is suggesting we replace school janitors with school children, changing labor laws back to the 1920’s.

Child labor laws are being challenged across America.

Minimum wage for children is being recommended at an appalling rate of just $5.25 per hour.

More Black and Latino boys are being imprisoned each year.

The school-to-prison pipeline is designed to profit off of the poor through privatization of prisons.

Union busting laws are decreasing the rights of the working class.

The reproductive rights of women are being legislated without their voices. Virginia Lawmakers threatened to vaginally probe women without a say in their own medical care through legislation that did not allow the testimony of women at hearings.

The Supreme Court is set to rule on continuation of Affirmative Action that may tear down the wall of protection, again segregating and stratifying our people by race.   Higher Education has been held in check to integrate by race through Affirmative Action for years.

 Bill and Melinda Gates have invested in Monsanto which produces GMO corn that has been proven to cause sterility and organ disease.

Activists have protested the Gates Foundation ties with Monsanto.

Yet  Bill Gates claims Monsanto is necessary to fight starvation.

The Gates couple uses Foxconn in China to create X-Box.  Monsanto and Foxconn both enforce slave-like working conditions to maximize profit.

“The same company that we recently exposed to be running ‘slave-like’ working conditions, forcing poor workers to operate the corn fields for 14 hours per day while withholding pay.” ~ Anthony Gucciardi, Monsanto Investor Bill Gates Says GMO Crops Necessary to Fight Starvation, Info Wars

Question:  Why do we continue to listen to Bill  and Melinda Gates? Why do we allow these self-appointed elites to create policies that govern a profession they know NOTHING about?

Answer:  Paul Thomas sorts this out for us in detailing the dangerous way the oligarchs are running public education in his piece for The Daily KOS – “Do As I Say, Not As I Do – Why Authority Fails”.
Paul writes:

“The education reform debate and the current state of education policy are absent authoritative leadership, and like the century leading up to today, we will remain mired in bureaucratic insanity at the expense of students and the wider American society.

It is past time that we acknowledge some harsh facts: Without his political appointments, Arne Duncan’s claims about education would fall on deaf ears (as they should); without his billions, Bill Gates would also be largely ignored. The same can be said about presidents, governors, senators, and members of congress all across the U.S.

Credible leadership springs from “This is what I have done.”

All else is the failure of authoritarian hypocrisy. And even a child can see that.”

`
Make it. Instead of chopping yourself down to fit the world, chop the world down to fit yourself. As a matter of fact, two exceptional people make another world. You and I, we make another, separate world. You don’t want a world same as your brothers-in-law. It’s just the special quality you value. Do you want to be normal or ordinary! It’s a lie. You want to be free and extraordinary, in an extraordinary world of liberty.’ ~ D. H. Lawrence

GATEECA – Part 2

Vincent: [narrating] “I belonged to a new underclass, no longer determined by social status or the color of your skin. No, we now have discrimination down to a science.” ~ Gattaca, IMDb

Question:  Are all lives really equal and do they all require measurement to determine their value?

Answer:  The children of the ELITE do NOT require measurement.  The children who go to private schools are NOT subjected to the same testing regimen. The premise is:  We can assume THESE children already have the IQ they need to excel beyond the STANDARD.  Of course, this is NOT true, but the only possible viewpoint of the elite ruling oligarchs.

Bill and Melinda Gates are driving their Eugenics agenda beyond children and are now imposing their power of ‘selection of the fittest’ onto teachers, administrators, and schools as well.  Bill and Melinda Gates are working on a project to try to standardize and basically “clone” great teachers, known as the MET Project.

Propaganda:  Bill Gates pretends to be concerned about  teachers not being humiliated as in this Op Ed published in the NY Times.

“Unfortunately, some education advocates in New York, Los Angeles and other cities are claiming that a good personnel system can be based on ranking teachers according to their “value-added rating” — a measurement of their impact on students’ test scores — and publicizing the names and rankings online and in the media. But shaming poorly performing teachers doesn’t fix the problem because it doesn’t give them specific feedback.” ~ Bill Gates, Shame is Not the Solution, New York Times


Fact:  The requirements of the Measurement of Effective Teaching [MET] project created by Bill and Melinda Gates do not match this rhetoric and are poised like a guillotine over the necks of America’s public school teachers.

Fact:  The  MET project – Measurement of Effective Teaching –  uses surveillance, forcing teachers to be video taped, then analyzes these video tapes in an attempt to “clone & script” what Gates perceives to be “great teaching”.  Teachers and education leaders know this is not possible, due to all of the variables that create unique human beings.  The Gates Foundation considers humans the same way it views software — code to be manipulated and controlled! To Gates, everything becomes a number, depersonalized.  Edu in Review asks and answers:  Is Good Teaching Quantifiable?  Bill Gates Thinks So

“Every aspect of a student’s academic production is assigned a number. Tests get a percentage, papers and essays get letter grades. These letter grades are in turn averaged and become GPAs. Standardized tests place students in percentiles. These numbers become the foremost measure of a student’s abilities.

But how do we quantify a teacher’s abilities? Is the performance of their students enough?

It’s been shown that quality of teaching makes one of the biggest impacts on student performance. That’s why the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is launching a three-year study to determine the components of effective teaching. “Do they work longer hours? Do they break the classroom down more?” Asks Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The study is called Measures of Effective Teaching, and will evaluate 3,000 teachers from across the nation. The project will cost half a billion dollars.

The teachers will be evaluated by video, self-reporting, student questionnaires, and the performance of their students on standardized tests. While much controversy swirls around the usefulness and fairness of standardized tests, which are to receive a massive overhaul in the next five years, Gates insists that measurably is key to improving education. “If you want something to be excellent, it can’t go unmeasured.” The study aims to deconstruct good teaching, presumably so that it can be reproduced elsewhere. “We’ll know more about what a great teacher looks like,” says Gates.”

Fact:  Using standardized test results and teacher evaluations, Bill and Melinda Gates are building a database that will be used against children and teachers as noted here by Leonie Haimson of Parents Across America in the Huffington Post:

“This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the NY Board of Regents approved the state’s sharing of student and teacher information with a new national database, to be funded by the Gates Foundation, and designed by News Corp’s Wireless Generation. Other states that have already agreed to share this data, according to the NY State Education Department, include Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisiana and Massachusetts.

All this confidential student and teacher data will be held by a private limited corporation, called the Shared Learning Collaborative LLC, with even less accountability,  which in July was awarded $76.5 million by the Gates Foundation, to be spent over 7 months. According to an earlier NYT story,  $44 million of this funding will go straight into the pockets of Wireless Generation, owned by Murdoch’s News Corp and run by Joel Klein.”  ~ Leonie Haimson, Confidential Student and Teacher Data to be Provided to LLC Run by Gates and Murdoch

Fact:  Teachers and children are being  dehumanized and treated like animals.  They are being mustered, corralled, sorted, branded, domesticated, stigmatized, and culled —  treated as commodities that are dispensable.

“Teachers have been dehumanized and domesticated,” said University of Redlands professor Susan Porter. “Just show up and go through the scripted learning...

Widespread disrespect for educators, children and their families has led to the demise of public schooling, she said. Students learning English are given labels that stigmatize them, impair their learning and damage their perception of themselves.

“How would you like to be a ‘lep?’” she asked, referring to the Limited English Proficiency label. “These are children we’re talking about.” ~  Education Experts Cite Flaws in System


GATEECA, The Department of Eugenics, and Barack Obama’s Racism To the Top – Part I

“As night-fall does not come at once,  neither does oppression…It is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air — however slight — lest we become victims of the darkness.” ~  Justice William O. Douglas

 

“Historically, eugenics has been used as a justification for coercive state-sponsored discrimination and human rights violations, such as forced sterilization of persons who appear to have – or are claimed to have – genetic defects, the killing of the institutionalized and, in some cases, outright genocide of races perceived as inferior.” ~ Martin Frost

We are in the midst of a densely thick darkness falling over countless lives across America and the global system under the oppression of oligarchs who have determined that some are MORE equal than others. While some are awakened in the nightmare, others sleep through the darkness.

History is repeating itself.  We are haunted by the ghosts of the Eugenics Society, who in the 1920’s believed they held the superiority and right to judge who had enough VALUE to society to survive as the MOST fit and who was UNFIT to live, to pro-create.

In the 1920’s, the Department of Education was the creature used to impose a weapon of measurement to sort and cull children according to the ideas of the oligarchs as to who was “fit” to contribute to society.

  Eugenicists of the 1920’s used: 

Mental testing,

statistics,

law,

economics,

politics,

and

EDUCATION

as powerful tools to “organize them into an harmonious entity.” 

Today’s story of Eugenics picks up the 1920’s story, with a heavy dose of propaganda.

The oligarchs of today are picking up where their forefathers left off, by reinfecting us with the plague of standardized testing.

First under George Bush and then under Barack Obama, The Department of Education mandates every state administer a high-stakes standardized test on every student in every public school, through the policy known as No Child Left Behind and now Race to the Top, thus creating an Orwellian “Animal Farm”.

The wizards behind the curtain of this MEASUREMENT  policy 

and modern Eugenics are Bill and Melinda Gates.

The Gates Foundation propaganda on their site page:

Fact: Bill Gates sends his children to his Alma mater Lakeside Prep School, where they have all the advantages bestowed upon wealthy preppies.  Small class sizes, and programs galore including: fine arts,  athletics, college counseling, student clubs, outdoor programs, global programs, technology, music, band, orchestra, foreign language, and all the extra enrichment expected by the privileged elite.

Fact: Bill and Melinda Gates donate a great deal of money to education, but they earmark their money for a very specific agenda.  They do not donate their money to make public schools in the likeness of their privileged CHOICE, Lakeside Prep School.

Fact:  Obviously, to Bill and Melinda Gates, not ALL children have equal value.

Fact: The Gates couple and their foundation use their massive prestige, power, and influence as well as their streaming, limitless money on enforcing standardized measurement that is in turn used to segregate children and teachers!

“I not only think that we will tamper with Mother Nature, I think Mother wants us to.” 

~ William Gaylin

Fact: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama choose to send their children to Sidwell Friends in Washington, DC, at a cost of over $30,000 per year, per child.  By the time one adds the “additional fees” to the tuition, that is the same amount I make working full time in one year as a public school teacher.

Fact:  A 2011 report by the NCES, stated that the US spends an average of $10,000 on the education of each student attending public school.  It seems that our government (and those who control it behind the scenes) have decided that our children are worth less than 1/3 the amount of Bill Gates and Barack Obama’s children.  Is less than 1/3 of the amount the elite pay for their children’s education going to give OUR children a “world class” education?

Fact:  In a recent Tweet by @EdPressSec, Justin Hamilton, he tweeted this propaganda:

@barackobama & @arneduncan believe that every child in America deserves access to a world class public education.

Fact:  Certainly, Bill Gates, and Barack Obama’s children receive a world class education. Do the poor families in OUR districts have a choice about attending schools that do not impose high stakes testing, that provide enriched, well-rounded curriculum, and are staffed by teachers who are not harassed by equally high stakes evaluation systems?

Fact:  Barack Obama does not think all children have equal value, or deserve a world class education.

Eugenics Tools of Measurement


Fact:  Today, Orwellian science is bringing us ‘data’ that can be used for Eugenic-like purposes.  Prenatal testing has been around for years through amniocentesis to determine congenital issues, but now we are capable of screening for “dis-abilities” subsequent to birth.  This report shows us that children can be tested using MRI to determine dyslexia at birth, for example.  Another test for Autism via brain scans claims to be able to detect it as early as 6 months.  What will the oligarch’s mandate for THESE children in the future?

Fact:  Bill and Melinda Gates are leading oligarchs in the  creation of a centralized medical history data system that can further be used for Eugenics purposes.

“If we open Microsoft®’s Health Vault, we’ll open Pandora’s box to cyber harms that cannot be undone. Microsoft, Google and Facebook seem to think data sharing makes them our blood brothers. That shouldn’t give them the right to torment us with personalized advertising and other threats as our new Big Brothers.

Rapidly changing technology is the rationale for a Microsoft® monopoly on electronic health records. Funny that this is happening since Google Health pulled the plug on its personal health record services in 2011 because of a “lack of widespread adoption.”

Will this monopoly be an “opt-in service”, meaning medical information can only be accessed when volunteered by individuals? And will Microsoft’s services be considered a “covered entity” under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996? HIPAA privacy laws did not apply to Google Health.

Microsoft is also sticking its grubby fingers into Oregon’s newly merged educational and wage databases. Project ALDER, Advancing Longitudinal Data for Education Reform, intends to use the social security number to “track students through postsecondary education and beyond–into the workforce.”

Project ALDER was conceived with money from Gates Foundation and born through Gates lobbying since it’s funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. You can follow the money of K & L Gates on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Affordable Health Care for America Act…

Is it coincidental that Microsoft has a no-bid contract for health care and educational databases? I don’t think so.” ~  Dr. Kris Alman, Microsoft’s Virtual Goldmine, The Lund Report 

Question: How will Bill Gates and Barack Obama use these health and education measurements and data?

Answer:  One way they are using this data is by segregating children and offering “select, approved” populations “CHOICE” through Charter Schools, promoted by Race to the Top.  There are many other ways that the Gates and our government use our health and education data to sort us into categories for subversive purposes. [See GATEECA -Part 4]

Fact:  Race to the Top uses Charter Schools to ‘select out’ the fittest and banish those who don’t meet their criteria to poor public schools staffed by Teach For America 5 week trained temporary glorified babysitters.  [UCLA Civil Rights Project, 2010]

Fact: This  “Racism to the Top” policy is a modern day lynching, using  strong rope made into nooses of measurement  from the old Eugenics Tree seen above  to first DEVALUE, then to segregate the lives of children — poor children, children of color, children who are different-abled, children who do not speak English,  immigrant children, children who do not pass the high-stakes standardized tests, children who have a different sexual orientation.

Fact:  These children are sentenced to a life in the poorest of schools. [The Harvard Civil Rights Project, 2005]

Fact:  In the 1920’s America’s Public Schools were used as warehouses to segregate the “unfit” from the “ELITE” who deemed themselves fit to go to world class schools and carry on the gene pool. 

Here is, but one story of how a school was used to warehouse children in the 1920’s. 

“The Fernald School, and others like it, was part of a popular American movement in the early 20th century called the Eugenics movement. The idea was to separate people considered to be genetically inferior from the rest of society, to prevent them from reproducing.

Eugenics is usually associated with Nazi Germany, but in fact, it started in America. Not only that, it continued here long after Hitler’s Germany was in ruin.

At the height of the movement – in the ’20s and ’30s – exhibits were set up at fairs to teach people about eugenics. It was good for America, and good for the human race. That was the message.

But author Michael D’Antonio says it wasn’t just a movement.  It was government policy. “People were told, we can be rid of all disease, we can lower the crime rate, we can increase the wealth of our nation, if we only keep certain people from having babies,” says D’Antonio.

He says back then, schools tested children regularly, and those classified as feeble-minded got a one-way ticket to Fernald — or to one of the more than 100 institutions like it.

“Idiot, imbecile, and moron were all medical terms. They were used to define various levels of retardation or disability.  Moron was coined to describe children who were almost normal,” says D’Antonio. “I would estimate that at least 50 percent would function in today’s world well.


Boyce says he thinks the state recommended that he come to Fernald because it was the easy way out: “They didn’t have to look for homes for you, so they could just dump you off in these human warehouses and just let you rot, you know. That’s what they did. They let us rot.

“It was a school in name only. A child would experience the first year of school 5 or 6 times in a row,” says D’Antonio. “He would read the same ‘Dick and Jane’ reader, and never make any progress because the school wasn’t equipped to actually educate children. It was there as a sort of holding pen.”


The children did most of the manual labor at the school.

“The kids at Fernald raised the vegetables that they ate. They sewed the soles on the shoes that they wore. They manufactured the brooms that they used to sweep the floor,” says D’Antonio, who adds that the school made sure that at least 30 percent of the kids admitted had normal or near normal intelligence.

The school needed those kids to work. “You had to have somebody with a certain level of intelligence in order to run this place,” says Boyce. “And I can remember being out in the gardens from morning until night in the sun.”

Almeida, however, had an unusual job, and the fruits of his labor are still there 50 years later. His job was to cut up the brains of severely retarded people who had died at Fernald. He cut them into thin slices so scientists could study them. Nothing ever came of the research, but the bits of brains are still there.

“They’re still sitting here years later,” says Almeida. “I mean, what was it all for?” ~ America’s Deep, Dark Secret by Rebecca Leung, CBS, 60 Minutes

Fact:  In poor public schools in New York City today, where children are warehoused in the basement boiler rooms without programs like PE, library, art, music, or windows to let in the light while their Charter Schools for the elite are housed upstairs in the same building and bestowed with all of the absent programs is very similar to this story of yesteryear.

Fact:  These children do not have the hope of the same future as do the children of Bill and Melinda Gates or Barack and Michelle Obama!

Fact:  Today’s  public school children are subjected to the high stakes testing of Bill and Melinda Gates and a life devoid of music, library, athletics, technology, and the arts —  a life devoid of privilege and joy that often leads to drug/alcohol abuse, and a school-to-prison pipeline that sadly often ends in death.

“As part of its Race to the Top competition, the US Department of Education awarded $330 million today to two coalitions of states to help them develop new ways of measuring whether students are on track to be ready for college and 21st -century careers.

“These new tests will be an absolute game-changer in public education,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in announcing the grants. “They’ll be better, smarter assessments — the kind of tests our teachers want and our students need.”

The testing systems will align with the new Common Core Standards in math and English language arts that nearly 40 states have already agreed to adopt. When the new tests are rolled out in 2014-15, the states in each coalition will be able to compare results with, and learn from, one another.” ~ Stacy Teicher Khadaroo,  Race to the Top Promises  New Era of Standardized Testing