Randi and Bill: Weingarten personally invited Bill Gates to be the keynote speaker at a national AFT Convention in an effort to promote “dialogue.” Bill. however, had come to co-opt the union. He did.
In a brilliant post that hopefully will be read from coast to coast, Mercedes Schneider provides evidence to what many suspected or even knew but could not prove: to wit, that the deceitfully named Common Core States Standards Initiative has been almost entirely funded by Bill Gates, including its promotion and implementation. In doing so, Schneider revels much more.
All of it is appalling and extremely disturbing in what it reveals about who is running our school system.
By exposing the role Gate’s money played in virtually every aspect of the immense project, Schneider exposes the two institutionalized lies at the heart of Common Core promotion: the first is that the Common Core is “state led ” rather than “Gates led” ( as Ms. Schneider put it) : the second is that the Common Core was created by teachers rather than education industrialists and entrepreneurs like David Coleman. (Revealingly, despite being considered ” the architect” of the project, Coleman’s name is absent from the CCSI website. )
Schneider’s post is an astounding and chilling document in so far as it shows how the cooperation of virtually every educational organization of note and influence in America has been co-opted by money from Gates’s limitless bank account. It shows, that is, a betrayal of trust of an astounding depth. How many parents across America know, for example, that the National Congress of Parents and Teachers were given a gift of $499,962 by the Gates’ Foundation? How many believe that a person like Gates “gives” anything without demanding much more in return ?
For teachers, the cruelest blows are the $5,400,000 accepted by American Federation of Teachers and the $3.9 million accepted by the National Education Association. This is beyond grotesque. Such “gifts” expose for all to see the moral rot at the leadership levels of our unions. It shows us that we have been, at best, orphaned if not out right betrayed by the very institutions that exist to protect us – that we pay to protect us. It shows us how desperately we need new leadership.
Common Core State Standards and the intrinsically connected high stakes testing and the intrinsically connected Value Added Measures are now the central nervous system of our public schools. That this is almost entirely the work of a private citizen who is rich enough and ruthless enough to impose his will on an entire nation wholly outside of the legislative apparatus in which we base our democracy should send chills down the spine of every American who believes in political freedom. Gates and his enablers — who are just as culpable — mock our democracy with the smiling acceptance of every dime and the spouting of every lie.
Such an attack on basic democratic principles is ignored or accepted at grave risk.
Nation at Risk, the Ur-document of education reform was published in 1983. It’ most often repeated line was the following: “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. “
The “mediocre educational performance “ was bombast then and is bombast now and has been proven to be ideologically based.
But allow me to paraphrase the sentence in light of Schneider’s information: “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the plutocracy that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. “
It is an act of war: class war. And it should be viewed as such and reacted to as such.
Schneider’s post is potentially explosive. It is a document that should be read and studied by every teacher, every parent, every concerned citizen and every high school student in America. We have the right to know who is undermining our democratic processes and who is helping them to do so. We have the obligation to expose them and stop them before it is too late.
Thank you, Mercedes Schneider, for your noble and brilliant work.