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Bill Gates Is At It Again In Seattle

For anyone out there who still doesn’t believe that Bill Gates is not pulling the strings in Seattle to get his way with charter schools, check out his latest donations.

Amount: $40,000 given to the League of Education Voters “to support a series of education-related speakers in Seattle”.

And who were those speakers? Kevin Johnson who spoke about how wonderful charter schools are, Richard Barth with KIPP Schools, a charter franchise, Steve Barr, founder of Green Dot Charter Schools and of course, Adam Porsch from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation who moderated the discussion. Was that rigged or what?

Amount: $105,000 given to the League of Education Voters in October, 2010 “to support raising awareness of educational attainment issues in King County”.

Like…Teach for America and charter schools.

Check out their blog. It is an advertisement for all things ed reform and all things that Bill Gates thinks is best for the rest of us.

And now for the icing on the cake.

Amount: $235,000 given to Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession in October, 2010 “to develop a network of teachers in Seattle Public Schools who are informed about and actively supportive of district education reform”.
…like Teach for America, good luck with that, and charter schools that do not hire unionized teachers.
So now he is trying to buy the teachers on something that for them is self-destructive, de-professionalizing the field of teaching.

Of course now the League of Education Voters (LEV) is touting Teach for America but I’ll get back to that in another post. The irony of this is that part of the “community engagement” that Teach for America did was to meet with the League of Education Voters! Teach for America, by the way, received $1,000,000 from the Gates Foundation in 2009. So much for “community engagement” that’s required.

Now I begin to wonder what certain board members like Michael DeBell, President of the Seattle School Board, and other members of the Executive Committee are getting out of this to ram through Teach for America without going to the community, meaning the parents and students, the real stakeholders, to get their buy-in.

More to follow on that.

Amount: $1,950,000 to the Seattle Foundation “to support King County non-profit agencies” in October, 2010.
By the way, the Seattle Foundation was another organization that Teach for America did “community outreach” with. What a joke!
And what is the Seattle Foundation doing these days?  Having an event with Geoffrey Canada who is President and Chief Executive Officer for Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) another charter school. This school is different in the sense where all of the social services of a child are addressed. This takes a lot of money but many hedge-fund millionaires pledge their millions everyday to keep this school open.
Is this sustainable or scalable? No, but it is an example of how a child can succeed, given all of the wrap-around services necessary. It will be touted as a successful charter school but the lesson here is how a public school is expected to address all of the problems that ail our society. Unfortunately, there are never enough funds for all schools to do that successfully for our children.

For now, just know that Bill Gates is trying to buy us. He wants charter schools in our state, he wants to pull the strings and control how our children are educated. It doesn’t matter if we agree with his vision or not, he doesn’t care. He is bound and determined to get his way and will pay any price to get it.


11 comments on “Bill Gates Is At It Again In Seattle

  1. Thomas J. Mertz
    August 12, 2011

    I’m in Wisconsin and active on school funding issues. I’ve followed and admired the work of the LEV from afar. I was disappointed to see that they have given into the temptation of the well-funded Charter advocacy apple. I could tell from their web site that this turn of events came at the same time as an expansion of their staff. Thanks for connecting the dots and identifying where the money came from.

  2. Pingback: TFA’s Wendy Kopp is Coming to Town | Seattle Education 2010

  3. seattleducation2010
    November 7, 2010


    Let us know when you’re blog is up.

    Stay in touch.


    • seattleducation2010
      November 7, 2010

      The Reflective Educator,

      Thanks for the links.

      Yes, one of the reasons that there is an inadequate budget for public schools in our state is because there is no income tax. A measure to institute an income tax for those earning an income of $250,000 or more went down in flames this November.

      That could have aided our schools.

      What I find the most disconcerting about the wealthy philanthropists that we have in Seattle is that instead of helping us with programs that serve our students such as maintaining college counselors who we lost last year or family service workers who help those students in need and will probably lose their jobs soon or helping us renovate our school buildings to make them safe, they only spend money on furthering their ideas on public education, an area in which they have no knowledge or understanding of.

  4. The Reflective Educator
    November 7, 2010

    Well it appears, sadly, that Gates has the money to buy Washington state’s education agenda, given it’s abysmal budget and lack of voters interested in fixing it.

    I’d also like to note that while Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Success Academy may look good on paper, there are some not so great stories that you don’t often hear about, like the fact that his Promise Academy High School’s first class of students was dismissed en masse by the board because their performance was “too week” to found a high school on OR the fact that only 15 percent of his 7th graders passed the New York State English test in 2010 despite having class sizes significantly smaller than most NYC public schools..

  5. Frederika
    November 7, 2010

    Dora: My sister, Anne, lives in Seattle, so I have a special affinity for that wonderful city.

    Thank you for your thoughtful response. It is most important for all of us involved in public education to share and commiserate and debate together. They think that they have one up on us because they have long- established robust and active networking systems and communities. The corporate world is incredibly powerful in Delaware–most of the world’s top companies are incorporated in Dear Old Delaware.

    It is time for us to organize. I have so much to say. I will be starting my own blog soon. And, I am running for President of the Delaware State Teachers Association this winter. I am a staunch union member, but I feel that we have gotten lost in the shuffle and that we have missed out on connecting with others in the legions of public school teachers across the country who are dealing with the same hassles as have befallen your colleagues and mine.

    As to what “they” know and how they choose to communicate it: their knowledge and understanding of schooling and learning ended when they left high school–years ago. And, their approach could not be more paternalistic if they tried. Father knows best. Public schools are staffed primarily by women. I get the picture. This has done nothing but radicalize me even more than I have been. Time to step up and speak out. Time to take a stand.

    I posted a response last week to your TFA post. We are fighting off TFA in my district. They are there now, but should not be there after one more year–unless I have been lied to, outright, shich is entirely possible. The fact that TFA was permitted to come to Delaware and that my state affiliate did not let the two big urban district union leaders know about the move is the #1 reason why I am running for state President.

  6. seattleducation2010
    November 7, 2010


    It is important to hear stories like the one that you shared.

    I have heard of teachers crying when a parent extends out a hand of appreciation for their good works. Many of them have shared that they feel that they have been attacked and marginalized as teachers and as human beings and showing an appreciation for them touches an emotional chord.

    Many teachers read this blog and they will want to hear these stories to understand that this is happening throughout the country and is not an isolated and unique event.

    It is sad, and will be ultimately destructive, that these people with the money and power think that it is necessary to destroy an entire group of people, teaching professionals, to get their reform.

    If these folks get their way, we will have teachers doing two year stints and then going on to their chosen fields. There will no longer be experienced and talented teachers who survive or would want to remain in the profession.

    We are receiving “corporate reform” from people who have no experience in the field of teaching and with no understanding of child development or how children learn and have no desire to hear from the experts who have spent years in the field.

    They know what’s best for us and that is that.

    For many it is ego but for most it is the money. It’s sad to see a ravaged public school system get most of the funds they have get siphoned off and into the pockets of testing companies, Teach for America and the charter franchises.

    They have preyed on the middle class to the point where the middle class is almost non-existent. Now they are preying on our children.


  7. Frederika
    November 7, 2010

    The same thing is happening right here in my home state of Delaware–with only three counties and nineteen school districts in the entire state, the grasp is firm and state-wide. The influence comes not so much from the Gates’ Foundation, but from Broad and Rodel and a few others. The thing that really galls working teachers and other education professionals here is the way that several important “reforms” (already in the works and moving along just fine–showing real success) have been ignored. It is as if all great ideas and power and energy and interest and motivation to improve education for our less successful students comes from the world of banking, lawyering, and business. Educators and most parents have been left out of the decision-making and financial planning. Public education had already achieved several of the “initiatives” detailed in a 2007 report from the Rodel Foundation, but it is as if they alone dreamed up the plan all by themselves with no recognition given to the education community, K-12, higher ed., or even our DoE. We get lip service at best, while they universally get accolades, handshakes, and pats on the back. As a long-time (38 years) active, involved, and very successful teacher, it is amazing to sit by and watch all of this evolve. As a teacher union leader and advocate for students, public schools, teachers, and our education support personnel, I see it all from the outside and from the inside out. It ain’t pretty, and there are no signs of anything changing. It is hard for me to imagine that this is what Pat Forgione (former Delaware SecofEd) intended when he set us on the road to change back in the mid-90’s. “To have public education managed and manipulated by outsiders and carpetbaggers”, according to a friend of mine.

    And ALL teachers–I stress ALL of us–have been made to feel that we are part of the problem, if not the primary cause of the problem. Doesn’t matter who you are or what your actual status is, YOU (the plural, all-encompassing you) are the root-cause of the failure of hundreds of students and too many of our 181 schools.

    And, as you all know, we won RTTT. Woo-hoo! I was a co-signer as President of the 2nd largest teacher union in the state. Had to sign. The RTTT express was already moving full-steam ahead by the time we were invited to participate. That train left the station many months before.

  8. Pingback: Bill Gates Is At It Again In Seattle (via Seattle Education 2010) « Transparent Christina

  9. seattleducation2010
    November 7, 2010


    Yes, being a preacher’s daughter, I am familiar with that song.

    Thanks for the humor. I needed that.


  10. MathTeacher42
    November 6, 2010

    You might want to hum “How Great Thou Art” when considering the Great Bill.

    If you’re unfamiliar with this Gospel tune, here is a youtube of Elvis in 1977 in his full Vegas style regalia

    It doesn’t get any better …


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