Someone asked me today while we were waiting to be seated for a filming of a debate regarding I-1240 (more on that later), why everything Bill Gates, or for that matter the Walton’s, fund, I am opposed to.
Well, I’m not. I appreciate the money that Bill Gates and his wife spent to create the sculpture park in Seattle that faces the sound. It is a beautiful transition from the water to the low-rise condo’s along that stretch of waterfront. I also appreciate that they helped to fund the construction of the building that is now our central library although unfortunately all of the libraries in Seattle must close a few days each month due to financial constraints. If Gates assisted with keeping our libraries open, or pay his fair share of taxes, there would be many grateful students, particularly in the Central District, who rely heavily on the Douglass-Truth Library for the use of the computers and tutoring after school. I used to live in the Central District and after school everyday when I went by there, there were students, the ones that Bill wants to help, sitting on the floors and benches waiting to use a computer or receive tutoring and doing their homework. With the library closed, these students have nowhere to go for those services.
Unfortunately, Bill Gates knows nothing about public education. I’m sure that he knew nothing about libraries or sculpture parks for that matter but getting so personally into the lives of families and children without our consent or even a conversation goes far beyond what anyone should be able to do. He did not consult with the rest of us about what works and what doesn’t in our schools. And apparently, he hasn’t been reading my blog (ha-ha) to see the dismal track record of charter schools around the country. Actually, it doesn’t seem that he has read anything about public education and charter schools and yet he continues to pour more money into yet another failed pet project.
Because of his track record with his initiative on small schools, my dollar is on him pulling out one day without a word and leaving everyone else holding the bag and cleaning up the mess that he’s made.