Dr. Diane Ravitch
Dr. Diane Ravitch

Today, Diane Ravitch wrote a post about the Preschool Proposition 1B controversy here in Seattle. What I found most interesting were the comments. These comments are from teachers and parents around the country.

Seattle, we are not alone in this push for the corporate takeover even of our preschools and the distaste for billionaires trying to control our lives and those of our children.

This is what Diane Ravitch wrote:

Washington State: Is “Preschool for All” a Hoax?

Parent activists in Seattle are wary of Proposition 1B, a proposal for “Preschool for All,” fearing that it means a scripted curriculum and standardized tests for tots. 

They have learned that the money for the proposition is coming from hedge fund managers and corporations that have been mainstays of the charter school movement. 

Parents worry that the Gates Foundation is behind the proposal and that it is a prelude to mayoral control, for-profit schools, and TFA. are they right? Read: 11 Reasons to oppose Prop 1B. 

This Washington State preschool teacher explains why he will vote against Prop 1B.

To follow are the comments so far:

November 2, 2014 at 1:04 pm
Gates is everywhere … http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/02/world/europe/putins-friend-profits-in-purge-of-schoolbooks.html

K Quinn
November 2, 2014 at 1:08 pm
Prescribed curriculum and the assessments were among the worrisome pieces for me, along with where the data goes and who owns it. There are also some troublesome moves towards mayoral control of Seattle Schools on the part of a city council member, and multiple conflicts of interest with for-profit groups like Acelero. Neither proposition is great, but 1A birth to 5 assistance was more palatable than 1B select 3-4yr olds “college and career readiness” assistance.

November 2, 2014 at 1:22 pm
In Utah the public private financial arrangements for Pre-K don’t meet the smell test. In this case, privatizers are investing in Social Impact Bonds. The school system, local charities have an arrangement with Goldman Sachs & The Pritzker family’s financial institution. It appears that the CEO’s will get bonuses for reducing costs (translation: reduce SPED students and their related services.)

Threatened out West
November 2, 2014 at 2:44 pm
Terrific. That’s all Utah needs. Several preschool programs that the state legislature has brought up over the years have mentioned “high quality assessments,” which probably mean standardized tests, for preschoolers. Utah needs more privatization and standardized tests like it needs a hole in the head.

Jessica N
November 2, 2014 at 2:06 pm
Jeepers! Is there no end to this privatization creep?? This is crazy! This is not evidence-based education! These children will never get these years of their lives back! I’ve already forwarded this info to 3 Seattle voters I know (who hopefully will pass it on to their spouses and friends). 

I’ve been subscribing to your blog, Diane, for only a few months, and sometimes I feel totally overwhelmed by the number of posts every day (forwarded to my email), but they are so important that I wouldn’t want to miss a single one; you’ve alerted me to so many issues I never knew about or thought to look into. Thank you for all your hard work. I wish there wasn’t so much bad news to report on!

November 2, 2014 at 5:01 pm
Thanks, Jessica. I try to keep them short, when possible.

Sarah in Seattle
November 2, 2014 at 6:08 pm
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are fully behind the city’s prek initiative. The city and campaign have NOT informed voters that the city’s prek initiative is actually P20. P20 is a research project to follow these toddlers for the next 20 years–on the taxpayers dime.

Former LAUSD parent
November 2, 2014 at 2:35 pm
Pre-K-for-all was also embedded inside of 2012’s Proposition 38 in California.
Proposition 38 was sold to the public as a way to increase funding for public education but it mandated that a significant portion be earmarked for a Pre-K program that, needless to say, would have gone to private entities because public school districts do not have the infrastructure to implement such a program immediately upon the proposition passing. Also needless to say, this was not noted by the media and the public was simply kept ignorant. I told everyone I could but who listens to me? :-)

Luckily for us, Proposition 30 passed instead and the public thought increased funding would go to public education. Not so since Prop 30 funds are only a “guarantee” that there won’t be cuts. It does nothing about increasing funds. (Also, part of the funds go to counties to pay for the transfer of inmates to county jail from state jails, a process known as “realignment.”)

K Quinn
November 2, 2014 at 4:01 pm
The same thing is happening with 1B in Seattle – they say they will be working with SPS, but SPS has not been in on the plans, doesn’t have space for pre-K classes, let alone K-12 classes.

Lots of games being played.

Sarah in Seattle
November 2, 2014 at 2:55 pm
The mayor of Seattle is Ed Murray and his is a former state legislator. During his time in the legislature, he drafted legislation for a partially appointed school board.

The city of Seattle has an Office of Education. Mayor Ed Murray will be creating a Department of Education. The City of Seattle’s preschool initiative will increase administrative staffing, within city hall. The proposed prek administrative structure is 42 administrators for 2000 students and this does not seem right.

Brown University professor supports mayoral control of education and he has weighed-in on the City of Seattle’s administrative structure within the Office of Education. Wong concludes that Seattle has enough administrative staff to run Seattle Public Schools. Some wonder if we’re in the midst of watching a change in governance structures. The City of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools administrators (that work with the Gates Foundation) are in the process of inter-twining databases. http://kplu.org/post/how-seattles-involvement-education-unique-among-cities

While the city is proposing a prek initiative, the city’s prek initiative is actually P5..an initiative that links prek-5th grade which seems odd.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are in the midst of providing a prek grant for a high poverty elementary school. After the prek program is set-up, by the school district, the prek program will be turned over to the city.

Here is the grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation:

According to the BMGF grant, the city will offer a few prescribed curriculums and there must be sufficient “growth” before a classroom can receive a curriculum waiver.

November 2, 2014 at 3:27 pm
Proposition 1B from Ed Murray’s CON-$ultant$.

27 job titles. 1 / 27 is paid over $70,000 a year. 5/27 pay over $90,000 a year. 21 / 27 pay over $100,000 a year.

On the following Seattle City Council webpage
Seattle Preschool Program


There is a link labeled “May 2, 2014 Consultant Report” which brings you to the following .pdf file of over 200 pages.

27 job titles. 1 / 27 is over $70,000 a year. 5/27 pay over $90,000 a year. 21/27 pay over $100,000 a year.

November 2, 2014 at 3:34 pm
I’ve not followed this because I’m not in King County and it’s too confusing for me right now with a tight race for the State Senate seat in the 28th LD, but another view is here: http://www.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/10/28/guest-editorial-prop-1a-is-not-about-kids-its-about-unions-and-money

November 2, 2014 at 5:24 pm
I usually find it helpful to read the comments on articles like this. This one, for instance:
“The Stranger should require Goldy to disclose that he works for Prop 1B contributor Hanauer who contributed $1.25 million to privatize our public schools (I-1240, Source: PDC).”

This is just a bunch of shilling.

ECE Professional
November 2, 2014 at 6:06 pm
Any PreK initiative that is pushed by KIPP and TFA is a red flag, because their people are not experts in Early Childhood Education (ECE) who have decades of PreK classroom teaching experience. (KIPP charter schools don’t typically have PreK and here’s an example of a TFAer that is “Managing Director of the Early Childhood Initiative” in DC, who has two years experience in Head Start –during her TFA stint, while working on her master’s degree– and three years in a charter school: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/laura-mcsorley/7/9a/b96 This is not someone who is an ECE expert!) 

The primary interest of KIPP and TFA is in the expansion of privatization/charter schools, which can be accomplished more readily by situating (and receiving public funds for) PreK for All in charter schools. Then our nation’s youngest children will be subjected to military style drill sergeant TFAers, scripted curriculum, high stakes testing and massive test prep, all of which is contrary to how young children learn best. It’s bound to become a cash cow for charters and TFA, while turning off little kids to school, quashing their creativity and individuality, and damning them to become automatons in their “careers” at Walmart.

VOTE NO on anything in ECE that is pushed or supported by KIPP and TFA!

November 2, 2014 at 6:16 pm
Of course; it is just another money grab – and what of the specialized pedagogy, training, and certificate of P-3? Just throw that out to the garbage, educators. My daughter is certified K-6 and P-3. She actually thought that was a nice niche to be in, because she loves little children. Its heartbreaking.


Sarah in Seattle
November 2, 2014 at 6:59 pm
Washington State has defined Early Learning as P-3. I find it interesting that the Gates Foundation offered a $750K grant to put prek into a high poverty area, but the grant is P-5. Seattle Public Schools is to set-up the prek, then, the prek would get turned over to the city. I’m finding this P5 designation odd.

November 2, 2014 at 6:14 pm
But, if you’re not for it you’re painted buy the deformers as against the kids. Sigh. Everyone needs to know what goes part and parcel with the proposition. Its like…offering you a new house, while there is a fire going on in the basement, but telling you how stupid you are not to take the offer….all the while knowing if you do, you’re going to be incinerated, along with the house.