Bill Gates has spent $440M to push charter schools: Here is the list of recipients

Per a previous post titled, “Before you can fund the charter school, you have to fund an advocacy organization that can create a climate for the charter school to exist”, Bill Gates has been busy for several years funding established organizations … Continue reading Bill Gates has spent $440M to push charter schools: Here is the list of recipients

The Proposition 1B “Preschool for All” Wheel of Fortune: Same players, new game

Proposition 1B “Preschool for All” Wheel of Fortune (Click the image for a better view. Click the title for a pdf.)   “Quality Preschool for All”. It sounds so right, just what we want for all of our children. But … Continue reading The Proposition 1B “Preschool for All” Wheel of Fortune: Same players, new game

The Weekly Update: The corporate empire of public education and where that leaves the rest of us, ALEC, Gates and charter schools

So much news, so little time. From Real News: U.S. Student Homelessness Up 10% Since Last Year  Highest increases of homeless children seen in states like North Carolina where austerity policies predominate. All those people we come in contact with daily, the sales clerk, that friendly person at the bank, the barista…they’ll all hurting, quietly, and I never knew they were in such pain, not until the strikes began to happen. Then I realized that these workers get paid so little that we are subsidizing the overhead of the 1% by providing workers with food assistance and healthcare, ensuring that … Continue reading The Weekly Update: The corporate empire of public education and where that leaves the rest of us, ALEC, Gates and charter schools

Ed reform bullpucky bingo

Original post date: May 20, 2012 We’ve all heard these corporate style words and phrases coming out of the mouths of ed reformers. If nothing else, these folks do remain true to their script. I have heard these terms from leadership within the Washington State PTA,  the League of Education Voters, Stand for Children, Michelle Rhee, Arne Duncan,  the Broadies and many other corporate privateers. Unfortunately, these words and phrases have reverberated throughout the corporate sponsored media as well. On the Dump Duncan Facebook page, someone started a thread that has continued throughout the week and I thought that it … Continue reading Ed reform bullpucky bingo

The Washington PTA Stacks the Deck Towards Charter Schools

In yesterday’s post I described one of the connections between Stand for Children, charter schools and the Washington State PTA, that being Chad Magendanz. Mr. Magendanz was one of the PTA members to write the proposal for charter schools to be part of the legislative platform that would be lobbied for by him and Ramona Hattendorf who is the Government Relations Coordinator. It has come to my attention that there is another player involved, who is a member of Stand for Children and the League of Education Voters who was also on the committee that wrote the proposal for charter … Continue reading The Washington PTA Stacks the Deck Towards Charter Schools

So Much for Fair and Balanced With the Washington State PTA

As noted in an earlier post titled Whoa! Where did that come from Washington State PTA?! Charter schools?!, the state PTA has proposed a plank in this year’s platform that would be used to convince our state legislators in the next session that all parents want charter schools in our state. That’s what happened last year with merit pay when Ramona Hattendorf, Government Relations Coordinator for the Washington State PTA, provided testimony in sessions considering such bills. The implication being that because Ms. Hattendorf represented the PTA she therefore represented the majority of if not all parents in our state. … Continue reading So Much for Fair and Balanced With the Washington State PTA

Watch this First: Steven Brill and Diane Ravitch on Book TV

For all of you who just received the Gates backed League of Education Voters (LEV) invitation to hear Steven Brill talk about his book “Class Warfare” and you are considering attending, watch After Words with Steven Brill and Diane Ravitch as they discuss his book and their opposing views on education first. This is a recommended watch for all. Steven Brill on C-SPAN’s Book TV. Dora Continue reading Watch this First: Steven Brill and Diane Ravitch on Book TV

The Koch Brothers and Bill Gates, See Any Similarities?

You could just about replace the words “Koch brothers” with “Bill Gates” in this 11 minute film Why Do the Koch Brothers Want to End Public Education? in terms of what’s been happening in Seattle, a school board in lock-step with the former Broad-trained superintendent and a  Student Assignment Plan that brought us back to neighborhood schools and therefore the re-segregation of our schools. The lack of choice for minority students now nicely dovetails  into then providing the minority communities with what they think might be their only salvation, charter schools. The Gates backed League of Education Voters will now … Continue reading The Koch Brothers and Bill Gates, See Any Similarities?

Loose Ends – Strategies 360, Susan Enfield, Crazy Talk & Quakes

Here some thoughts on a number of items that have been in the news lately. Business as Usual at SPS? Many of us were shocked to read that the Seattle Public School District hired Strategies 360/DMA Marketing to do its publicity last October. If SPS is serious about changing the culture and direction that bred the Pottergate scandal, and instituting a new era of trust with the community, then it needs to discontinue its already shady association with Strategies 360/DMA Marketing. This company has a bad reputation among us parents. Here’s why: in 2009-10, Strategies 360/DMA created a push-poll and … Continue reading Loose Ends – Strategies 360, Susan Enfield, Crazy Talk & Quakes

Legislative Update and Action

The legislative session in the state of Washington lasts for about two months of the year. There is a flurry of activity during that brief time and then the legislators go home. I’m getting used to it, sort of. That’s why recent posts have been about bills that are under review by our state House and Senate. The bills are assembled, either heard or not by the appropriate committees and then the decision is made to either send it on to the Ways and Means Committee for a cost estimate or drop the proposed bill. If it is sent to … Continue reading Legislative Update and Action

Teach for America’s Wendy Kopp is Coming to Town

The League for Education Voters, LEV, that same Broad-backed, Gates’ funded organization that brought us Kevin Johnson, a big proponent of charter schools who spoke to a mostly African-American audience in an African-American church in Seattle and by the way, the only event that was not held at the MOHAI Museum, Steve Barth with KIPP, and my personal favorite, Ben Austin with the Parent Trigger,  is now sponsoring an evening with Wendy Kopp, the founder of Teach for America, Inc. (TFA), to extol the virtues of her organization. Sue and I have written  on this blog about Teach for America, … Continue reading Teach for America’s Wendy Kopp is Coming to Town

The Fallacy of “Merit” and “Performance Pay” as Teacher Incentives — they don’t SERVE anyone well

We originally posted this back in May when the Seattle teachers’ contract negotiations were just beginning. Now it’s late summer, and the school district has shown its hand — a controversial proposal (it has named “SERVE”) to link teacher evaluations to a standardized test (not designed for this purpose) and give the superintendent unprecedented power to fire teachers at will — this post becomes even more relevant. This could lead to a teachers’ strike in September. Some parents have said they are ready to stand with their children’s teachers on the picket lines, because high-stakes testing for our kids and … Continue reading The Fallacy of “Merit” and “Performance Pay” as Teacher Incentives — they don’t SERVE anyone well