The Gates Foundation was formed in 1994 with the primary focus of enhancing healthcare and reducing poverty globally and expanded educational opportunities and access to information technology in America. They favor the charitable model of public-private partnerships – for profit ventures are “partnered” with the government for funding, to drive positive social change. While this seems the best way to throw cash at a perceived problem, it is also a means for those profit ventures to make – gasp – profits at taxpayer expense.
Public-private partnerships in education have shown to be vulnerable to fraud as well as wasteful insider dealings. There is no open or democratic mechanism to determine public benefit or regulation to protect public education funding from financial pillage for services it doesn’t want or need.
In April 2011, the Gates Foundation announced a partnership with the Pearson Foundation to produce resources for its Common Core State Standards project, just as the Pearson Foundation announced it was developing a complete digital curriculum (online courses for schools) to support the proposed standards. The Pearson Education Foundation is under investigation for its work as an intermediary on behalf of its parent corporation, global giant Pearson Education, whose 2010 U.S. sales totaled $2.6 billion ( British pounds). Next, Microsoft unveiled its own $15 million research and development effort for “Next Generation” products, aligned to the new standards which could earn Microsoft staggering amounts of money. Does anyone see not see the potential for abuse? The for-profit Pearson Corporation and Microsoft stand to make billions.
Unlike government, Gates has no means to force anyone’s participation unless partnered with the government. The data-driven education reform isn’t voluntary for American children who are held accountable to corporate education’s assessments by force of law, such as the No Child Left Behind Act which imposed an accountability and testing regime that is now so unpopular that even Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, called it “a slow motion train wreak.” Duncan offered administrative waivers from the law’s provisions but only to states that meet his own even more encompassing requirements for data-driven accountability regulations.
In spite of growing public resistance, the Gates Foundation has vowed to continue its fight to impose mandated national standards and tests and has even added data-driven teacher ranking to its program. While studies at UC Berkeley and the Mathematica Institute have refuted the Gates Foundation’s claims for its Value Added Metrics system to evaluate teachers, the Foundation has continued its legislative campaign in individual states to force immediate imposition and implementation of its discredited ranking system backed by the Obama administration.
A story in the Business Week in July of 2010 outed the entrenched Gates Foundation influence within the Department of Education. Much like the FDA in bed with Monsanto, the Department of Education employs two of Gates Foundations previous employees – Assistant Deputy Secretary James H. Shelton, III and Chief of Staff Margot Rogers. But it doesn’t end there. Vickie Phillips who heads the Gates Foundation’s education programs and Arne Duncan participated from 2004 to 2007 in the Urban Superintendents Network, a group of a dozen school leaders who met twice a year at weekend retreats co-funded by Bill Gates.
When the federal government made $4.35 billion in federal “Race to the Top” awards available, favoring applicants that agreed to link teacher pay to test score gains, the Gates Foundation paid for consultants to prepare applications for 24 states, and D.C. Gates assistance to states in pursuing the government’s grants was contingent on states agreement to a list of requirements to be imposed on their state effectively assuring the Gates Foundation’s domination of the state’s public education system. The very first question is “Has your state signed the MOA regarding the Common Core Standards currently being developed by NGA/CCSSO?” [Answer must be “yes”].
The Pioneer Institute and American Project White Paper opposes Common Core Standards because:
- Standards were created by private organizations in D.C. with lavish funding from the Gates Foundation. The Department of Education then used the Race to the Top competition and the promise of waivers from No Child Left Behind to impose these new standards on the states.
- Standards are intended to prepare students for nonselective community colleges rather than 4 year universities. The English language arts standards consist of empty skill sets that might not require reading skills any higher than middle-school level and contrary to claims by their creators, the Standards are not “internationally bench-marked.”
- Standards violate three federal statutes and eliminates state autonomy. States who adopt these standards must accept them word for word and will have little opportunity to add content.
- Standards requires a governance system that impairs state and parental rights. It is not clear what structure will be created in the future to address issues related to the standards but what is clear is that the standards are owned and copyrighted by nongovernmental entities unaccountable to parents and students.
- The cost to states to implement the standards will be substantial and will continue to be costly to maintain and upgrade technology and professional development. The Heartland Institute estimates the initial cost to implement Common Core to be around $30 billion while the Fordham Institute, heavily funded by the Gates Foundation, estimates costs at around $16 billion.
- The Department of Education is using the standards and assessments as vehicles to mandate the construction of a massive state student database and has gutted federal student privacy laws to allow greater sharing of student data with other government agencies and private entities. The student database will track students from preschool through the workforce.
Is Bill Gates a liberal? Follow the money. Bill Gates is a big financial supporter of the United Nations, pro- population control and Agenda 21. He is for gun control, he is pro-abortion, pro-global government and global taxes. Along with Warren Buffet, he has always been a big supporter of the Democratic party and a major Obama supporter.
Parents had better wake up and force Congress to intercede before the next generation is forced to attend third world schools.