With Arms like an Octopus, Gates Foundation Reaches in all Directions
From: Bill Williams, Executive Director, Washington State PTSA
I am pleased to announce that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a grant to Washington State PTA in the amount of $191,424. Among other things, funds from the grant will be used
• to enhance communications with and among our members;
• to strengthen efforts to engage all parents, especially those from communities who have historically been underrepresented; and
• to undertake a public information campaign about the importance of every student graduating ready for college or a career.
WSPTA is very appreciative of the generosity of the Foundation in supporting our efforts to achieve our vision that every child’s potential becomes a reality. More information about specific initiatives being funded through the grant will be forthcoming in future issues of the Leadership News.
I can hear some of you now, "But Melissa this could be a good thing. It's nice that Gates wants to help with more parent engagement." Nice is not the operative word here.
Just to let you know, I've been trying to get an interview with someone, anyone at the Gates Foundation for a couple of months. (They have a whole division for public relations/communications so it's not like I'm bothering anyone.) But no, they want me to find all my answers at their website.
Bill Gates,like so many ed reformers, is a prideful person. He is so certain of the way, of his stands and he surrounds himself with yes men. No media, no peer, virtually no will stand up to him and say, "Have you considered any alternatives? Did you learn anything from your foundation's failure at small high schools?" And, of course, his foundation is not going to take any questions on those issues even from a lowly blogger.
I probably never said this outloud before but job #1 for me in 2011 was to get rid of Dr. Goodloe-Johnson. I believed that it was at a point that she was hurting our district in real and meaningful ways. (That I didn't even have to work that hard and she did it mostly all by herself was pretty helpful.)
One of her biggest failures? Being prideful. I doubt if Mr. Gates ever looks too far below his elevated status but it's a long fall down.