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Monday, March 12, 2012

Many Finger Puppets, Only One Hand

It isn't that hard to create the illusion of consensus where none exists. All you have to do it use multiple voices.

The Gates Foundation has essentially pulled the same trick. Rather than speaking with a single voice, the voice of the Gates Foundation, it speaks as a chorus. Their message is carried by their proxies: the League of Education Voters, the Alliance for Education, the Our Schools Coalition, Stand for Children, Democrats for Education Reform, Washington STEM, A+ Washington, Excellent Schools Now, Partnership for Learning, Teachers United, Crosscut, the Washington State PTA, and more. They are all mouthpieces for the Gates Foundation, yet when they each speak it creates the illusion of a broad consensus, but it actually just one voice, multiplied.

There are many finger puppets, but only one hand. So even if all of them speak it still counts as only one person, only one vote.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is so true. I have been waiting for someone to come out and say this so clearly.

- Frequent reader

Anonymous said...

It's about time someone said this in just these words.

- Another Frequent reader

Anonymous said...

Wow! It sure is easy to create the illusion of a chorus of agreement, isn't it?

What's really amazing is that the media chooses not to acknowledge this obvious truth.

- One of many frequent readers

Anonymous said...

The timidity of the media continues to astonish me.

Why is it that only the Daily Show will flatly expose the lies told by politicians? Why won't the network news services or the newspapers of record do it?

- Frequent reader

Anonymous said...

Hey, Frequent reader, why doesn't the Seattle Times acknowledge the fake consensus of astro-turf organizations fostered by the Gates Foundation? Why doesn't the Seattle Times expose the puppeteer at work or the politicians that are also controlled by the same hand?

I think they fear loss of access. If the newspapers and the other traditional media challenge the stories told by the elites - no matter how obviously fake they are - then the elites might take offense and refuse to grant them interviews. Then where would the media be? They'd be cut off from their sources for content. Their competitors would get the scoops. They might lose eyeballs and the advertiser revenue that comes with them. Not to mention the reflected glory of hobnobbing with the elites.

How pathetic.

- One who reads frequently

Charlie Mas said...

I think that's enough manufactured and fake agreement to make my point.

Patrick said...

One Who Reads Frequently -- Yes, they might lose access to their press release parties and have to do (gasp) investigative journalism!

seattle citizen said...

Speaking of the ignoring of actual educators by the many-fingered puppet, Rep. Pettigrew, Gate’s LEV, A+ (a LEV product), Stand for Children, and non-teacher Chris Eide will be the panel for a phone-in “town hall” during school hours this Friday:

Join us for a tele-townhall: Connecting the statehouse to the schoolhouse

"How will the newly-signed teacher/principal evaluation bill help ensure students will have a high-quality teacher in their classroom and a quality principal in their school?
Under the umbrella of A+ Washington, LEV and our coalition partners invite you to join the conversation from 12–1pm on Friday, March 16th, for a conference call with three experts to learn more and ask questions about the teacher and principal evaluation system. The panelists for the discussion and question and answer period will be:
• Rep. Eric Pettigrew, 37th Legislative District will talk about why the new law is important to him and Washington state.
• Christopher Eide, Teachers United Director will talk about what this new law will mean in the classroom and how it supports teachers.
• Dave Powell, Policy Director Stand for Children Washington will answer your policy questions about the new law.
Here are the conference call details:
Date: Friday, March 16, 2012
Time: 12–1pm
Phone number: (888) 886-6603, Extension: 18364#
It’s within our reach to make sure every student is prepared for success in work and life. It will take all of us – parents, families, educators, business and community leaders working together to help every student reach his or her full potential."

Anonymous said...

Wow. Every time I think LEV can't further slide down the Ed Reform abyss, it astonishes me yet again.

Who put that speaking docket together? Anti-union Chris Eide and his - what - 20 member group Teachers United? Anti-union Stand for Children? And Eric Pettigrew? The same legislator Stand and LEV used as the poster boy for pushing charters?

The group wants to talk about teacher evaluations and those are the 3 people LEV chose?
This is jaw dropping. It really is.

I support some of LEV's agenda. I think this is atrocious.

Ed Voter

seattle citizen said...

A few Gates grants:

LEV: Date: September 2011 Purpose: to launch a regional teacher advocacy group supportive of the Excellent Schools Now Coalition goals Amount: $150,000
Date: February 2011 Purpose: to support Education First Consulting, in concert with the ESN steering committee and small number of reform-minded education and community leaders, will write an Education Reform Plan building upon the Race to the Top application to share with the Governor of Washington Amount: $35,000

ALLIANCE: Date: October 2011 Purpose: to provide the Alliance for Education and its sub grantees, the League of Education Voters and the Alliance for Technology, funds over three years for Our Schools Coalition Amount: $760,100
Date: October 2011 Purpose: to support the Alliance for Education's work with Seattle Public Schools and the foundations that invest in the Seattle Public Schools Amount: $300,000
Date: September 2011 Purpose: for general operating support Amount: $10,000
Date: August 2011 Purpose: to support intentional and focused collaborations between schools and community organizations Amount: $340,000
Date: August 2011 Purpose: to support collection and analysis of data related to the impact of community based organizations on student outcomes Amount: $110,000
Date: March 2011 Purpose: for general operating support Amount: $5,000
Date: September 2010 Purpose: for general operating support Amount: $5,000
Date: August 2010 Purpose: to support planning for creation of a community schools system for the Seattle Public Schools Amount: $150,000

The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems - Date: November 2011 Purpose: to lead the development and curation of a knowledge management and networking system, so that education professionals in analytic and management roles can more easily connect, share what they are learning, and collaborate around shared challenges Amount: $2,423,203
The New Teacher Project, Inc.
Date: October 2011 Purpose: for general operating support Amount: $6,500,000
Council of Chief State School Officers - Date: June 2011 Purpose: to continue in its leadership role on Common Core State Standards, to continue work on an effective teaching agenda that seeks to move the ‘middle’ group of states farther along the EET policy agenda, and to broker and publicize access to emerging research on resource reallocation to push states to spend their money more wisely in a time of fiscal constraint Amount: $9,388,911

Anonymous said...

It looks like many of these organizations or events boil down to the work of just a handful of people who are stridently for Corporate Education Reform and are working with the Gates Foundation for strategy and money.

Your blog and Dora Taylor's blog has been the one instrumental in pointing them out. It is the same names over and over and over. Chris Korsmo and Kelly Munn at LEV, Lisa MacFarlane late of LEV now DFER, Shannon Campion at Stand for Children, Sara Morris at Alliance for Education, Chris Eide at Teachers United.

If these people were not in place, funded by an agenda from The Gates Foundation, would any of the divisive trouble in our district be present? I tend to think not.

What is it going to take to have a wider audience understand the puppet show happening in front of our eyes?

DistrictWatcher

And please no boo-hooing over specifically calling out these names. They are all heads or leaders of their organizations, no doubt proud of their work.

Anonymous said...

A clarifying comment to the last post. I do not believe the WA PTSA is kowtowing to The Gates Foundation or that it is driven by Corporate Ed Reform. (It is in Charlie's post of suspect organizations.)

HOWEVER, between the PTSA pro-charter stance debacle and Kelly Munn working to throw Corporate Reform skeptic Dora Taylor off the PTSA listserve, I certainly DO now believe that a few maneuvering individuals have co-opted the PTSA, generally made up of earnest moms not politcal plotters, for their legislative agenda.

A year ago I would not have believed such machinations possible. Now I do.

DistrictWatcher

Anonymous said...

It takes money to create a consensus. The Gates Foundation is very purposeful about funding the many "grassroot" organizations that work for them. The Gates Foundation may spend $10 million, but it's a worthy investment to gain some control of $10 Billions - what Washington state spend on K-12 annually.

They need to do so because we taxpayers are dopey barbarians who need saving from our own worse nature. The Gates Foundation is never quite at ease with the idea of democracy mainly because it doesn't quite trust human nature. It is very old religion that way, going all the way back to RC and Original Sin.

-Hallelujah!

Anonymous said...

I think I was too nice a few minutes ago. That LEV town hall isa SHAM pure and simple.

The word SHAM came to mind because I just remembered an explosive front page New York Times article last year that sent waves around the country. It called The Gates Foundation out for exactly what is happening here, with LEV and with the so-called "coalition" members actually being just one big ball of yarn.

Beware, earnest parents and voters and teachers. We are being played for fools.

EdVoter

seattle citizen said...

"Under the umbrella of A+ Washington, LEV and our coalition partners invite you..."

What a hoot: A+ is a creation of LEV and the Alliance. A+ is under LEV. And the "coalition partners" are other spin-offs of the same dang thing.

Note these grants (from the list I posted above):

[grant to] LEV: Date: September 2011 Purpose: to launch a regional teacher advocacy group supportive of the Excellent Schools Now Coalition goals Amount: $150,000
[grant to LEV]: Date: February 2011 Purpose: to support Education First Consulting, in concert with the ESN steering committee and small number of reform-minded education and community leaders, will write an Education Reform Plan building upon the Race to the Top application to share with the Governor of Washington Amount: $35,000

[grant to]ALLIANCE: Date: October 2011 Purpose: to provide the Alliance for Education and its sub grantees, the League of Education Voters and the Alliance for Technology, funds over three years for Our Schools Coalition Amount: $760,100

seattle citizen said...

So the Our Schools Coalition is back in business for at least two and a half more years. I say we pay them a visit (as a coalition...or an alliance...in league) and publicly argue against this...this...Strategies 360 arm of Gates propaganda, this anti-democratic craptitude.

seattle citizen said...

"Under the umbrella of A+ Washington, LEV and our coalition partners invite you..."

What a hoot: A+ is a creation of LEV and the Alliance. A+ is under LEV. And the "coalition partners" are other spin-offs of the same dang thing.

Note these grants (from the list I posted above):

[grant to] LEV: Date: September 2011 Purpose: to launch a regional teacher advocacy group supportive of the Excellent Schools Now Coalition goals Amount: $150,000
[grant to LEV]: Date: February 2011 Purpose: to support Education First Consulting, in concert with the ESN steering committee and small number of reform-minded education and community leaders, will write an Education Reform Plan building upon the Race to the Top application to share with the Governor of Washington Amount: $35,000

[grant to]ALLIANCE: Date: October 2011 Purpose: to provide the Alliance for Education and its sub grantees, the League of Education Voters and the Alliance for Technology, funds over three years for Our Schools Coalition Amount: $760,100

seattle citizen said...

whoa, that was weird! These comments keep double-posting, but that's the first time one's doubled AFTER a different one!

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks for all that info, Seattle Citizen. If someone asks, there's all they need to see.

As for the LEV Town Hall, there are not three people who I would care less to hear from. It's all ed reform, all the time.

Anonymous said...

Charlie -- I agree with you completely on the cynical manufacturing of public opinion. As a Quaker, though, I quibble with your use of the word consensus, and I believe in this day of strained civic discourse it's important to distinguish. Consensus is a careful deliberate process that requires listening, compromise, acknowledgement, empathy and conscientious engagement. I believe what you're talking about is that these astroturf institutions create the appearance of a convergence of opinion. If we were committed to building consensus that truly honored the real stakeholders in our public schools, these organizations would be revealed for the fakes they really are.

Bulldog Quaker (sorry Franklin)

Anonymous said...

Bulldog Quaker -

thanks for that definition of "consensus" and the distinction with a convergence of opinion - in a paragraph -

NOT in 5000 page tome and 7 day "training".

I've gotten to despise "Consensus" - it is used and abused by the most deliberate pea brain Machiavellians who have some little itty bitty corner of the world they're in charge of, and 'consensus' is this - the pea brain bores the hell out out of everyone so they quit, and then the pea brain declares "consensus" and wins.

IdPreferRodneyTomsBaloney.

Anonymous said...

I hope DistrictWatcher's comment about WA PTA, and even Seattle region PTSA being co-opted by a few ed reformers is true. If so, we have a good chance of taking back our PTA by just showing up and voting at the Convention in May, and Legislative Assembly in the Fall. The charter school plank was passed by just a handful of votes. There is another resolution in support of charter schools coming up for a vote at the PTA convention in May. (see page 12: http://www.wastatepta.org/meetings/con12/Voters_Guide_12.pdf). All of us PTSA members need to make sure our schools, our neighbors and friends schools send their minimum 2 delegates to the convention and vote. What a message that would send to the finger puppets!

IWantMyPTSABack

Disgusted said...

Does anyone want to join my group? I am going to call it
CRAP. It isn't what I am for, but what I am against:

C= Corporate Takeover
R= Ridiculous Reforms
A= Alliances with reform groups
P= Pretending TfA will close
the achievement gap

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

I hope due credit goes to SueP and DoraT for their "lines of influence in Education Reform" chart they hand scribbled and posted on their blog more than two years ago.

Due credit is also owing to SahilaC, who's been a town crier on this issue for at least 2 years, and who's fury sometimes alienates Seattle-nice "moderates" who've remained asleep on these issues while decrying the lack of civility on this blog. Do Gates and his wholly-owned subsidiaries maintain civility? Is faking a consensus civil? Or is it fraudulent? It's essentially cheating, is it not?

Ultimate credit goes to Mark Felt, aka Deep Throat (or Hal Holbrooke) for uttering the phrase: Follow the Money.

I am pleased to see the frogs awakening in Seattle, hopefully before the water boils, but in light of our legislature's wisdom exemplified in Olympia this year, there is much work to be done.

In the meantime, here's some impressive work from SueP and other parents nationwide who've been fighting these battles for years already.

WSDWG

Anonymous said...

I second WSDWG's eloquent post.

SueP, Dora Taylor and Sahila are heroes. I have an easier time going to work each day, knowing that they've "got my back" with their hard work, keen insight/intellects and ethical intentions.

Thanks for giving credit where credit it due, WSDWG.

--enough already

Sahila said...

thanks for the acknowledgement WSDAWG and enough already..... its much appreciated.... Namaste