Gates Pushes Charter Giving to $1 Million

The Stranger Slog is reporting that Bill Gates' spending for I-1240 -which is not even on the ballot yet - is over $1M.  
Fine, he wants a fight, he'll get one.

People of Seattle please understand. This is NOT about right and wrong - it's about telling the truth.

Gates, Allen, League of Education Voters, Stand for Children, all these people supporting charters will NOT tell you the truth about what this initiative will or will not mean to Washington State.

They will give you hearts and flowers, challenge you on why you (yes, you) don't want to allow poor and disadvantaged children choices and tell you charters are better.

Overall, they are not.
I will tell the ENTIRE truth about charters and this initiative (because folks, what we end up with is what is in THIS initiative).

We won't win on money but we will win (or have a fighting chance) if people promise to do their duty as voters and listen and ponder what they are told.

And, look at who is funding this effort. Is this a parent-driven, grass-roots effort? It is not. 


seattle citizen said…
You write that the usual Reform suspects won't tell the truth, which is true, but you forgot to list the Gates-paid signature gatherers that are lying through their teeth to passers-by. "I'm an activist!" or "Help fund schools!." for example. They, and the people who trained 'em (Gates, Allen, League of Education Voters, Stand for Children, et al) should be deeply ashamed. And mend their ways. Unless they actually enjopy cheapening democracy. Is this what Gates stands for around the world? Buying elections, supporting liars to buy the elections?
Anonymous said…
Hardly a surprise. Its always the ones who have never set foot in a public school and don't send their kids to public school who meddle the most with public schools.
I've run into several parents in the past day or so who have been pissed off by the signature gatherers and their blatant lies. One mom equated them to Fox News - making it up as they go along.

Anonymous said…
As a former signature gatherer I wouldn't blaim the workers, t.hey just need a job. It's the people who pay them that is the problem. Wait till the campaign begins and speak the truth to power. Sometimes it works.

Democracy Can beat big money
Kathy said…

This initiative is being funded by a few wealthy individuals.

This is going to be a heck of a fight.
Patrick said…
Some regions have wealthy local patrons who actually do some good for their communities. Wish we did.
Patrick, Gates and Allen HAVE done some goood here and in other places.

However, they take as well as they give and boy, do they get what they want.

Frankly, it makes me more determined.
seattle citizen said…
DCBBM wrote: "As a former signature gatherer I wouldn't blaim the workers, t.hey just need a job."
I would blame the worker if they are just making stuff up. If they were actually told by their employers to say things like, "help increase school funding!" then certainly I would blame the employer (cough*gates*cough) but if the signature gatherer is just freestylin' with the facts, then I blame them. That's just heinous, whoever is responsible (and because this is the democratic process we're talking about, I would also expect signature gatherers to do some checking on their own and not just spout whatever "facts" they are given.
Anonymous said…
My concern is that there is simply no accountability for these giant foundations. Here public dollars are gone over with a fine toothed comb, and we have an attitude that foundations can just do whatever they want because it's their money (albeit a giant tax write-off). Check out the latest educational innovation . . .


DENVER (Reuters) - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has poured more than $4 billion into efforts to transform public education in the U.S., is pushing to develop an "engagement pedometer." Biometric devices wrapped around the wrists of students would identify which classroom moments excite and interest them -- and which fall flat.

. . .

Gates officials hope the devices, known as Q Sensors, can become a common classroom tool, enabling teachers to see, in real time, which kids are tuned in and which are zoned out.

. . .

Skeptics aren't so sure. They call the technology creepy and say good teachers already know when their students are engaged. Plus, they say it's absurd to think spikes in teenagers' emotional arousal necessarily correspond to learning.

"In high school biology I didn't learn a thing all year, but boy was I stimulated. The girl who sat next to me was gorgeous. Just gorgeous," said Arthur Goldstein, a veteran English teacher in New York City who has long been critical of Gates-funded education reform.

Anonymous said…

Article on signature gathering for charter schools and the money behind this push.

Public School Parent
Anonymous said…
Cosco brought us liquer to the grocery stores in hopes of reaping profits. However, if you buy supersize you pay a "liter" tax on top of all the other taxes. So it's actually cheaper to buy liquer at the mom & pop places, in smaller (more reasonable) sizes.

Lesson is: you don't always get what you lobby for.

Just Saying
Anonymous said…
Rob McKenna has been meeting with Tom VanderArk, according to his twitter feed.

Wondering said…
Wondering if Gates, Bezos, Slivka LEV and Stand etc. have invested dollars to train their signature collectors.
Anonymous said…
Don't forget the East side of Washington.

Public School Parent
Anonymous said…
I stopped and talked with a signature gatherer at my grocery store. She had a kid going to the same high school mine did, but when it was working out for her daughter they sent her away to an out-of-state charter school. The kid did great.

The mom talked about the expensive administrative building that they are building in Everett, and compared it to the good old days when the administration of a school was the principal and the secretary.

My take was that this woman wasn't a paid signature gatherer - she was a Republican. She mentioned her banker ancestor and talked about how both she and her student daughter are politically involved. I don't talk with Republicans much - I avoid talking to my own family because they are Republicans.

And I think it's going to be hard to convince a Republican when all they have to do is talk about some school district somewhere spending more than the absolute minimum on a school project as justification for not letting the school districts have more money.

- Lurker
Jan said…
Lurker -- great post. I think that we need to recognize that the two elements of debate that you raise (1-personal experiences with a charter in another state that was a good experience; and 2- cost containment and the pervasive perception that school districts are not good stewards of public money) are things we need to think about and have good, credible, non-spin responses to.

My thoughts on #1 are: there are good and bad stories on both sides of the charter aisle (as well as good and bad stories on both sides of the public school aisle). I think that the appropriate response here is to note how flawed the language of this bill is (in terms of how schools get started, how they remove assets from any sort of system that bears any overarching, centralized responsibility for deploying assets for maximum benefit and minimum cost, and how there are no details on how charters will become authorized, and how we will shut down bad ones). Many Republicans are annoyed by bad management/governance. This bill oozes flawed governance and opportunities for mismanagement of public funds.

On #2, it should be noted that nothing in this legislation saves a dime. In fact, to the extent that a charter school takes over public buildings and then sets its enrollment low, or demands a "share" of building and repair funds for use in a building that an intelligent District might have mothballed -- it will cost, not save money. No one interested in watching the public purse would EVER have written an initiative the way this one is written.
Anonymous said…
Washington State Wire

Public School Parent
Anonymous said…
School finance - charters are not public schools.


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