Let's Ask Arne

I'm not actually sure who wrote this letter but Senator Tom Harkin is being urged to ask Sec. of Education Arne Duncan these questions.  You can too by e-mailing the Secretary at

"How many of your staffers have worked for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation? Who are they, and why did you hire them?

"What role did these staffers and Bill Gates have on the formulation of the RTTT mandates?

"How much classroom teaching experience do the principal authors of the RTTT mandates have, individually, and as a group?

"Why are these individuals qualified to make decisions about education policy?

"Were you, or anyone who works within the Department of Education in contact with any representative or lobbyist representing Pearson Education, McGraw-Hill, or InBloom before or during the writing of the RTTT mandates?

"What is the Broad Foundation? What is your connection to the Broad Foundation? What education policies does the Broad Foundation support? How do these policies support public education? How do these policies support private education? What was the role of the Broad Foundation in the creation of the RTTT mandates?

"How many individuals associated with the Broad Foundation helped author the report, “Smart Options: Investing Recovery Funds for Student Success” that was published in April of 2009 and served as a blueprint for the RTTT mandates? How many representatives from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation assisted in writing this report? What was their role in authoring this report? How many representatives of McKinsey Consulting participated in authoring this report? What was David Coleman’s role in authoring this report?

"Do you know David Coleman? Have you ever had any conversations with David Coleman? Has anyone on your staff had any conversations with David Coleman? Did anyone within the Department of Education have any connection to any of the authors of the Common Core Standards? Did anyone in your Department have any conversations with any of the authors of the Common Core Standards as they were being written?

"Have you ever had any conversations with representatives or lobbyists who represent the Walton Family Foundation? Has anyone on your staff had any conversations with the Walton Family Foundation or lobbyists representing the Walton Family Foundation? If so, what was the substance of those conversations?

"Do you know Michelle Rhee? If so, could you describe your relationship with Michelle Rhee? Have you, or anyone working within the Department of Education, had any conversations with Students First, Rhee’s advocacy group, about the dispersal foundation funds for candidates in local and state school board elections?

"This is just a start. Public concerns about possible collusion between the Department of Education and education corporations could be addressed with a few straightforward answers to these and other questions.

"Every parent, student, and teacher in the country is concerned about the influence of corporate vendors on education policy. What is represented as an extreme movement by our Education Secretary can be more accurately described as a consumer revolt against shoddy products produced by an education vendor biopoly (Pearson and McGraw Hill). Because these two vendors have redefined the education marketplace to meet the requirements of RTTT, they both need to be required to write competitive impact statements for the Anti-Trust Division of the Department of Justice."


Anonymous said…
Heh, heh. Heh! You are going to need a subpoena for the truths.

Anonymous said…
Disgustingly similar to the 2007 congressional investigations of Reading First and conflicts of interest between US Department of Education and a slew (slough) of commercial interests, including publishers and the entire DIBLES crowd at the University of Oregon.

Key Initiative Of 'No Child' Under Federal Investigation

Concerned Teacher Educator
Anonymous said…
How many of your Arne-ettes spent at least 5 years teaching in a PUBLIC Middle or Public school with over 50% Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL), with at least 150 students a year, with no more than 20% of them scoring in the top 20 percentile on the PSAT?


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