Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Gates Foundation Dictatorship? - A Response to My Video on "Common Core Stealth Standards"

"Letter I just got in response to what I said about Bill Gates in my "Common Core Stealth Standards" Speech ( now on youtube)

Dear Mr. Naison,

I apologize for contacting you at your Fordham email, but I just watched a youtube video of your talk about the Common Core Stealth Standards, and had something to share. I am hoping you won’t mind. 
In your talk, I felt the last year and a half of my life summarized as I re-lived the sheer panic I have felt for the future of our country. I am that suburban mom, living in Connecticut, but also a former teacher who saw the confluence of what were good practices being distorted into what I now understand very clearly to be the overthrow of public school education. 
As a former middle school teacher, and trainer of teachers for the last 12 years, with a Masters Degree, lots more graduate credits in Instructional Technology, and Educational Leadership including the Administrative certification, I understand that reforms in education are nothing new. I have convinced many teachers that the latest fad or trend really could have some merit in their roles as teachers because I believed they did have merit, but that ultimately, teachers know the students best, and they can make it work. But after what I have seen in the last year and a half, I am no longer training or teaching, I am fighting as hard as I can to bring awareness to the sleepy suburbanites in my town, and to whomever else will listen, in a variety of ways. We have held a Common Core Forum in town, I ran for BOE to get the word out, have a growing mom-group, and I now have a column in the local paper on education matters.

But as I was driving today (after watching your video clip) there was a song on the radio by John Mayer called, “Waiting for the World to Change.” When I heard this line, I just felt the need to convey my thoughts to you for your consideration.
He sang:
"And when you trust your television
What you get is what you got
Cause when they own the information
Oh, they can bend it all they want”

We all know this, right? Well, I've become accustomed to searching the Gates Foundation for any new foundation, organization or person who speaks in favor of many of the current reforms. Nine times out of ten, they have received money from the Gates Foundation. What has started to scare me are the sheer number of libraries that are receiving funding from the Gates Foundation. And truly, if he owns it, he will bend it. I am convinced. 

And as schools, towns, and states move toward this 1:1 personalized learning paradigm, where technology is teacher, and teacher is facilitator, we could quite possibly find that a generation of children will learn content that can be changed at will, and which would effectively limit their ability to be true critical thinkers in their quest for knowledge.

For your reference, here is the link to the Gates Foundation grants, all 910 of them, which fund various libraries and library-related organizations:
And related work with Pearson:

I will continue to explore this connection, and hope you find this information useful. I thank you for taking the time to read this. 

Thanks for all your hard work!