A friend recently shared a link to an article by Bill Gates about lessons he’s learned from his work in India trying to eradicate polio. Here’s my response:
Interesting article, and yes, some lessons that might be drawn from their great work on world health… And I am glad Bill & Melinda are putting hundreds of millions into world health, great to see that wealth doing good.
However, if I may now climb on my soap box for a moment, it’s very sad to know that the Gates Foundation is one of a small handful of very wealthy foundations who are also actively engaged in a concerted attack on public education, on the so-called “reform” movement which is not really about helping improve public schools or help kids, it’s about privatizing education, wringing profits out of the public education “sector” by diverting public funds into private charters, and destroying public pension funds and unions in the process. Bill & Melinda’s cohorts in this are none other than the Waltons (Walton Foundation = Wal-Mart $$$) and the Broad Foundation.
See as a couple starting points:
- Gates’ role in education: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/11/AR2010071103628.html
- Ravitch answers Gate’s questions: voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/diane-ravitch/ravitch-answers-gates.html
- And Michelle Rhee is definitely not Bill Gates, but they are compatriots in this misguided campaign to destroy public education. See www.salon.com/2013/06/03/instead_of_a_war_on_teachers_how_about_one_on_poverty/
- Or this: www.good.is/posts/why-america-s-prep-schools-aren-t-following-arne-duncan-s-public-school-education-reforms
I’d love to talk about these issues with anyone interested, and if you are interested, I highly recommend Diane Ravitch’s last 2 books, and/or her blogs. In 2010 she came out with The Death and Life of the Great American School System, which is a thorough history of how we got to where we are now with this privatization attack on public education. Just last month she came out with Reign of Error, which more directly challenges and disproves so many of the current claims of these “reformers” —she cites lots of data where they just pontificate w/o evidence to back their claims— and then she offers solutions for what will actually help improve schools and help kids.
OK, I’ll climb down from the soap box now. Thanks for letting me vent. (This is an issue dear to my heart and of great concern to me and many others.)