I suspect when I start writing about the Ed ‘Reform’ [sic] folks, some of you think I’m waxing pretty paranoid. The Gates Foundation and Michele Rhee aren’t *really* as bad as I think they are, yada yada yada…
On the Daily Kos Labor blog yesterday, I stumbled across this gem, which reports that the Gates Foundation recently gave a $376,000+ grant to our friends at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
If you’ve only gotten your news in the last year from CNNMSNBCFOXNBCABCCBSNewYorkTimes, you may not recognize the name ALEC. Short version–ALEC is a ‘think tank’ (to put it generously) that crafts legislation, which gets distributed, sometimes barely revised, and often voted up in legislatures all over the country. Some recent examples you might recognize: Wisconsin’s union-killing ‘budget’ laws that led to mass protests in Madison and the recalls of several state Republican legislators and a current effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker; Ohio’s SB5, which was recently repealed by ballot initiative, that would have all but gutted public unions in that state; Michigan’s ’emergency manager’ law that allows the Governor to install a manager in any municipality he declares as an emergency, and which authorizes that manager to ignore collective bargaining agreements and other contracts with impunity.
These people are NOT OUR FRIENDS. And Bill Gates is giving them stacks of cash. Even I can do that math.
Filed under ALEC, Bill Gates/Gates Foundation, Collective Bargaining, Education reform, Koch brothers, Michelle Rhee, Ohio SB5, Public education, Public employee unions, public employees, Teacher unions, Unions
Thanks to Mark Rimple for the link below.
If you’ve seen the movie “Waiting for Superman,” you know what a disingenuous account of teaching and learning it is. If you haven’t, don’t watch it unless you need something to make your blood pressure go up.
Luckily (if I mean “luckily” about ten thousand times more ironically than you thought I did), director Steven Brill has published a new book called Class Warfare that (wait for it…) lobs the exact same anti-union attacks as the movie did.
I would formulate a response to it myself, but fortunately Richard Rothstein did it before I could, and substantially better. Read it here.
From today’s (Thurs 8/18) Daily Kos:
In an entry called “Rhee’s StudentsFirst Received Murdoch Money,” labor writer Laura Clawson reports that our friend Michelle Rhee–she whose staff is helping conservative legislators all over the country draft virulently anti-union bills–is taking money from, of all people, Rupert Murdoch.
Do you really think Rupert Murdoch would be making 7-figure contributions to an organization that liked unions? Or working-class or middle-class people?
I don’t either.
At the risk of sounding a little conspiracy-theory-esque…
On this morning’s (7/14) Daily Kos, an entry about a member of the reformer cabal giving a speech to a think tank. During the speech, the “reformer,” named Jonah Edelman, unloads on teachers unions in IL, and how he managed to manipulate them into supporting legislation designed to cost them their right to strike.
You can read the post and watch video of Edelman here.
The reason I’m posting it on our blog is that the familial connections among Edelman, Michelle Rhee, Arne Duncan, and the cabal start hitting closer to home when we remember that same Pew Foundation/Gates Foundation money fueling all the rest of those “enterprises” is behind our friends at the US Education Delivery Institute!
It’s a rare moment that we get to see how these folks talk to each other when they don’t think we’re listening. And we should be paying attention. It should hardly even count as lip-service when they say they don’t hate unions. Get it?