"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Is George Soros Connected with Educational Transformation?

George Soros has been scrutinized the last several days on Glenn Beck. Beck has used Soros' own writings and statements to introduce the public to Soros' life and current connections to government. I began wondering, with all this push toward global education and one world society talk being thrown around in the educational transformational plans in our state and country, could Soros have interests in education as well?

We wrote about our puzzlement on why the EPA was involved in education. Information I came up with had the EPA connected with promoting education, rather than solely being a regulatory agency:

I found this site explaining the agency's role in education through yet another group, The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF):

Chartered by Congress in 1990 to advance environmental knowledge and action.

US EPAThe National Environmental Education Act of 1990 established the National Environmental Education Foundation as a complementary organization to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), extending its ability to foster environmental literacy in all segments of the American public as well as leveraging private funds that EPA, as a federal agency, could not access.

In the almost two decades since then, the annual appropriation we receive from the EPA’s Office of Environmental Education has enabled us to tap millions more in private and other governmental funding. The strong relationship we’ve built with the EPA has allowed us to multiply our resources and deliver innovative education programs which encourage environmentally responsible behavior.

This is a spinoff agency from the EPA able to raise money for its goals, which by law, the EPA itself is legally unable to perform. This EPA Office of Environmental Education is receiving money from one organization called "World Watch Institute" that wants to transform cultures:

Worldwatch Institute's Transforming Cultures project turns a critical eye to how we can shift today's consumer cultures toward cultures of sustainability. The key to this transformation will lie in harnessing institutions that play a central role in shaping society—such as the media, educational services, business, governments, traditions, and social movements—to instill this new cultural orientation.

This piece followed a previous one we had written on the US State Department's role in education which showed connections to Bill Clinton's Global Initiative group. From its website:

The William J. Clinton Foundation (WCF) was established by former U.S. President Bill Clinton in 2001 “to alleviate poverty, improve global health, strengthen economies, and protect the environment.” Claiming to be politically nonpartisan, the foundation administers several major programs, of which the best-known is the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).

We wondered about its connections and funding groups and found many of them were quite progressive and proposed the question: " Hilary Clinton did not win her party's nomination but she accepted a national position with power and influence. Is Bill Clinton pushing his progressive left donors' agenda through the Secretary of State's office via the Department of Education? As noted above, Democracy Alliance wants to create a permanent political infrastructure of nonprofits, think tanks, media outlets, leadership schools, and activist groups."

So what is the possible connection between Soros and the education of your child? Take a look at this map. This shows Soros' connection to the Clinton Global Initiative. The Clinton group is listed as a member, the same level as Democracy Alliance. The sphere of influence is high at this level and to be so closely aligned with Soros might be a bit troubling to some parents as it relates to educating their child in a public school.

We'll be talking more about some of these maps and the players in US education in future postings. When Chris Nicastro and Arne Duncan talk about global economy and transformation of education, they are not kidding. Whether or not you agree with Beck's analysis of Soros, it's valuable to understand the connections between him, former and current presidents, think tanks, state departments, etc. We need to understand who is pulling the strings, setting the stage and teaching our children.

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