"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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Monday, December 5, 2011

Bill Gates' Gift to ALEC: "376,635 Reasons to Circumvent the Constitution"?

We might as well refer to the Department of Education as the Department of Bill Gates.  He has spent an enormous amount of money on the initiatives benefiting Microsoft and pre-determined vendors.  We'll spell it out again how Gates is becoming the czar of education (it's really quite creative):

  • He is taking over the public education realm by his foundation providing Common Core Standards (they are all "free"-think philanthropy) to states if they will agree to use its blueprint.
  • If the states agree to do so (under financial pressures from the Federal Government), the Gates Foundation can control what and how students learn. 
  • He's done this by crafting the standards under which students will learn. 
  • The states have been ruled impotent in exercising their sovereign right to educate their citizens in the manner deemed appropriate by the state by this takeover of education.
That's it in a nutshell.  He gives money to the government and schools to further his agenda and he reaps the benefits of the business that agenda creates.   The common core is an integral part of that agenda.  If the common core standards are not implemented, the whole plan falls apart.

I was interested when I read The American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) education task force just last week called for the demise of the standards:

A package of model legislation opposing the common standards gained ground yesterday at the American Legislative Exchange Council.

The organization's education task force approved the package, we learned from a couple of folks who attended those sessions of ALEC's meeting this week in Scottsdale, Ariz.

This is listed on ALEC's website and describes its mission:

… to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty, through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector, the federal government, and general public.
… to promote these principles by developing policies that ensure the powers of government are derived from, and assigned to, first the People, then the States, and finally, the Federal Government.

If ALEC takes its mission seriously, then this model legislation is long overdue and should have been introduced when the talk of common core and a national curriculum was introduced by Bill Gates, the NGA, the CCSSO and the Department of Education.

This is good news, right?   W**A**I**T.

On the heels of this announcement, did Mr. Gates say to ALEC...."not so fast"?  Bill Gates is not only buying the Department of Education, it seems he is attempting to buy out ALEC as well.  A grant was given to ALEC by Gates for educational reform in November 2011.  From the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation website:

American Legislative Exchange Council
Date: November 2011
Purpose: to educate and engage its membership on more efficient state budget approaches to drive greater student outcomes, as well as educate them on beneficial ways to recruit, retain, evaluate and compensate effective teaching based upon merit and achievement
Amount: $376,635
Term: 1 year and 10 months
Topic: Advocacy & Public Policy
Region Served: Global, North America
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Grantee Web site: http://www.alec.org

Now to be fair, this $376,635 grant is not for common core standards.  This $376,635 grant it is to assist in  enacting the ADDITIONAL Race to the Top mandates. He is employing the same methods used in setting Federal Education Policy: he is giving money to an organization to establish his agenda.

Do you think this is a subtle or not so subtle message to the ALEC Board by the Gates Foundation to support the Gates vision of education...even though the common core standards are not constitutional?   Will the ALEC Board fulfill its mission or will it be bought out like the Department of Education? The Department of Education turned over a government website to the Gates Foundation to monitor.  From the Washington Post:

The decision to turn over TEACH to Partners in Learning serves to expand the already outsized influence Gates and his fortune have on public education.

The topic of Gates and education reform has been explored before on this blog, including earlier this month in this piece, and here. The latter piece, by Economic Policy Institute research associate Richard Rothstein, explains how Gates misinterprets facts about education in his expensive to mold education reform down the path he supports — even when there is no evidence to back up his actions.  Gates has also spent many millions of dollars in public relations efforts to persuade the public to support his efforts.

Gates is spearheading the implementation of common core standards, teacher hiring and teacher evaluations.  State legislators can stop the implementation of standards and unfunded mandates.  Will the ALEC Board support this model legislation?  Or will it fold like Arne Duncan, take the money....and pretend it promotes Jeffersonian principles?

Gates is intent on a complete takeover of the educational delivery and content while utilizing taxpayer money.  From our previous article "The Outrage of the (Bill and Melinda) Gates Foundation is Misdirected":

In the interview Mr. Gates clearly states that his goal is "to leverage private money" in a way that "redirects" how tax dollars are spent inside public education. Mr. Gates is using his personal philanthropy to direct government policy, to channel taxpayers' funds to pay for the national curriculum he personally wants. (emphasis added)

Question to the ALEC Board: is the possible sell out of the Constitution via implementation of common core standards worth $376,635?


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