This website is dedicated to building a movement in order to educate and activate a coalition of people who are concerned about the impacts of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. We began with the Washington Badass Teachers Association, Washington Save Our Schools, and Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates joining to plan the Educating Gates Rally in Seattle scheduled June 26, 2014. Our #StopGatesCoalition movement begins before our rally:
WaBATs made a great connection with Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign. Some of us will be joining their crew in their Localize This Camp on Vashon for training on artful resistance in August, but will also engage with them prior to the rally for great ideas that are going to make our rally stand out in a crowd. Activists, join other local @backboneprog “Localize This” Artful Resistance training in your area!
We invited Anthony Cody to be one of our keynote speakers at our Rally. Anthony spent 24 years working in Oakland schools, 18 of them as a science teacher at a high-needs middle school. A National Board-certified teacher, he now leads workshops with teachers on Project Based Learning. He is the co-founder of the Network for Public Education. With education at a crossroads, he invites you to join him in a dialogue on education reform and teaching for change and deep learning. Anthony created a dialogue with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 2 years ago. He recently wrote this blog “What Will It Take to Educate the Gates Foundation?“ as an update of how corporate education reform experiments have worsened the public school experience for children, teachers, communities, and democracy. Follow @AnthonyCody on Twitter.
We also invited Morna McDermott to join us as a speaker at the rally. Morna is a co-founder of United Opt Out: The Movement to End Corporate Education Reform. Morna McDermott has been working in, with, and around public schools for over twenty years. Currently she is an Associate Professor at Towson University, in Maryland where she teaches various theory and methods courses in the College of Education. Her scholarship and research interests focus on democracy, social justice, and arts-informed inquiry in K-post secondary educational settings, and working with beginning and experienced educators. She explores how the arts serve as a form of literacy that challenges traditional classroom learning and dominant narratives. Recent art work and installations have emphasized the value of art as a “public pedagogy” in creating grass roots social-political-educational change. Dr. McDermott currently serves as the Arts Based Educational Research section editor for the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. In addition to publishing in educational journals and books, she writes ongoing columns for www.examiner.com.
Coalition Building Begins:
Our rally has been endorsed by the national Badass Teachers Association, the Network for Public Education, C.O.R.E. Teachers’ Union caucus in Chicago, and more endorsements which will will post as they are coming in daily. If you wish to endorse us, please contact us in the comment section on this page.
We joined with the “Gates Foundation Truth Squad”outside the Gates Foundation Visitor Center to engage with young people attending their “Teen Action Fair”. This was our first action in coalition building. Here is their flyer and some facts about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Here is a link to their blog.
We joined the world’s March Against Monsanto on May 24, 2014, marching in Seattle to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation protesting their investment of $500 million in Monsanto shares. This was our second act of coalition building. We joined the rally and march, passed out our flyers, and spoke at the Gates Foundation.
We also made connections with the Seattle Global Justice / Community Alliance for Global Justice while at the March Against Monsanto. Follow the link to become a member.
Our story is under construction as we form relationships with other groups who have realized the negative consequences of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation policies.
Join us in our the #EducatingGates Rally on June 26th in Seattle and in building our #StopGatesCoalition Movement!
Follow us on Twitter: @EducatingGatesF
Notes about our endorsers and the WaBATs:
Who are the Badass Teachers Association?
“This association is for every teacher who refuses to be blamed for the failure of our society to erase poverty and inequality, and refuses to accept assessments, tests and evaluations imposed by those who have contempt for real teaching and learning…” (See more information on the link above.)
About the Washington Badass Teachers Association:
Is to include the voices of students, parents, teachers and our communities in the process of ensuring public schools are centered on this vision:
Students deserve the universal right to learn in a manner that allows them to find and develop their highest potential as functioning members of a diverse and democratic society.
Educate teachers, parents, students and communities on the long term consequences of current education reforms. This will be followed by mobilizing these partners to advocate for public education.
What we are for:
1. A big picture approach to public school improvements.
2. Investing in our public schools and our children’s future.
3. Well-rounded education that includes music, art, history, civics, PE and vocational training.
4. Giving teachers the tools to help every child succeed.
5. Reducing class sizes to give students the individual attention they need.
6. Education policies created by communities and local schools boards.
7. Fully fund basic education per McCleary and Washington State Constitution’s Paramount Duty.
8. Taxes for education that benefit learning and teaching, not testing company profits pros and CEO bonuses.
WHEREAS the public school experience for students is increasingly dictated by corporate interests and the monetary influence of this foundation and its creator,
WHEREAS the Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that the legislature failed to amply fund basic education,
WHEREAS educators, parents, voters, and especially students are rendered voiceless and have been denied the opportunity to take part in making decisions that affect their public schools,
WHEREAS the negative impacts of large class sizes and childhood poverty must not continue to be denied in favor of illogical restraints, draconian consequences, and overly simplistic solutions to the highly complex practice of teaching and process of learning,
WHEREAS all students’ learning experiences must not center on preparing for and passing high-stakes tests, but rather curriculum that includes rich experiences in art, music, physical education, history, civics, and vocational training,
THEREFORE, be it resolved that we reject this foundation’s influence in deciding upon the practices and accountability measures for public education in Washington State and all other states in our nation. Further, we proclaim that programs and practices supported by this foundation, such as Common Core State Standards and accompanying standardized testing practices, charter schools, and Teach for America are harmful to children, to the equal availability of high-quality public education for all, and to our country’s democracy. Support public education, don’t destroy it!
The coalition assembled at this event stands behind this resolution.