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#BoycottExxon Because Despite Common Core, Our #ChildrenRNot4Sale

Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobile made these statements in a panel discussion on the topic of Common Core: 

 
He added:

  
Our response:

  
And Peter continued:

Tillerson’s viewpoint is anti-education, anti-American, anti-human. It’s a reminder that the education debates are not about Left versus Right or GOP versus Dems. The education debates are about the interests of the human beings who are citizens of a nation and stakeholders in its public institutions versus the interests of a those who believe their power and money entitle them to stripmine an entire nation in order to gather more power and money for themselves. The education debates are about democracy versus oligarchy. The education debates are about valuing the voices of all citizens versus giving voice only to the special few Who Really Matter.

Read more from Peter here

Then the BATs swarmed over Exxon!

 

The Badass Teachers, an organization with over 56,000 members, are calling for a public boycott also:

 
BATs calls upon all parents, students, and educational professionals to publicly join us in a boycott of Exxon Mobil and take a stand against the corporate greed that is profiting against the backs of our children.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 28, 2015

More Information Contact:

Marla Kilfoyle, Executive Director, Badass Teachers Association

Melissa Tomlinson, Asst Executive Director, Badass Teachers Association

contact.batmanager@gmail.com

Badass Teachers Association – http://www.badassteacher.org/

Recently, Forbes Magazine released a special report “Business Gets Schooled” to expose how corporations have experienced pushback from the Tea Party about the Common Core State Standards. http://for.tn/1JvahZu In this report, Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon, is quoted as saying that American schools are turning out “defective products that have no future.”
The members of the Badass Teachers Association are appalled that our children and our students are thought of in a way that strips them of their very essence as human beings. In response, we are calling for a boycott of Exxon Mobil.

“As a public school teacher, let me be clear: my students are not products. Education is not about turning children into widgets for big business. It is about readying children for life, and that includes so much more than the tiny and inhuman vision of people like Rex Tillerson. Hands off my students, my daughter, and my country!” demands Steven Singer, parent, teacher, and public education activist.

“A CEO that thinks our Children are products cannot be allowed to influence education policy with their money! Our children are innovators, amazing individuals each one with their own gifts; only love, food security, housing security and loving, caring teachers can unlock their potential. My students are not defective; however CEO Rex Tillerson is defective in his thinking of what it is to be human.” stated parent, teacher, and education activist Jamy Brice Hyde.

Melissa Tomlinson, Assistant Executive Director of BATs responded; “CEO Rex Tillerson’s comments amplify what is really wrong with our country. The fact that a person in charge of a multi-billion dollar corporation with international influence only sees our children as products to be developed for eventual profit dehumanizes the majority of our county.”

Not happy with how they were characterized, Suzzanne McCarron, vice president of public and government affairs at Exxon Mobil only furthers exemplifies the fact that Exxon Mobil has no understanding of the education of children and what education reform needs to be when she makes the statement that “U.S. students rank 31st in the world in math, 24th in science, and 21st in reading.” http://for.tn/1VlkbUo This statement, backed by the knowledge that Exxon Mobil is one of the leading corporate proponents for the Common Core State Standards, demonstrates the corporate ignorance surrounding how we truly need to look at public education in our country and examine how we can provide the resources our children really need to further their educational success.

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Read more here

We are adding updates as more awareness is illuminated by the original Fortune post.

  
Another teacher writes: 

This is what many of us have been saying for some time: these standards are backed, and were initiated, by business. They admit as much, finally, in this article. Not mentioned is how a few businesses stand to gain from the sales of curriculum designed to teach to the standards, nor how much the testing industry is making delivering the tests of the standards. But let’s leave that for another time. This article contains even more disturbing ideas about how our children should be used as profit making fodder. Those ideas come from Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil. 

Tillerson apparently agrees with Gates and, as the Education Chair of the Business Roundtable, has been supporting and promoting the Common Core. And Tillerson, like Gates, reveals a lot about how he views our children when he speaks. While Gates speaks of education as a process that is easily measured and needs to be standardized like any manufacturing process, Tillerson goes even further and speaks of our children as the product of that process: one to be consumed by Exxon Mobil and the rest of corporate America.

Read more here.

Meanwhile… Big Biz Gets It Wrong! 

Carol Burris, a long time educator and principal,  recently wrote this letter as published by Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post:

 Dear Mr. Tillerson, Please leave our children alone. We do not need you to develop them as products. They are neither kerogen nor shale. Your Dickensian thinking has been “outed” and this holiday season, you are as welcome as the ghost of Christmas past. The common-folk for whom the Core you adore was designed, do not like it—only 24 percent of public school parents want it used in their school. And they certainly do not like to hear their children referred to as “defective products.” Mr. Tillerson, you have made the mommies and daddies mad. I understand their reaction must confound you. In a world in which your corporation has been declared a person, one might mistake human children for products to consume. When we humanize the inanimate, it is easy for the humanity of the animate to slip away. But let me make this clear — our children are not products for your purchase. You, and the captains of industry (or whatever you call yourselves this century), are not “the customers.” School is not a training camp to work on oilrigs, to pump gas or design lubricants. There is just enough democracy left to make students know they have choices, and more than enough parental commonsense left to know that community control of schools is slipping away. We are so sorry to disappoint. The story line is not as simple as the one told by Peter Elkind. The resistance against the Common Core is far more than a push from the right. Come visit New York. Parents don’t like it because their kids are frustrated and confused—it has been, from start to finish, a mess. Business and colleges cannot define their own desired academic outcome and then use it to map learning backwards. Kids do not grow backwards; they grow forwards.  Learning progress is uneven. It intersects with social, developmental and biological factors, none of which can be ignored. Those who don’t know sludge from shinola when it comes to teaching kids sold you junk science. I do thank you for your candid remarks, however. The curtain has once again been pulled back to expose Oz, and the resistance to the corporate reform agenda will grow. Like Arne Duncan’s awful “white suburban mom” comment, your reasoning on why we need the Common Core will surely be repeated again, and again, and again. Mommies and daddies don’t forget.

But wait! Go to the hashtag #BoycottExxon and you will find another hashtag – #ExxonKnew. Before the great #ClimateMarch in Paris this year news broke about Exxon’s prior knowledge about the dangers of climate change due to their products.  The Nation wrote about this here

  
Perhaps it is time for EduActivists and Climate Justice Activists to collaborate! #BoycottExxon #ExxonKnew 

  
  
  

It seems Exxon knew about climate change and decided to hide the truth. Education reformers don’t use their own policies in their elite schools either.  They must know the truth: edreform isn’t good for kids, just like fossil fuels aren’t good for humans or our planet. How long have the reformers known the truth about  Common Core?

Meanwhile:

  
  
  
#BoycottExxon because our children and our planet are not commodities. Stop Common Core.  Keep fossil fuels in the ground! Stop the oligarchy!

Gates Move Over! Divest from Monsanto! #noGMO #SeattleMAM #MAM2015

Gates Move Over

On Saturday, May 23rd, the March Against Monsanto – otherwise known as #MAM – is taking place everywhere.  Here in Seattle, the Educating the Gates Foundation activists will be joining Seattle MAM in another historic march to the Gates Foundation (GF). The Gates Foundation invests in Monsanto and we find this morally disturbing. We are mostly teachers and allies who are connecting the dots to educate and activate voices who share a common demand tomorrow: We join with Seattle MAM and the March Against Monsanto to demand Gates divest from Monsanto! We demand Gates Move Over!

Looking through the lens of the 1% or the world’s dominant propaganda-enhanced-view of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we’d only see a rosy picture where the organization operates from the moral ground of pure charity. However, we have been studying the GF for years now, and threw aside those rosy glasses.  We aren’t the only ones who are concerned as shown here by The Guardian.

And finally, a suspicion lingers, slowly fading but still there, that the foundation’s activities are some sort of penance for Gates’s world-dominating behaviour at Microsoft – or a continuation of that world domination by other means.

And from the staff at the GF, according to The Guardian:

Foundation staff describe this process, and indeed all their work, in business-school language: achieving “leverage”, building the foundation “brand”, serving “markets” and “customers”. Or they use the language of management consultancy and computing: “Bill is about numbers,” says Steiner. “He wants to see the data. He values data more than ideology.”

Leverage. Brand. Markets. Customers. Values data more than ideology. Not words associated with charity, are they? Hmm… Aren’t charities built on ideology? 

We disagree with the rosy propaganda and assert: The Gates have one major flaw, regardless of their intentions – hubris. We see a pattern whereby the GF swoops in, creates policies while lobbying to reduce regulation – all without including the consent or input of the people to whom their experiments will impact the most – then rakes in the profits from their experiments.

We want Gates to divest from the corporate colonization of public schools, to divest from all interests in Monsanto, to divest from GEO Group private prisons, divest from exploding Bakken oil trains, divest from Big Bertha’s Big Dig in Seattle, and divest from Common Core –  just to name a few!

Evidence is mounting – this swoop and experiment in each area the foundation invests in – is truly an action that is much more akin to neo-colonization.  What do we mean by colonizing? Merriam-Webster defines colonizing in these terms:  To infiltrate with usually subversive militants for propaganda and strategy reasons <colonize industries>.  We assert, the GF is notorious for their top-down take-over of policies using propaganda subversively without getting input from the very people their policies impact.  In the case of Monsanto, they are colonizing our human food supply without our democratic voices.  Teachers care about the lives of children.  We care about democracy. Tomorrow, we set out to educate and activate the public about the many negative impacts created by the Gates’ hubris.  We exercise our rights to voice our wishes at the Gates Foundation in Seattle.  We want the Gates to move over and leave room for the people.  But will they?

Based on this example of how Gates and Monsanto, the Gates continue fail to consider the needs of the very people they impact. Listen to this hubris carefully in the video at the end.  With hubris comes a condescending pervasive attitude.  That’s the real problem.  We don’t want the Gates condescending experiments.

Bill & Melinda Gates are extremely condescending to the farmers in Africa, speaking in tongues of propaganda – all designed to sell Monsanto products & technology for their own profit while pretending it is “good for Africa”.  They are condescending to students and educators.  They are condescending to the people suffering in private prisons.  They are condescending to farmers in America… you get the pattern.

What do you think?  Does the GF have a right to experiment without consent of those of us they use as lab rats? 

Please join us for #SeattleMAM tomorrow.  We’ve included the information from the coordinators of the event here:

It’s time for another BIG rally & march!
MAY 23rd at Westlake Park for #MAM!

Join thousands of folks from the greater Seattle region, all over Cascadia, as we say NO to the terrible biotech/bigAgra models presented by Monsanto. There is a better way!

We’ll be sharing educational info about the dangers their products create. How these toxins affect our soil & waterways, can pose a threat to bees & other pollinators, & affect the health of our children. We’ll discuss the basic agricultural economics that just don’t make sense and share info about Urban Farming and things that do!

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Schedule of Events Includes:

*12 NOON Rally at Westlake — Speakers from Community Alliance for Global Justice (CAGJ), WAMend, Educating the Gates Foundation, Beacon Food Forest, and more. Plus live music. (See below)

* 2:30 PM — March from Westlake to The Gates Foundation for protest, smaller rally and speak-outs! (march time is approx.)

Music at rally featuring:
Gary Kanter – humorist and political irritant!
Seattle Raging Grannies – political choral fun for everyone!
ATOMIC BALLROOM! – local alt rockers who believe in Food Freedom!
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Join us to Stand Up for #Biodiversity, #SafeFood, #Organic #FamilyFarmers & your “Right to Know” what’s in our food! We’ll be protesting the ongoing attempt to pass the DARK Act, and demand that The Gates Foundation divest from #Monsanto.

Invite Invite Invite!!! Please, bring a friend with you who NEEDS to know MORE about this topic.

***Bring the Kids, this is a Family-Friendly event!***

Check the posts below for announcements about Work Parties and other ways YOU can get involved. Or send a message to the page admins at Seattle March Against Monsanto to find out more!

Don’t just March Against Monsanto, Bee Against Monsanto. Everyday. Plant It Forward! Check out our friends at #BAM to see what they’re doing to support the annual #MAM event! Thanks to OCA- Organic Consumers Association for their support again this year.

You can support the March Against Monsanto with donations here.

Sacrificing Our Children

Bill and Melinda Gates say “All lives have equal value.”… Except when they are sacrificing other peoples’ children for profit.

Read on:

educarenow

Can we finally move beyond the illusion that the privatization of public schools is for the benefit of kids?

Much empirical evidence says we should.

Can we finally be honest about that fact that for profit charters simply move money from that which is set aside for the common good to corporate profits at the expense of children, particularly those in poverty and of color?

A new study, Do Poor Kids Deserve Lower-Quality Schools Than Rich Kids? Evaluating School Privatization Proposals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,  by Gordon Lafer, says yes.

Ruth Conniff, in her article, Scathing Report Finds Rocketship, School Privatization Hurt Poor Kids, shows how this study excavates the way in which the Milwaukee school system, “ground zero for school privatization,” uses children as fodder for corporate profits.

“Lafer’s research…is a sweeping indictment of the growing private charter school industry–and other schemes backed by rightwing groups and big business–that siphon public funds out of public…

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