Anthony Cody

PRESS RELEASE: “A Rally to Educate Gates” – Seattle

Bill Gates Control



“A Rally to Educate Gates” Seattle – Washington Badass Teachers Association (WA-BATS) a grassroots group of career educators defending our public education system from private interest groups is holding a public rally on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at Westlake Park, 401 Pine St, Seattle. The rally begins at 5:00 p.m. The public is encouraged and welcome to attend. The average citizen is unaware of who is controlling the direction of our future. This event is a first step to draw attention to the issues at play and to galvanize a coalition of supporters for a NEXT direct action to reposition teacher experts, not business leaders, as the voice of education transformation.

The first 45 minutes of the rally will feature speakers including Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and UW Associate Professor Wayne Au. The rally’s attendees will then march to the corner of 5th Avenue North and Mercer where additional speakers, Anthony Cody and Morna McDermott, will speak on how the Gates Foundation is influencing public policy in undemocratic ways, ignoring and suppressing teacher and parent voices as they push forward their corporate style agenda. A flash mob is expected to perform during the event as well as a chorus that will lead songs with positive education themes. The 5th Ave N street closure will end at 7:00 p.m.

WA-BATS refuse to be blamed for the failure of our society to erase poverty and inequality and refuse to accept tests and evaluations imposed by those who have contempt for authentic teaching and learning.

WA BATS demand that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation divest from their education agenda which includes: Over Testing, Race To The Top, Teach For America, Ignoring Poverty, Class Size Increases, Charter Schools, Big Data-Piracy or Sharing, Union Busting, Narrowing Curriculum, Ignoring Parent Voice, Value Added Measures, Appointed School Boards, Privatizing Public Schools, Replacing Teachers With Screens, For-profit Business Model Policy, Tying Funding to Test Scores, Outsourcing to Private Vendors, Treating Kids Like Widgets, High Stakes Testing & Common Core State Standards.

Rally Attendees Say YES TO: Parent & Educator Voice! Creativity! Small Class Sizes! Civics! Science! Music! Art! Drama! Physical Education! Parent Involvement! Libraries! Counselors! Experienced Teachers! Learning Through Play! Project Based Learning! Learning Support Staff! Adequate Compensation! Democratic Governance of Schools! Relevant Educator Training! Less Testing and More Learning! Transparent Decision Making! Equitable Funding For Every Child! Recognizing Each Student’s Potential! Culturally & Developmentally Responsive Curriculum! “

In 2014 political power resides in monetary wealth and public policy is being determined by the mega-rich not the expert practicioner-in many professions. No one is asking teachers what schools need. Teachers are told that they don’t have high enough expectations for kids. This is ludicrous. Our governing system is becoming undemocratic but worse it IS harming children who need a wholistic classroom experience beyond test scores. The Gates Foundation must accept that teachers are more than software; that learning is individualized; and that education is a public endeavor. Excellent public schools are the cornerstone of a free society: big money is buying the education agenda. People must stand up to this oligarchical shift and reclaim public schools with the whole child at the center. Business reformers need to spread their expertise in places where they know what they are talking about. Teachers are experts when it comes to student learning. Ask us what kids need to thrive and learn. We are happy to tell you.”

– Julianna Dauble, Renton teacher and Rally Organizer

For more information about WA-BATS, visit us on Facebook at Contact: Julianna Dauble, (206) 856-1357, email


Bill and Melinda Gates: A Threat to Our Nation’s Unions – The #Vergara Trial


An injury to one is an injury to all

It is time that our nation’s unions join together in solidarity to support teachers’ unions.  Why? Without due process, workers have no rights.  If teachers’ rights are stripped away, then all workers rights will be stripped away.  It is only a matter of time. How are Bill and Melinda Gates involved in threatening our nation’s unions?  By bankrolling the Vergara Trial — and providing a leading witness who happens to be the former director of their MET (Measuring Effective Teaching) Project, Tom Kane to provide “expert” testimony based on “junk science” in the case — their fingerprints are all over the this attempt at union busting.

But the Vergara trial is but one case where the Gates have backed the destruction of due process for teachers. According to Bill Raden and Gary Cohn of the California Expose in David Welch:  The Man Behind Vergara v. California; the Gates are backing case after case to destroy due process rights for teachers.

“Vergara was filed on behalf of nine students and seeks to erase nearly a hundred years of teacher protections from the state education code that were adopted to prevent discriminatory and capricious terminations. The suit claims that five statutes addressing teacher dismissal, seniority and tenure disproportionately harm minority students in high-poverty schools by making it too difficult to fire incompetent teachers.

Attacks on teachers’ workplace protections have become familiar spectacles in California and, as recently as 2010, plaintiffs in Reed v. California used a civil rights argument to override seniority-based layoffs in three Los Angeles middle schools. The forces behind Reed and similar causes is a coalition of free-market education partisans and like-minded privatization philanthropists, including the Gates Foundation, Los Angeles billionaire Eli Broad and Walmart’s Walton Family Foundation.

It is clear the Bill and Melinda Gates are backing union busting of teachers’ unions – the largest unions in the United States.   Without due process, the corporations will have us all working in sweat shops folks.  If you want to take a quick look at the rights workers have in sweat shops, look here.  Don’t be fooled.  Sweat shops don’t just reside in China.  Sweat shops often take advantage of women and children….  hmmm’… aren’t our nation’s public schools made up mostly of women and children?


Bill Gates Vergara Trial Crime Scene


The court ruling in the Vergara trial – which is a clear attempt to bust teachers’ unions by removing a due process protection called “tenure” – was based on the “expert” testimony of the Gates Foundation’s employee.  Without due process, teachers can be fired “at will”.  NOLO Law for all defines “firing at will” here:

” If the employer decides to let you go, that’s the end of your job–and you have very limited legal rights to fight your termination.

If you are employed at will, your employer does not need good cause to fire you.”

What is due process as it is applied to teacher tenure in the K-12 setting? NEA answers Time in What’s Tenure and What’s Not to define and describe the role of teacher tenure in K-12 versus teacher tenure at the college/university level here:

“The problem is, tenure does not guarantee teachers a job, does not offer any lifetime employment security, and, regardless of the implication of Time’s question, does not just happen after a “certain amount of time…

If you thought tenured teachers couldn’t lose their jobs, you’re not alone — it’s a common misunderstanding, but that doesn’t make it accurate. Tenure does not guarantee teachers a job, but instead mandates that due process be followed before tenured teachers are dismissed…

Tenure is about due process — not about guaranteeing jobs for life. And it’s not about protecting “bad” teachers — it’s about protecting good teachers.”

If  good teachers can be fired “at will” — the power of unions to protect the jobs of good teachers through  “due process” and with it —  the rights of all other good workers  — will disappear.

By funding a rolling train of Vergara trial results through state after state, the Gates Foundation can attempt to bust the largest unions in the country — the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers Unions.  Then  it will only be a matter of time before the rest our nations’ unions will fall like dominoes.

Unions will fall like dominoes


If good teachers can be fired “at will”;  their unions will not be able to protect them when they advocate for students against corporate reformers like Bill and Melinda Gates.

Here’s more evidence about how  Bill and Melinda are funding union busting beyond the Vergara Trial.   Anthony Cody writes about Gates investments in destroying due process for teachers here in his post titled From Common Core, to Vergara, to VAM, Gates Foundation Fingerprints Everywhere:

“Challenges to due process for teachers: The Vergara trial yesterday dealt a blow to due process for teachers in California. One of the witnesses advancing the winning argument was Tom Kane, former director of the Gates Foundation’s Measures of Effective Teaching Project. In 2010, Gates stated on Oprah that if we were able to rid our nation’s schools of ineffective teachers, our schools would go right to the top of international rankings. The Gates Foundation spent $2 million on promoting “Waiting For Superman,” which carried the same message. The Gates Foundation has also sponsored “teacher voice” groups such as Teach Plus and Educators 4 Excellence. Teach Plus mobilized teachers to testify against seniority protections in Indiana, and Educators 4 Excellence requires members to sign a pledge stating their opposition to seniority, and support of the use of test scores to evaluate teachers.”

If Gates can get by with this, all unions are at risk.  Simple logic describes why all unions should get involved:  “An injury to one is an injury to all.”

Raging Horse blog writes in their piece titled Vergara Part Two:  How the 1% Have Learned to Use the Noblest Causes for the Most Venal Ends:

“But it is a grave mistake to perceive the Vergara decision as simply another attack, however brutal, on teachers and education. Education is merely the conduit. Vergara is an attack on the rights of every worker in the USA, union or not.
The 1% may know little of history, but they know enough about the union movement to know that, in time, the force that revolutionized even non- union industries, forcing them to treat their workers with dignity, pay them fairer wages and provide them with some modicum of security, was the threat of unions. They also know the absence of unions has exactly the opposite effect. Consider the working conditions of most Americans in the land of the free and the home of the brave since the shrinkage of American unions. No due process. No job security. No pension. No nothing but a wage that for most people has not grown since 1973.”

The rights of all workers are at stake in this trial.  It is time for all unions to get behind the teachers’ unions in solidarity.

It is time for all unions to join the #StopGatesCoalition. Follow us on Twitter @EducatingGatesF.  Like our Facebook page. Sign our demand the Bill and Melinda Gates  Foundation divest from corporate education reform here.   Sign up to participate in our Educating the Gates Foundation Rally here!  But most importantly:  Tell other unions that it is time to stop Bill and Melinda Gates from busting our unions!  “An injury to one is an injury to all.”

The “Almost Outrageous” Opposition to Bill Gates’ Market-Based Ed Reform

Lyndsey Layton inteviewed Bill Gates about his involvement in the Common Core, ending her article with Bill and Melinda’s motivation behind their financial backing of it. Lyndsey reports:

“Gates dismissed any suggestion that he is motivated by self-interest.” ~ Lindsey Layton

Then Bill tells us in his own words what motivates his investments in Common Core and calls any opposition to his motivation “almost outrageous”:

“I believe in the Common Core because of its substance and what it will do to improve education,” he said. “And that’s the only reason I believe in the Common Core.”

This is about giving money away,” he said of his support for the standards. “This is philanthropy. This is trying to make sure students have the kind of opportunity I had . . . and it’s almost outrageous to say otherwise, in my view.” ~ Bill Gates

Okay. Let’s go with Bill and Melinda’s best intentions. Why the opposition then?

As educators and parents of public school children we used critical thinking to consider the impacts of the market-based corporate reforms the Gates promote. Do they really help improve education, social problems, and the real gaping inequity Bill mentions? We considered the following questions about some of the key ingredients of fundamentalist market-based reforms:

  1. High tech devices promoted by Bill Gates as “personalized learning” via Common Core Pearson/Gates’ Surface Tablets competing with Apple iPads
  2. Grit and rigor of Common Core backwards-designed standards – combined with high stakes computerized tests – requiring billions to be spent on tech upgrades to both software and hardware – and proven to fail 70% of all students
  3. Closing schools via the technocrats’ measurement “sticks” – used to punish schools who purportedly fail to educate our nations’ increasingly impoverished students only to turn them over to privatized charter schools known for corruption, re-segregation
  4. Firing many of our nations’ Black teachers in cities where mayoral control has taken over public education
  5. “Blended learning” or strictly “online learning” found to be disreputable and ineffective at best – and disconnected from relationships which drive real success with children
  6. Five week “summer camp” trained Teach for America trainees replacing NBCT’s, M.Eds., and experienced highly qualified teachers for our neediest students

To date, none of these Gates experiments have proven successful, and in fact are doing the opposite:

So — to be clear:

Our opposition isn’t grounded in the idea that Bill and Melinda will become rich off of Common Core.

Our opposition isn’t grounded in the fact that they are partnering with Pearson to load Microsoft software on Microsoft Surface Tablets to compete with Apple.

Our opposition is grounded in the the facts that what was once a public institution is now being transformed in great part by the hands of one couple’s “philanthropy” – turning them into a fundamentalist market-based institution.

Our opposition is grounded in the facts that systemic market-based institutionalization of public schools is increasing inequity, increasing segregation, and increasing the opportunity gap between the 1% and the working class.

Our opposition is grounded in the market-based reformers increase of Zero-Tolerance policies, which in turn feed the School-To-Prison Pipeline.

Our opposition is grounded in the market-based reforms driving the de-funding of public schools through vouchers.

Our opposition is grounded in the fact that new market-based teacher evaluations systems and VAM are based on junk science creating a false sense of blame on public school teachers for the effects of poverty.

Our opposition is grounded in the fact that as these market-based reforms increase, our democratic voice is decreased.

Where does Common Core fit into these reforms?

Lyndsey’s Washington Post investigative interview revealed some of the back story behind Common Core’s dependence on Bill and Melinda Gates’ billions to get the political lift this unprecedented nationalizing-market-based-behemoth needed to take flight. Like Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose“; Bill Gates has proven Common Core can fly, but Common Core was never officially certified by the public in a democratic process. Instead, states were asked to sign on the dotted line for untested, un-piloted, unproven, un-researched standards while the Common Core “Spruce Goose” was still being built. The democratic process was completely circumvented where in the past, educators would present changes at the local and state level to communities for approval and a VOTE. That was not the case with Common Core, as Anthony Cody pointed out about the “secret 60” who met behind closed doors.

And according to Dr. Mercedes Schneider — those of us opposing corporate reform need to know: All other market-based reforms hinge on Common Core as she writes in her post … The Importance of Common Core for Nationally Pervasive Ed Reform:

“A great error made by those combating corporate reform is in viewing the reforms as separate and distinct one from another. I have noticed as much in discussions about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). However, the “standards” were not intended to “stand” without the entire spectrum of reforms.

In fact, the power of a truly national privatization of public education depends upon CCSS.

CCSS is the cornerstone of unprecedented, national-level corporate reform that has been in the making for several years.”

By placing former Gates employees in control of the US Department of Education under President Obama, the cornerstone of CCSS was guaranteed by an unholy alliance between private markets and government. Together, the Gates and their billionaire corporate reformers formed a bipartisan plan. Using the “shock doctrine” of economic desperation they first de-funded schools and communities — next they used bribes to coerce local, state, and national entities to agree to a grave systemic shift — a shift from public transparent democratic local control of public schools to a fundamentalist market-based federalized system of education.

Bill Gates, President Obama, and US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan seem to have taken their market-based reform ideas from the expert playbook of the neoliberal “grand guru of unfettered capitalism”, Milton Friedman. Naomi Klein offers a terrible picture of when this story began to unfold after Katrina in her introduction of Shock Doctrine. Here is an excerpt:

One of those who saw opportunity in the floodwaters of New Orleans was the late Milton Friedman, grand guru of unfettered capitalism and credited with writing the rulebook for the contemporary, hyper-mobile global economy. Ninety-three years old and in failing health, “Uncle Miltie”, as he was known to his followers, found the strength to write an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal three months after the levees broke. “Most New Orleans schools are in ruins,” Friedman observed, “as are the homes of the children who have attended them. The children are now scattered all over the country. This is a tragedy. It is also an opportunity.”

Five years after Katrina, in January, 2010 US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan made a shocking statement, providing evidence of the DOE’s fundamentalist market-based ideology. It was this statement that told many of us — all public schools are at risk of privatization promoted by our federal government in collusion with the corporate reformers. ABC News’ Mary Bruce Reports:

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said today that Hurricane Katrina was “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans” because it gave the city a chance to rebuild and improve its failing public schools.

In an interview to air this weekend on “Washington Watch with Roland Martin” Duncan said “that education system was a disaster. And it took Hurricane Katrina to wake up the community to say that we have to do better. And the progress that it made in four years since the hurricane,is unbelievable.” ‘

Again, let’s examine Bill and Melinda Gates’ intentions. Per Layton’s interview:

“Gates is disdainful of the rhetoric from opponents. He sees himself as a technocrat trying to foster solutions to a profound social problem — gaping inequalities in U.S. public education — by investing in promising new ideas.”

Are these market fundamentalists’ experiments truly solving a “profound social problem — by investing in promising new ideas”? Are they truly reducing the “gaping inequalities in U.S. public education by investing in promising new ideas” to “make sure students have the kind of opportunity I (Bill Gates) had .”

Let’s take a look at New Orleans schools and communities after “the market” has experimented with them. Today, in fact New Orleans public schools are closing for good due to the hands of the market-based fundamentalism. Is this what you want in your community?

If it is up to Gates and the DOE; never mind what you think… Once again, democracy is left behind.

“This is a depressed community,” said Karran Harper Royal, an activist who has been trying to block the school closings. “People here don’t really feel like they can coalesce and fight this.”


journey for justice picture 2

So why are we outraged again? Our outrage is because the public is being silenced. Our outrage is because the public is being excluded.

Our outrage is because the fundamentalist market-based systemic change is creating the exact opposite effect that Bill and Melinda claim is the reason for their investments.

You can see that here where Journey for Justice Alliance came out with a devastating report entitled “Death by a Thousand Cut: Racism, School Closures, and Sabatoge” . Jitu Brown makes a statement in testimony at a US DOE hearing about the fundamentalist market-based corporate reforms that close public schools, replacing them with private charter schools:

“We’re here because someone has to have the clarity and the conviction to confront institutional racism head-on. . . . To deny us the right to improve our schools as community institutions is a violation of our human rights. To destabilize schools in our community is a violation of our human rights. To have communities with no neighborhood schools is a violation of our human rights. . . . We are America’s mirror. Do you have the courage to accept what you see?” – Jitu Brown, US Department of Education hearing, January 29, 2013

Force Feeding Public Schools

Are these top-down market-based experimental corporate reforms being force-fed to public schools really helping close the “gaping inequalities”?

Journey for Justice Alliance added in this report by Tolu Olorunda, Truthout :

“When schools are closed, they said unanimously, neighborhoods fall apart – gangs flourish; students drop out; homes rapidly devalue; and the quality of life worsens. They also railed against the various reform schemes sweeping through the nation, particularly in urban districts, where cyber schools, charter schools and state-created “failing schools” have cropped up within the last decade – against, in most cases, the protests and projected outrage of the affected communities.”

This outrage led to letter, whereby Journey for Justice Alliance filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education (“OCR”) and the Educational Opportunities Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division (“DOJ”). Addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan; they issued a demand requesting the investigation of “racially discriminatory school closings” in New Orleans as reported by Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post:

“New Orleans is often held up as a model of school reform that can be adopted by other cities. But the facts on the ground tell a different story about the success of the Recovery School District’s reform program, which called for closing traditional schools and opening charter schools. But the charters have not performed anywhere near as well as reformers often say. And the comparisons that people make between New Orleans schools before and after Hurricane Katrina are like comparing apples and oranges, given that the student population in New Orleans changed considerably after Katrina.”

The plight of the New Orleans schools is but one example of the devastating impacts on the institutions of democracy called our nation’s public schools. Public schools in Chicago, New York, and DC where mayoral control was fostered by Bill Gates have been laid to waste. Public schools in Detroit, Newark, Camden, and Philly are in shambles where market based reforms have been fostered by Bill Gates and the corporate reformers.

Are these reforms really “promising new ideas”? Anthony Cody discusses what Diane Ravitch calls the same-old, same-old here: Anthony disagrees with Randi Weingarten and Linda Darling-Hammond’s ideas about Common Core done “California style”. Anthony fears:

“I believe these tests will follow the same pattern as other Common Core-aligned tests, and yield results that show our English Learners and students living in poverty are in terrible shape. Why do I think that? First, because these tests have a great deal of language in them. Even the math problems require students to explain in words how they are solving problems. So we are likely to see schools with large numbers of ELs get terrible scores. So far every state that has given tests aligned with the Common Core has seen huge drops in proficiency levels.

The schools identified as low performing are likely to be the same ones identified that way under NCLB. They will get “intervention,” meaning teams of expensive experts who will come to tell the teachers at these schools what they must do to raise their test scores. We will remain stuck in a data-driven paradigm, where test scores are treated as an accurate indicator not only of what ails us, but also to guide the steps we must take to improve our health.”

Paul L. Thomas sees these reforms as a recycling of the “same-old, same-old “as well as he writes in his essay about Maxine Greene:

“The bureaucracy of education reform built on recycling the accountability paradigm also fails because we remain committed as well, not to community and democracy, but competition and market forces (charter schools and dismantling teachers unions and tenure, for examples). Education reform is, in fact, not reform at all; education reform insures that public institutions, such as schools, maintain the status quo of society. As a result, students are being indoctrinated, not educated…”

So let’s take Bill and Melinda Gates at their word.

Our outrage in opposition is not about the profit Bill and Melinda Gates will acquire from their investments. If they intend to invest in education that is created in the likeness of that of their own childrens’ education – if they truly want to reduce the gaping inequalities – if they truly want solve a social problem – then why aren’t they listening to organizations like Journey for Justice Alliance? Why do they need to silence and exclude the voices of the public — by holding secret meetings with money changing hands — if these reforms are so great?

Why did it take millions of Gates’ monies to convince local astroturf groups, State School Officers, Governors, politicians on both sides of the aisle, ALEC, and union leaders — Common Core was so great they should go ahead and fly this plane while they were still building it?

Why did Bill Gates have to coach teachers to say the right words to convince legislators?

Why do Bill and Melinda not insist on serving the same “super set” of Common Core sandwiches, segregation, school closures, and high stakes tests to their own children as staples?

Layton credits Bill Gates with starting a revolution by investing so much in Common Core. What remains to be seen is this:

Will the real revolutionary movement for democracy prevail over the neoliberal forces of shock-doctrine’s market-based corporate reforms?

Will Bill and Melinda Gates’ Common Core go the way of the Spruce Goose – costing a fortune, but never to be flown again?

If you would like to see the “Spruce Goose” of fundamentalist market-based reform experiments grounded for good, please sign our letter demanding the Gates Foundation DIVEST from corporate education reform. Join us in Seattle at the #EducatingGatesRally Protest on June 26th where we will deliver our demands.

Frederick Douglass is right… Power concedes nothing without a demand!

With charitable work on health, education, and a motto like “All lives have equal value.”  — one would think the Gates Foundation investments would not warrant demands and protests against them regarding humanitarian or environmental causes.  As evidenced by recent protests, however the demands against the Gates Foundation’s investments  are beginning to mount.  Could the Gates Foundation  investments and their rhetoric be at odds?  Is the veneer beginning to peel off the face of the Gates Foundation?

The Gates Foundation is run by the world’s richest couple who wield their power through wealth and status, force-feeding their agendas on those of us without our consent.  So what do we do about that?  Frederick Douglass’ wise words may be the key.   Is Frederick Douglass right?  Is it true that power will concede nothing without a demand?

Code Pink, a grassroots women’s activist group, recently demanded the Gates Foundation divest from the G4S Israeli Prison.  Activists  around the globe engaged in social media and creative, bold protests on the ground.  Bowing to public pressure which threatened their status and wealth, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have finally divested completely from the G4S Prison.

Bloomberg News reported:

‘ The Gates Foundation Asset Trust, the entity that manages the investments for the $40.2 billion Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has liquidated its entire stake in G4S Plc (GFS), the world’s biggest security-services provider.

“Like other large foundations, the foundation trust evaluates its holdings regularly, both for performance and fit,” John Pinette, a spokesman for the Gates family, said in a statement. “As a result of this, the foundation trust no longer holds an investment in G4S.” ‘

Clearly this is a success for Code Pink activists.

Heavy protests were held around the world on May 24th in the International March Against Monsanto. (Watch video)  Protesters marched to the Gates Foundation in Seattle, demanding they divest from Monsanto.  Based on encouraging reports like the one below, we can hope that the Gates will also completely divest from Monsanto in the near future as we increase pressure on them through creative resistance.

Popular Resistance reports environmentalists resistance efforts are a great success due to “bold, creative, militant actions” that connect  local, national and international actions:

“No longer dominated by the traditional “Big Green” groups that were taking big donations from corporate polluters, the new environmental movement is broader, more assertive and more creative. With extreme energy extraction and climate change bearing down on the world, environmental justice advocates are taking bold actions to stop extreme energy extraction and create new solutions to save the planet.  These ‘fresh greens’ often work locally, but also connect through national and international actions.

The recent national climate assessment explains why the movement is deepening, broadening and getting more militant.”

But what is so hypocritical about the rhetoric and the actual Gates’  investments?  Mother Jones wrote about  what they called “the most egregious hypocritical investments” of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, noting their rhetoric is one thing, while their actions and investments were quite another.

Bill and Melinda also claim their foundation’s investments are for improving civil rights, but are they really? Rhetoric or reality?

In a speech to the Urban League in 2011, Gates discussed civil rights as it relates to education, promoting his corporate reform experiments on our public school children, but not on his own… as reported by :

“Education may be the hardest civil rights fight of all,” Gates said. “Discrimination is harder to prove and people often don’t know what levers to pull to fix the problem.”

Gates has been looking for the right levers for years and has made some mistakes. He poured approximately $2 billion into breaking large high schools into small schools, believing that students would get more attention. Two years ago, he acknowledged this wasn’t the panacea he had hoped for.”

How about the Gates Foundation’s latest experiments?  Are they the panacea for civil rights?  Are the Gates couple pulling the right levers?

Anthony Cody, retired NBCT, M.Ed. and  education activist,  wrote a post titled “Devastating Report Condemns Corporate Reform as Civil Rights Fraud” —  timed with the 60 year anniversary of Brown v Board of Education. Clearly, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations experiments have once again proven not to be the “panacea” and in fact have caused irreparable harm to our nation’s civil rights advances.

Like their private prison investments which ended up aiding the torture of prisoners, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s investments in corporate education reform are causing irreparable harm to our children, families, teachers, public schools, communities,  civil rights, and democracy.  As a result, Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates has a demand.  They demand the Gates Foundation DIVEST from corporate education reform on these grounds:

“We at Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates and the following signers hereby assume that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation experts are motivated by a sincere desire to improve education. But we fail to understand how your organization has become the national and global arbiter of the means and ends of education in the United States and around the world. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s narrow focus on standardized testing risks turning learning into drudgery and killing the joy of learning. As the Gates Foundation’s national and global push for the Common Core, high-stakes testing, and teacher evaluations based on test scores has led many governments into a national and international competition for higher test scores, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has assumed the power to shape education policy in the United States and around the world, with no debate about the necessity or limitations of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s goals. We are deeply concerned that measuring a great diversity of educational traditions and cultures using a single, narrow, biased yardstick could, in the end, do irreparable harm to our communities, our schools, our profession, and our students.

You and the OECD have much in common, Bill and Melinda. Your imposition of corporate reform policies, which are measured using a single, narrow, biased yardstick, are successful in one area only: making a profit for you, test companies, publishers, and the privatizing corporate reformers. Your policies continue to use our children as guinea pigs in your corporate reform experiments and risk doing “irreparable harm to our schools and our students”.

We the undersigned reject the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s tight control of education policy. Venture philanthropy’s influence on public education has been all-pervasive and we demand an immediate restoration of democracy in our schools. Divest from corporate education reform.”

Exercise your right to demand the Gates concede power.  You too can apply public pressure.  Sign the demand to the Gates Foundation to DIVEST in the comment section on this link and Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates will add your name to their letter.

Join the Washington Badass Teachers Association, Washington Save Our Schools, Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates on June 14th for a Twitter Storm to educate and activate the public about the harm caused by certain Gates Foundation investments.

Join us on June 26th from 5-7 pm protesting the Gates Foundation’s investments in corporate education reform.  We demand they DIVEST from corporate education reform! Sign up to participate in our Educating the Gates Foundation Rally here!  Public pressure is effective!

Frederick Douglass  is right: “Power conceded nothing without a demand.  It never did and it never will.”





If You Can Define “Oligarchy”, Thank a Teacher! #EducatingGates Rally – Seattle – June 26th!

America’s teachers are getting blamed for the effects of poverty by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Your children are being labeled as failures.  Parents are being blamed.   Public education as an institution is being blamed. Yet the real blame lies with the oligarchy.  Bill and Melinda Gates want to operate public schools like they did Microsoft, stack ranking children, teachers, and schools with their corporate education reform experiments even though stack ranking failed at Microsoft.   Yet the oligarchy is setting public education policy and has been for many years now.  The oligarchy accepts no accountability for their mistaken experiments with children and teachers in public education.  Leading the oligarchy are the richest couple in the world – Bill and Melinda Gates.  Leading corporate education reform policies through their wealth and power granted to them is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.   The weight of the oligarchy rests on the back of innocent school children, public professional servants aka teachers, and the public good – our public schools.  We are here to take back that power.

When Generosity Hurts: Bill Gates, Public School Teachers and the Politics of Humiliation

In order to take back that power, we are here to educate and activate the public about the hoax of corporate education reform and to build a strong, powerful #StopGatesCoalition.

The Washington Badass Teachers Association, Washington Save Our Schools, and Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates are hosting an #EducatingGates Rally on June 26th in Seattle, Wa.  Our goals include:

  • Educate and activate the public about our vision of public education.
  • Educate and activate the public about the damaging influence of corporate education reform as promoted and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Expose the hoax of corporate education reform, privatization, Common Core, high stakes tests, and “school choice”.  Identify the real problem and the real solutions.
  • Build a coalition of groups and organizations who want to work with us to become free from the policies imposed by the investments of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Our rally will begin at 5:00 pm at Westlake Center in Seattle and will end after our march to the Gates Foundation. The first part of the rally will begin with the voices of educators sharing the impacts of corporate education reform with all those who attend the rally.  Anthony Cody will be our keynote speaker.  Morna McDermott will be a dynamic speaker as well as other surprise speakers.  See more about the connections we have made and our speakers below:

WaBATs made a great connection with Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign.  Some of us will be joining their crew for 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 Backbone Campaign  “Localize This” Artful Resistance training in your area! Follow them @BackboneProg on Twitter.

We invited Anthony Cody to be one of our keynote speakers at our Rally.   Anthony’s bio:

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.  Follow Morna on Twitter @MornaMcDermott.   Morna’s bio:

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

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.

Join us!  We plan to share the microphone with individuals and groups at the rally.

Gates Rally Flyer Front

Here is the flyer we will be passing out before and during the rally.  See front of flyer above.

While Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates is limited to the voices of professional teachers, this blog is designed to allow the public to share their concerns about the impacts of the policies created by the investments and agendas influencing policies by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  We invite you to share your concerns here in our comment section.  We will post letters to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation here.

Join us here to express your concerns about the hoax of corporate education reform.  How do the policies of the Gates Foundation impact your children?  You as a student?  Your school?  Your profession? Your community? Democracy?

Are you interested in building a coalition with us?  What issues are you concerned about regarding the Gates Foundation and how do they impact you?

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 and are working for democracy vs oligarchy.

Join us in our the #EducatingGates Rally on June 26th in Seattle and in building our #StopGatesCoalition Movement!

Follow us on Twitter: @EducatingGatesF .

Sign up for our rally here.

Like our Facebook Page here.

Join our Facebook event here.

Interested in being part of our Flash Mob at the Rally?  Join the Facebook Flash Mob event here.

Meanwhile, if you can define oligarchy, thank a teacher!  We all do better when we all do better!

Thank you for your activism!

In solidarity,

Susan DuFresne, WaBAT and Co-organizer of #EducatingGates, #StopGatesCoalition