By Deb Herbage
Bill Gates has taken on the role of reforming our public schools across the U.S. He is a self-proclaimed education reformer using his foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and his wealth to fund what he believes our children should be learning, how they should be learning, how they should behave, and what their career paths should be. Parents do not get any say in what is happening in their local public schools. Their local schools that their tax dollars support. Nor do they have any say in what experimental research, experimental curriculum, experimental tests or experimental software and programs their children are a part of.
Gates has spent close to 20 years attempting to reform our public schools. The most recent and most despised and talked about attempt was the illegal implementation of the Common Core State Standards which was forced into our public schools in the 2014-2015 school year. Illegal because it was mandated by the federal government under the Obama Administration by then Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. The federal government does not have the legal authority to dictate education policy or standards in the individual states, yet it happened. The federal government dangled the Race to the Top funding carrot in front of the cash starved states for compliance. The result was the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) followed by the complete rewrite of the curriculum and standards in each and every state. Which then, of course, was followed by the complete rewrite of the state standardized tests for each state. Another windfall for the testing companies with the double and triple digit million dollar state testing contracts. Very lucrative business considering the CCSS is copyrighted.
On June 2, 2016, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation issued a press release – their annual letter – stating their Common Core “idea” didn’t go off as planned. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/06/02/gates-foundation-chief-admits-common-core-mistakes/?utm_term=.9f2349d16955 This is just one of many failed Gates experiments. Considering Gates completely funded Common Core and is a partner – he will continue to benefit financially. https://web.archive.org/web/20100115190046/www.corestandards.org/
“Unfortunately, our foundation underestimated the level of resources and support required for our public education systems to be well-equipped to implement the standards. We missed an early opportunity to sufficiently engage educators – particularly teachers – but also parents and communities so that the benefits of the standards could take flight from the beginning.
This has been a challenging lesson for us to absorb, but we take it to heart. The mission of improving education in America is both vast and complicated, and the Gates Foundation doesn’t have all the answers.”
“This has been a challenging lesson for us to absorb….” A challenging lesson for THEM to absorb? What about the millions of school children – OUR CHILDREN – across the country who had to deal with the developmentally inappropriate curriculum? What about the massive disruption to their learning? The extreme stress and anxiety they put our kids through? What about the kids who were incorrectly labeled failures and either held back or denied diplomas? We can’t get those lost days back. “Oh Well.” Our kids suffering meant absolutely nothing to them. Yet, that doesn’t stop them from the continuous interfering in our public schools. With the interfering of the education of our kids. There is no remorse for the detrimental outcomes and profound destruction his failed experiments cause other than an “oops”. When Gates backed Common Core, he stated “It would be great if our education stuff worked, but that we won’t know for probably a decade.” A decade. 10 years. Our kids don’t have 10 years to see if “the education stuff worked”. Our kids go through their educational years once. They don’t get a do over because Gates ideas are a failure. Gates’ own children did not attend schools that taught Common Core. Why is it okay for our children to be subjected to Common Core but not his own? That fact alone speaks volumes. Our public schools, teachers and kids have to pick up the pieces and move on from the destruction and chaos Common Core wreaked on our schools. Gates never had the consent or buy-in of parents and teachers across the country. His wealth is how and why Common Core was put in place. There are far too many philanthropists waving their money around buying their way with our elected politicians at the federal and state level. That is shameful and disgraceful. Zuckerberg is another education philanthropist whose “education stuff” hasn’t worked either.
And yet here we go again.
This time Gates is teaming up with Zuckerberg to experiment on our kids. http://k12education.gatesfoundation.org/researchanddevelopment/
One of the elements of this new experiment request for information (RFI) is for “Measuring & Improving Executive Function”. http://k12education.gatesfoundation.org/index.php?pdf-file=1&filename=wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Program-Description_-Executive-Function.pdf Executive function? Our kids thoughts, actions and behaviors?
Here is what Gates/Zuckerberg wrote in the RFI: “Problem: Student success in academics and in future careers is associated with their ability to wrestle with multiple ideas at once, think flexibly, and regulate their actions and thoughts. These skills describe the basic executive functions (EFs) of working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibitory control. Strong childhood EFs predict higher socio-economic status, better physical health, and fewer drug-related problems and criminal convictions in adulthood.”
Gates and Zuckerberg are now setting up to experiment on our kids’ “executive function” (EF). Our kids’ “executive function” is seen as a “problem” by Gates/Zuckerberg. They want to collect and gather data on our kids (children and young adults) executive functioning in academic and non-academic settings in and outside of school.
“We are requesting information about the current state-of-the-art approaches for the topic areas below and bold ideas for advancing these capabilities in 10 years by creating effective methods for evaluating and improving executive functioning.”
10 years. Another decade……just like Common Core. What private and personal information are Gates and Zuckerberg looking for from our kids? What exactly are they looking to “improve upon”? Who is giving the authority to them to gather this sensitive data from our children? Who gives them the authority to experiment on our kids’ thoughts, actions and behaviors? What is their end goal? Their combined wealth is what gives them the authority. No one can or will turn down that kind of money. It makes no difference to the elected officials, legislature, superintendents, governors, school boards, etc. how this could damage or impact our kids……all they see are the dollar signs.
Gates and Zuckerberg have taken on the roles of oligarch, self-serving, autocratic, total authoritarians when it comes to our kids and their education. With their quest to stay ahead of their competition, they have absolutely no remorse for the trail of devastation and destruction their failed experiments leave behind. Sweep it aside and move on to the next one. Their goal is not to provide a free, appropriate, high quality education to our kids. It is to increase their profit margins and be one step ahead of their competition. What better way to find lab rats for their experiments than to perform their experiments on the school children in public schools across the country without parental consent or knowledge.
You can help your kids not become another pawn for Gates and Zuckerberg’s failed experiments by asking questions. Becoming more involved in your child’s education can and will help them. Ask questions! Tell your child’s school they do NOT have your consent to use experimental software /applications/programs on your child and they do NOT have your consent for your child to take part in any surveys or answer any personal questions whatsoever. Teach your child to advocate for themselves. That is the best gift you can give to your child.
Parents need to put a stop to their kids being used as guinea pigs and lab rats to these plutocrats.
Are you willing to sacrifice your child’s education for another failed experiment? Are you willing to wait 10 years to see if Gates/Zuckerberg’s “education stuff” works? We can’t lose another generation of children to these failed education experiments!
Time to step up to the plate and say NO MORE.