WE WANT CORPORATE TAX PAYERS NOT PATRONS!!
Baltimore is as one writer put it a 'company town'. Johns Hopkins is the 'decider' in all things public policy and it declares itself a private institution even as it receives trillions in public money. It has built a complete network of quasi-governmental and community organizations headed by people it supports to move policy in its desired direction. This is happening in all areas having these elite private schools. In Maryland we have Hopkins writing our health care reform in which we are told most people will be moved to Medicaid public health preventative checkups and private health institutions are making profits. The same happens with an elite school like Harvard that fuels Wall Street or Stanford that fuels the tech and education industries. WE HAVE SINCE THE ENLIGHTENMENT HAD UNIVERSITIES AS PLACES FOR SOCIETAL GROWTH STEEPED IN HUMANITIES AND LIBERAL ARTS. DEGREES LEFT STUDENTS WELL-ROUNDED TO BECOME VALUABLE TO A BUSINESS FOR DIVERSIFIED SKILLS. Now, we have students attending universities that are extensions of business who are trained with a specific skill and if that person leaves a job......they must go back to school for more training to get a different skill all paid for with public money. STUDENTS ARE GRADUATING WITH NO LIFE SKILLS, NO CITIZENSHIP SKILLS, AND NO SOCIAL SKILLS. THIS IS NOT HOW TO MAKE CITIZENS.....IT CRIPPLES DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES.....which is the point.
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!!
RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE NEXT ELECTIONS!!!
You will recognize that what is happening in Indiana is happening in Maryland. If you look at the State Education Administration you will find employees brought from conservative states who are privatizing their public education systems. Third Way corporate democrats have the same agenda as republicans.
Do you hear NPR constantly state that the republican party is dying? IT IS BECAUSE THIRD WAY IS REPUBLICAN AND RUNS AS DEMOCRAT.....THEY ARE TAKING THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY REPUBLICAN!
This means goodbye labor and justice......the 80% of the party's democratic base!!
What You Need to Know About the Indiana University Strike
James Cersonsky and StudentNation on April 8, 2013 - 9:27 AM ET
Though Indiana University's March Madness is over, a generation of gutting and restructuring has left Hoosier country on its feet. This Thursday and Friday, the university will be the site of a statewide strike. As the Board of Trustees holds its annual meeting, many students and staff are expected to walk out of class and off the job.
As one poster states:
The goal is to contest the administration's efforts to make IU a more exclusive, costly institution, at the expense of students and staff. We have already forced the administration to acknowledge these issues, but through collective action, we want to push further so that we can imagine together a different future for IU.
In addition to a 45 percent increase in tuition and fees over the past six years, the strikers cite issues of diversity and racism:
Recent cuts at IU have disproportionately targeted international students and students of color, college education has been eliminated from Indiana prisons, and immigration laws have been implemented that make an IU education cost-prohibitive for undocumented Indiana students.
Rather than organizing solely around affordability, students list a slate of demands:
1. Immediately reduce tuition and eliminate fees.
2. Stop privatization and outsourcing at IU.
3. End the wage freeze [i.e., stagnant wages for faculty and staff].
4. The university must honor its promise to double the enrollment of African-American students to 8%.
5. Support the abolition of both HB1402 [which prevents undocumented students from receiving in-state tuition] and SB590 [an immigration law enforcement bill styled after Arizona's SB 1070].
These demands are obviously not exhaustive—there’s no way to concisely communicate all the things that need to change at IU. These demands are a starting point, a spark to foster discussion and encourage action. These demands are made not just of the Board of Trustees, but of the entire state bureaucracy that the Board is a part of.
Campus activists have spent six months organizing the strike. "We're trying to encourage a culture of resistance, where different people who are involved in the struggle can organize on their own," a student organizer, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Nation. While there are regular general assemblies for strikers and supporters, many participants "go back to plan things on their own basis."
Public sector workers in Indiana aren't legally allowed to strike, and according to the university, faculty are prohibited from using “faculty LISTSERVs and emails to promote organization around the proposed student strike.” (It also remains to be seen just how much support the strike has in the student body generally.) On Monday, strikers held a noise demo landing at the provost's office, where they called for the university not to retaliate against non-student strikers. Meanwhile, more than 100 faculty have signed a petition in solidarity with striking students—and calling for the university not to punish them for walking out.
The strike will be accompanied by a number of actions, as well as "Free University Days" organized by graduate students and instructors.
Not in Indiana? The strikers are asking students and allies from across the country to write letters of support to the Indiana Daily Student at email@example.com.
Below is a list of universities that have moved from private to corporate universities and who get a lions share of all public research money. Remember Obama's $750 billion in stimulus in 2009.......most went to these corporate universities to keep the global corporate R and D going!!!!
O'Malley is trying hard to make the University of Maryland system one of these corporate university systems and is well on that way. Soon, Maryland citizens will not be able to afford to attend university campus studies....they will be relegated to online classes.
WE DO NOT WANT TO LOSE PUBLIC EDUCATION AND WANT TO KEEP IT EQUAL OPPORTUNITY. TO DO SO WE MUST HAVE CORPORATIONS PAYING TAXES AND RECOVERING AND PROSECUTING CRIME!
University of Maryland system is trying hard to be a corporate research system.
Historically, many of the prestigious universities in the United States have been private. Some public universities are also highly prestigious and increasingly selective though; Richard Moll designated such prestigious public universities Public Ivies. At schools like the University of Michigan, UCLA, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Virginia, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the College of William and Mary, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a vast majority of the departments are consistently highly ranked.
10 Innovative Universities Shaking Up Education Added by Guest Writer on 2013-01-27
Every college and university in America is concerned with innovation. After all, that’s the whole point of education — giving young minds an understanding of our past and a grasp of current developments, and releasing them into the wild to shape the future with their creations. But a few schools in particular can be counted on as continuous sources of headline-grabbing material, from new cures to new companies. These 10 colleges can safely lay claim to the honor of being innovation factories.
- MIT: Though once overshadowed by Harvard, Boston Magazine recently proclaimed Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s ascension to “most important university in the world.” Its reasoning: “The amount of technological innovation and entrepreneurial activity taking place at any moment all over the campus is remarkable.” The article cited the fabric-based computers and robot skin coming out of the school’s famous Media Lab, but it might just as easily have referenced MIT’s established reputation for shaking up education, or its collaborations and projects for fostering new methods for solving persistent global problems. In short, in a world where new ideas are vitally needed to propel us forward, an innovation factory like MIT becomes king.
- Stanford University: A recent report enunciated what those in both the academic and business worlds already knew: Stanford is innovation central. Over 5.4 million jobs created since the ’30s and $2.7 trillion in annual revenue have Cardinal innovation and entrepreneurship to thank. In fact, there are some who believe Silicon Valley might not exist at all if not for Stanford University. Part of the reason the school produces so much innovation is that it encourages so much innovation. From Innovation Masters lectures to hefty prizes for innovation from the research libraries to a faculty stocked with out-of-the-box thinkers, the school is a hub for creative activity and research for students and the surrounding community alike.
- Northwestern University: Of the $1.8 billion earned by universities commercializing their research in 2011, Northwestern singlehandedly accounted for over 10%. NU’s students and alums routinely churns out revolutionary products and processes, like those that were honored at the 2012 Chicago Innovation Awards: an infant HIV test for the third world, a more efficient gas storage technique, and a safety tool for surgeons. The inventions came from the NUvention Medical Innovation program but also from campus institutions not bearing the innovation label, like the Kellogg School of Management and the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, proving the entire school is fertile ground for revolutionary thinking.
- Princeton University: The gothic, colonial, and Romanesque campus architecture reminiscent of bygone days belie this school’s firmly-established place as an innovator in the 21st century. To wit: the $115 million in revenue from licensing inventions in 2011. For seven years the annual Innovation Forum has been bringing good ideas to the surface and inspiring inventors, while the Innovation Garden is looking to do the same for entrepreneurs. Today Princeton folks are behind updated ways to cut the energy needs of big data providers and use nanotechnology to detect infrastructural damage before major collapses.
- Carnegie Mellon University: The word “innovation” pops up all over this Pittsburgh campus, from specialized degrees to conferences to institutions. But the heart of ingenuity at the school is the Robert Mehrabian Collaborative Innovation Center, where, for example, researchers work on government cybersecurity development and “capacitive touch sensing.” CMU has cemented itself as an innovation leader especially since the early ’90s, when cutting-edge projects like its Wireless Research Initiative and breakthrough work in computer science and search engines. Today the university is continuing this legacy by searching for ways to transform America’s energy sector and producing alums poised to give the world its next amazing invention.
- Olin College: As one student blogger put it, the enterprising Weasley twins should have gone to Olin, because they would have fit right in. Olin students have produced some fantastic devices, from ping-pong-playing robots to solar-powered trash compactors. The college is well-known for pedagogical innovation, the new Argosy Collaborative Faculty Exchange program being a perfect example. And thanks to a federal grant under the auspices of the selective new Higher Education Solutions Network, Olin will be able to put its considerable innovation prowess to work helping meet global development challenges.
- Columbia University: Whether compared with other Ivy League schools or the rest of America’s universities in general, Columbia is a top exporter of revolutionary ideas and products. Like Princeton, it was in the select club of earners of more than $100 million in licensing income in 2011. A noted top pick for journalism instruction, Columbia has joined fellow innovator Stanford to forge a path between journalism and technology. Creations like synthetic trees that capture 1,000 times more carbon dioxide than real trees are a natural byproduct of a school that’s ever ramping up its efforts to involve the entire university community in innovation.
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: This is the place that’s given the world the integrated circuit, LED and plasma screens, MRIs, and Tesla Motors. In other words, it’s a discovery mecca. They literally celebrate innovation here, annually recognizing achievements in everything from tissue engineering to optical microscopy. Major accomplishments in recent years have been a cutting-edge HIV drug called Prezista and a less-harsh cancer treatment alternative to chemotherapy, while UIC’s Office of Technology Management 2012 winner of Inventor of the Year has created an exciting new insulation panel for heating and cooling houses with as much as 80% less energy wasted.
- University of Michigan: 2012 was a banner year for Wolverine innovation. The school was home to 368 new inventions and 101 awarded patents, which no doubt contributed in the state’s first promising innovation index results since 2008. UM has been steadily building a name for itself in entrepreneurship and innovation with offerings like TechArb, its student startup incubator, and MCubed, a new research program for funding “new initiatives with major societal impact.” The student body has also gotten on board with new ideas for campus sustainability through Planet Blue, with projects like a campus farm, a fruit and vegetable stand, and bike fix-it stations already implemented.
- Brigham Young University: Two years ago, Businessweek named BYU one of the most innovative colleges in the country, and that still holds true in 2013. Exciting ideas are kindled at the BYU Innovation Academy, and funded by the Crocker Innovation Fellowship, the latter of which recently helped a team of Cougars win the school’s Innovator of the Year challenge. The school also boasted a statewide innovation challenge winner in 2012. They were the tip of the iceberg, as the school’s Creative Works Office and Changemaker Week — for social innovation — continue to turn out fresh concoctions.
Cost of Attendance
The basic formula used to calculate the cost of attendance for the 2013-14 academic year is as follows:
Expense Amount Tuition $45,120 Fees (Health $200, ASG $162, Athletic $45) $407 Room and Board $13,862*
Books and Supplies $1,878 Personal Expenses $1,926 Loan Fee $35 Transportation Varies Cost of Attendance $63,228 *The cost of attendance for commuter students is $52,664, which includes $984 for transportation and $2,325 for room and board.
Article updated: 4/11/2011 6:12 PM
Public has right to question what’s happening at “private” Northwestern
By Chuck Goudie
Northwestern really isn't a "private" university.
This may come as a shock to parents who wrote checks for $53,000 this year to cover private tuition, room and board. It's not just Northwestern.
Advertisement DePaul, Loyola, Notre Dame and most other so-called "private" universities aren't private at all. They solicit and receive public funding from the government for research and also benefit from student
So, if you pay taxes, these "private" schools get lots of your money. (The most notable example of a truly private school is Hillsdale College in southern Michigan. It accepts and allows no federal funding for anything. That is another story.)
Despite the use of federal funds at Northwestern, the administration of the university is private. There is no oversight or regulation by a publicly-elected or appointed board, and no public accountability for most decisions.
So, this is about the only place to publicly ask these questions:
What in the world is going on at Northwestern?
Is there a management problem up there in Evanston?
Who's in charge?
The university's purple and white has been turned black and blue the past few months following three eye-opening missteps involving professors and administrators... the very people who are supposed to be
The grouping of gaffes features:
• an explicit, live, in-class sex demonstration from exhibitionists hired by a controversial psychology professor.
• the public defrocking and professional dismemberment of successful, well-known Medill project head David Protess, who helped exonerate wrongly convicted death row inmates.
• volleys of nasty allegations and legal wrangling between Protess and university officials who charge each other with lying and covering up.
• the most recent embarrassment occurred at Northwestern's famous Kellogg School of Business when a son of Libyan dictator/terrorist Moammar Gadhafi was allowed to attend three days of graduate classes under an alias.
All of these events have one thing in common: they were terribly managed by Northwestern public relations officials and top administrators once they leaked out of the "private" campus and became public.
The case of Gadhafi's son visiting campus in February is the most egregious example of ineptness. When Northwestern/Kellogg officials were notified that Khamis Gadhafi wanted to sit in on an executive MBA class taught by Dr. Deepak Chopra, they went along with Gadhafi's request that he not be truthfully identified to the other students in the class.
The Mohammar protégé was on a cross-country trip, part of a corporate-sponsored "internship." It was at the same time that a revolution was stirring in Libya... a revolt that would lure him home just a few days later to lead an elite military unit accused of slaughtering countless innocent civilians.
Nevertheless, last week when the Northwestern/Kellogg public relations office was provided with questions about young Mr. Gadhafi's stealth campus visit, this was the reply: "Yes, he attended a three-day executive education course as a student. That's really all I can share" stated Meg Washburn, director of media relations.
I wrote back: "Why is that? We are talking about a "student" who supervised the beatings of unarmed civilians, military attacks on residential villages (using internationally banned weapons) and the executions of soldiers who refused to fire on demonstrators…just a few weeks after he was welcomed into a Northwestern classroom.
"Who arranged for him to be there and why did the university allow him to be falsely identified to unsuspecting students?
"Considering the atrocities that U.S. defense officials believe were committed by Khamis Gadhafi, why isn't Northwestern/Kellogg issuing a more definitive statement and someone at the university sitting down to do an interview with us? With all respect, the recent case of a sex demonstration in a Northwestern class received far more substantive responses from university officials."
In Northwestern's final statement on the matter, Kellogg Business School Dean Sally Blount did not respond to the substantive questions.
Blount said Gadhafi's "visit occurred prior to the uprising in Libya, and before the recent, very troubling allegations against him surfaced" and that Kellogg is committed to respecting human dignity and the integrity of the learning environment, and they promise to review all enrollment procedures and criteria and determine changes that need to be made.
If things continue, one thing that will need to be changed is Northwestern's motto, in Latin on the purple and white crest.
"Quaecumque sunt vera." It means "Whatsoever things are true."
What in the world is going on at Northwestern?
You deserve an answer too.
After all, they have some of your money.
• Chuck Goudie, whose column appears each Monday, is the chief investigative reporter at ABC7 News in Chicago. The views in this column are his own and not those of WLS-TV. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed at twitter.com/ChuckGoudie
Government-Supported Research Enables Their Profits, But Many Corporations Have Nearly Stopped Paying Taxes
PAUL BUCHHEIT FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Multinational corporations have built their businesses on the backs of American taxpayers. They've depended on government research, national defense, the legal and educational systems, and our infrastructure.
Yet they've turned around and mocked us with declining tax payments. They've cut workers. They've refused to invest their massive profits in job-producing research and development. And they've insulted existing employees with low wages and dwindling retirement support.
As a final disdainful act, many of them have tried to convince us that they LOSE money in the U.S. while only making profits overseas.
Here are the facts.
Business Built on Our Backs
The most essential aspect of business growth is the long-term basic research that is largely conducted with government money. Starting in the 1950s, taxpayer-funded research at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (the Internet), the National Institute of Health (pharmaceuticals), and the National Science Foundation (the Digital Library Initiative) has laid a half-century foundation for corporate product development. Even today 60% of university research is government-supported.
The tech industry is a special case, with many computer and communications companies coming of age in the 1990s, when industry funding for computer research declined dramatically and government research funding continued to climb. As of 2009 universities were still receiving ten times more science & engineering funding from government than from industry.
Thanks to the taxpayer-funded National Highway System, corporations have acquired access to markets across the country for over 60 years. Along with road construction came the water, electric, and telephone facilities needed to sustain their businesses.
Today, the publicly supported communications infrastructure allows the richest 10% of Americans to readily manipulate their 80% share of the stock market. CEOs rely on roads and seaports and airports to ship their products, the FAA and TSA and Coast Guard and Department of Transportation to safeguard them, a nationwide energy grid to power their factories, and communications towers and satellites to conduct online business. Private jets use 16 percent of air traffic control resources while paying only 3% of the bill.
A litany of advantages accrues to the business world through the legal system. The wealthiest Americans are the main beneficiaries of tax laws, property rights, zoning rules, patent and copyright provisions, trade pacts, antitrust legislation, and contract regulations. Their companies benefit, despite their publicly voiced objections to regulatory agencies, from SBA and SEC guidelines that generally favor business, and from FDA and USDA quality control measures that minimize consumer complaints and product recalls.
The growing numbers of financial industry executives have profited from 30 years of deregulation, most notably the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. Lobbying by the financial industry has stifled reasonable proposals like a sales tax on financial transactions.
More big advantages are enjoyed by multinational corporations through trade agreements like NAFTA, with international disputes resolved by the business-friendly World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Trade Organization. Federal judicial law protects our biggest companies from foreign infringement. The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership would put governments around the world at the mercy of corporate decision-makers.
Public colleges have helped to train the chemists, physicists, chip designers, programmers, engineers, production line workers, market analysts, and testers who create modern technological devices. At the primary and secondary levels, the "equal opportunity" principle mandated by the Supreme Court in Brown vs. the Board of Education has contributed to business growth, building the math and language skills that until recently led the world.
The U.S. government will be spending $55 billion on Homeland Security this year, in addition to $673 billion for the military. Most of their resources, along with local police and emergency services and the National Guard, are focused on crimes against wealth.
Belittling Us Instead Of Paying Us Back
Instead of paying for their decades of government-supported growth, corporations have nearly stopped paying taxes, leaving payroll deductions and individual income taxes as the main sources of federal revenue.
From 2003 to 2011 total corporate profits more than doubled from $900 billion to almost $2 trillion, but the corporate income tax rate dropped by more than half, from 22.5% to 10%.
On top of this, the most profitable corporations get the biggest subsidies. The Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in welfare assistance to financial institutions and corporations. According to U.S. PIRG and Citizens for Tax Justice, 280 top-earning Fortune 500 companies, which together paid only half of the maximum 35 percent corporate tax rate, received $223 billion in tax subsidies.
What have they been doing with their windfall profits? Anywhere from $2.2 trillion to $3.4 trillion in cash is being held by non-financial corporations, who have chosen to fatten stockholders rather than invest in new production facilities and the employees needed to make them functional. Worse yet, as reported by The Nation, Market Watch, and Business Insider, they've been steadily cutting jobs in order to 'streamline' their operations.
For the employees who remain, average real wages were $17.42 in 2007, down from $19.34 in 1972 (based on 2007 dollars). Wages as a percentage of the economy are at an all-time low.
An Added Insult -- Profits Declared Overseas, But Not in the U.S.
Multinational corporations use the vacuous argument of an excessive U.S. tax rate to defend their tax avoidance, although in reality the U.S. has the third-lowest rate of tax revenue per GDP among all OECD countries.
The biggest tax avoiders are not content to just shirk their tax responsibilities. To sustain the image of profitmaking for their investors, many of them claim hefty worldwide incomes while reporting little or no income in the United States. Pfizer, for example, just declared their fifth straight annual loss in the U.S., despite a five-year income total of over $50 billion.
A review of SEC data reveals more chicanery. In the last two years Citigroup reported $27.8 billion in foreign income, but a $5 billion loss in the United States. Exxon credits the U.S. for 1/3 of its revenue and 40% of its assets, but only 15% of its income. Apple has 2/3 of its employees in the U.S. but claims only 1/3 of its profits as U.S. income.
Summing Up the Absurdity: You Made Us the Best, But We Don't Have To Pay
Forbes responded to suggestions of American decline with this stirring defense: "We lead the world in Internet innovation, music, movies, biotech and many other technological fields that require out-of-the-box thinking. From Apple to DreamWorks Studios, from Amazon to Zynga, we are the world's innovators."
They might have added, "And we don't have to give anything back to the people who made it all possible."
Photo: An American flag hangs in the lobby of Citigroup Center in Chicago. (Source: jcsullivan24/Flickr)
Paul Buchheit is the founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (UsAgainstGreed.org, PayUpNow.org, RappingHistory.org), and the editor and main author of "American Wars: Illusions and Realities" (Clarity Press). He can be reached at paul@UsAgainstGreed.org.
The Corporations Colonizing our Public Schools April 10, 2013 - Chicago Daily Herald
In an era of corporate aggression into the public sphere, not even the classroom is safe. As the corporate reach extends into public schools, our kids are increasingly reshaped as products, as data to be collected, as pawns in the corporate fight to rid the country of unionized jobs. In our classrooms, the humanity and education of students is gradually being replaced with corporate systems and profit-values.
As if the only human activity with any meaning or moral relevance is the pursuit of money, corporate education transforms the entire scope of the education process into pre-employment training. Instead of investing in the future, corporate education looks to squeeze a profit from it before it arrives.
Rather than trying to educate evolved, modern adults, the corporate model seeks to profit off our tax-money while reshaping students as nothing more than future employees. The long process of raising our kids into responsible, active grown-ups is replaced by a process that openly places profit over progress, corporate values over human ones.
Joel Klein, the former Bloomberg favorite and Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, was hired by right-wing media tycoon Rupert Murdoch to help Amplify move desperately needed funding out of the classroom and into corporate hands. (Photo: via Amplify.com)
While there are many corporations, foundations, and individuals who have contributed to the infiltration of private corporate interests into publicly funded education, there are 3 that stand out.
The Walton Foundation, The Gates Foundation and the Broad Foundation, known as the Big Three, have consistently threatened democratic processes in public education reform.They’re able to spend nearly $4 billion annually on anything from political campaigns to Astroturf organizations to funding research and studies that are in line with their goals.All three of these groups have heavily invested in School Choice reforms and voucher programs.
School choice, charter schools, and voucher programs are really ways to subsidize private education using public money. These failed, profit-driven policies are an extension of the corporate search for profit, an attempt to transfer public wealth to private hands under the pretense of “reforming” schools (whose failure, conveniently enough, was triggered and exacerbated in the first place by selective austerity policies driven by some of the same corporate groups now trying to profit from their failure).
Which groups, companies and individuals
are behind the corporate drive
to privatize public education? The Gates Foundation: while the Gates Foundation does great work in other areas, their work in US educational systems seems to be misguided at best. They fund Astroturf groups like Teach for America and Educators for Excellence, who recruit young professionals and basically pay them to undermine teachers unions. The Gates Foundation advocates data based compensation for teachers, as well as closing schools that perform poorly on data driven high stakes tests. They also support increasing class size.
However, reducing class size is one of the only reforms that has repeatedly been proven to improve student performance(pdf). While the Gates Foundation claims to be open to all reform ideas, they tend to primarily fund and publicly support those based on test scores alone, ignoring teacher and parent input.
The Broad Foundation: Broad contributed millions of dollars to the campaign to extend mayoral control of the public schools in New York City under Michael Bloomberg. He also has an unusually close relationship to Joel Klein, Randi Weingarten and Arne Duncan.
The Broads got their money by building federally subsidized housing in suburbs of California and Texas. Apparently, there have been a number of chronic problems with those homes. The Broad Foundation Superintendents Academy trains management candidates in six intensive, four-day sessions spread over 10 months to become school superintendents in primarily urban areas.
These superintendents have a clear preference to charter schools over public. They also have a not-so-great record of corruption.
The Walton Family Foundation: this is the charitable arm of the Walton Family, owners of the middle class job killing, union busting company, Walmart.
They claim to want to improve public education through school choice. What they really support is the voucher system. As most aware New Yorkers know by now, this is nothing more than a ruse to siphon public money into private hands.
Teach For America: this is possibly the largest group trying to undermine public teachers unions in the country. Recruits for TFA are not encouraged to continue teaching, they are recruited to teach for 2 years, gain experience, then move on to something bigger and better.
For those trying to undermine unions, Teach for America is perfect. They can hire teachers for way less than a dedicated career educator, give them a whopping 5 weeks of training, put them in any classroom and after 2 years, get them out.
No long-term health benefits, no pension plans, nothing.
The “teacher” gets to bulk up their resume. Major corporations get to donate to an organization that looks like it cares about children. Everybody wins!…except the students.
A look at TFA’s donors list is another cause for concern. The Walton Foundation is one of its biggest contributors. Other contributors include Bain & Company, Monsanto, Bank of America, Exxon Mobile, and Goldman Sachs just to name a few. It’s like a “who’s who” of groups that caused the Great Recession.
They aren’t only receiving private money though. They also get your tax dollars. They receive money from the US Department of Education and NASA.
Amplify: Amplify Insight just won a 12.5 million dollar contract to develop assessments and teaching tools for Common Core tests. Amplify Insight is a division of Amplify, an education technology company whose CEO is Joel Klein.
Amplify is the education branch of News Corp, owned by notorious phone hacking, privacy invading, Rupert Murdoch. Besides the very real concern of keeping children’s personal information as private as possible, Murdoch’s involvement in education is especially disconcerting given that he has openly said he was mostly interested in the money. When he bought Wireless Generation, a Brooklyn based education tech company, he said
“When it comes to K through 12 education, we see a $500 billion sector in the U.S. alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed by big breakthroughs that extend the reach of great teaching,” said News Corporation Chairman and CEO, Rupert Murdoch. “Wireless Generation is at the forefront of individualized, technology-based learning that is poised to revolutionize public education for a new generation of students.”
The Center for Educational Innovation – Public Education Association(CEI-PEA): a New York City-based “nonprofit” organization. Under the Re-Start program initiated in NYC in 2011, CEI-PEA was one of the organizations chosen to take over management of a few under-performing schools. One of those schools is J.H.S 166 George Gershwin, which is being closed due to poor performance. As previously reported by The BQ Brew, their Board of Trustees is full of supporters of TFA, hedge fund executives and New York City’s gentrifying elite.
inBloom: formerly known as Shared Learning Collaborative. New York is one of 9 states that will pilot inBloom’s technology. This is supposed to be a way of storing students personal learning needs and streamline information sharing for teachers, parents and administrators.
The concern is that students’ sensitive personal information will not only be stored on a database where security has not been established, but that that same info will be made available to third party companies. This will allow private corporations to access a school district’s student data so that the corporations will know what educational technology they can sell to specific schools. Parents have largely not been made aware of the change to the security of their children’s information.
Resistance, Never Futile:
Parents, Teachers and Communities Push Back Despite the seemingly endless number of corporate-sponsored deformers attempting to co-opt the educational system, there are a number of true grassroots organizations out there that are fighting for students. They are made up of teachers, parents, and members of the community who are tired of being excluded from the main stream pseudo debate on students’ futures. Movement Of Rank and file Educators(MORE): http://morecaucusnyc.org/
MORE is the social justice caucus of the United Federation of Teachers(UFT). They are working on fighting the single party representation that has had control of the UFT for decades, as well as fighting for social and community justice for both teachers and students. From their mission statement:
“8. We reject the corporate takeover of the public schools, and the wave of school closures in the city, which have particularly affected poor communities with high proportions of people of color. We insist on a moratorium on the opening of new charter schools. We seek to end the cuts to education which have led to increasing class sizes as well as inadequate social, health, guidance personnel and services.
9. The schools should be the people’s schools. We stand for democratic governance and popular control of our school system that fully reflects the needs, aspirations and diversity of those who make up its parent and student body. Mayoral control, which is inherently undemocratic, must be abolished , and be replaced by an elected People’s Board of Education which represents the interests of teachers, students, parents, and community.”
New York Collective of Radical Educators(NYCoRE): http://www.nycore.org/
is a group of public school educators who believe that the struggle for fair education does not end at the end of the school day and that the struggle is an integral part of education. They believe in organizing with parents and communities for social change. New Yorkers for Great Public Schools(NY-GPS): http://www.nygps.org/
a true grassroots organization, NY-GPS has been very vocal about their opposition to Mayor Bloomberg’s educational agenda. With vast community support, they are fighting for a moratorium on school closures and to get the word out to all New Yorkers about the corporate interests trying to buy their public schools. Parent Voices NY: http://www.parentvoicesny.org/
is a group for parents who have been increasingly concerned with high-stakes testing in public schools. Their main purpose is to help parents organize against these tests and advocate for a more wholesome approach to educating our youth. Their site is a great tool to hook up with direct action groups city wide. Class Size Matters: http://www.classsizematters.org/
is a group that advocates for smaller class sizes in NYC and nation wide. They provide information and links to studies on why smaller class size has been prove time and again to have a positive affect on student improvements. United Opt Out: http://unitedoptout.com/
is a national movement to end corporate education reform. This is a group of parents, educators, students and activists who want to see the elimination of high stakes testing in public schools. Their site is a full of information on how to opt out of testing either on the individual level or school level. There is tons of information on direct actions in most areas of the US, and info on how to create your own opt out group if needed. Diane Ravitch’s Blog: http://dianeravitch.net/
while this is not a group you can join, Ms. Ravitch has been a great voice in the movement to protect public education in the US. Her blog is regularly updated with information from all over the country warning the public to be aware of what’s going on in our schools. She is a historian of education and Research Professor of Education at New York University.
IN BALTIMORE IT IS NYC MAYOR BLOOMBERG THAT IS THE BILLIONAIRE FUNDING THE PRIVATIZATION OF BALTIMORE CITY SCHOOLS. AS I HAVE SAID ALL SCHOOLS ARE BEING TAKEN TO CHARTER......TIED TO VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND DIRECTLY TO BUSINESSES. THAT IS WHAT YOU SEE BELOW AS FACEBOOK'S ZUCKERBERG BUYS THE OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD HIS OWN SCHOOL SYSTEM ....FOLLOWING THE GATES MODEL. IN BOTH CASES THE PROBLEM IS LOST CORPORATE REVENUE AND TAX BASE THAT HAS THE SCHOOLS IN RAGGED CONDITION. SO, THE SOLUTION IS NOT TO HAVE BILLIONAIRES BUILD THEIR OWN SCHOOL SYSTEM.....IT IS TO PAY TAXES AND BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR CORPORATE FRAUD TO FUND PUBLIC EDUCATION AS IT IS.
WE DO NOT CALL THIS PHILANTHROPY ..... HE IS SIMPLY BUYING THE SCHOOLS SYSTEM. IT IS THE SAME IN MARYLAND WHERE PRIVATE DONATIONS DETERMINE WHAT SCHOOL SUCCEEDS AND THRIVES. NOTICE THAT GATES AND ZUCKERBERG ARE TWO TECH PEOPLE CONTROLLING INFORMATION AND EDUCATION BY MAKING IT ONLINE.....
GOOD FOR BUSINESS BAD FOR US!
Whatever Happened to the $100 Million Mark Zuckerberg Gave to Newark Schools? —By Maggie Severns
| Thu Mar. 28, 2013 2:23 PM PDT Mother Jones
Mike Derer/New Jersey Governor's Office Reports are surfacing that Mark Zuckerberg and other technology leaders are planning to launch a new, yet-to-be-named advocacy group that will push for immigration and education reform. The move is a big deal for Zuckerberg, who has mostly avoided politics in the past, but has a reported $13.3 billion to put into the game if he chooses to.
What would this influence look like? There could be clues from Zuckerberg's last foray into advocacy work, the high-profile $100 million he donated to Newark public schools in the fall of 2010. That September, Zuckerberg appeared with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Cory Booker to announce the donation on the Oprah Winfrey Show. This was right before the premier of The Social Network, which portrayed Zuckerberg as a narcissist who stole the idea for Facebook.
News of the donation captured national attention for a moment, then faded. In Newark, a local foundation established by Zuckerberg and the state have spent more than two years deciding how to best create a schoolyard revolution with $100 million dollars. At first, the "Facebook money," as it's called in Newark, helped the state hire consultants and establish several new charter schools. But the reform effort has floundered at moments: The first million dollars went towards a poorly conducted community survey that had to be re-worked by Rutgers and New York University, and criticism was fierce when a foundation board established to decide how the Facebook money was spent included only one Newark resident: Cory Booker. ("Yes, it's their money. But it's Newark's kids," an op-ed that ran in the Star-Ledger read.)
Then last November, nearly $50 million of Zuckerberg's money went to pay for a new teacher's contract, the first in New Jersey to offer performance pay for teachers who are deemed as "highly effective." The contract offers up to $12,500 in bonuses for the teachers rated as the best in the district. It's the first contract in New Jersey to offer performance-based pay, a policy that's been instituted in a few cities such as Washington, DC. In DC, the plan was so controversial that it might have cost Mayor Adrian Fenty his job. "I think it helped—I know it helped—to be on our side of the table and have deeper pockets," one school district official said about the Newark negotiations.
The teacher's contract was negotiated relatively quietly. But the pushback continues from those in Newark who think it's wrong for the Christie administration to have access to so much extra money with no need to listen to the community or the public. "In my conversations with [school commissioner] Chris Cerf, it became abundantly clear to me that he saw the money to be a spigot for funding his school agenda," said Paul Tractenberg, a law professor at Rutgers University, who describes the donation as a catalyst for "a broader top-down strategy" towards public education.
Frustrated Newark parents and graduates, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, believe that Booker and others have been far too secretive about their agenda and how they're spending Zuckerberg's millions, so they fought and won a lawsuit to force the city to release emails from Booker that relate to the funds. The emails weren't groundbreaking, though they did reveal Sheryl Sandberg's deep involvement in orchestrating the donation and rolling it out. Meanwhile, Booker has raised at least $54 of the $100 million of the matching funds he needs, money that came from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and New York hedge fund donors.
With the merit pay contract, Newark used Zuckerberg's money as a lever in negotiations to create what one reform leader in Newark called a "higher level" of change. Zuckerberg's new group doesn't even have a name yet, much less a public agenda. But if reports that the group plans to get involved in education prove true, Zuckerberg, like Bill Gates before him, could become another tech giant stirring up the education world.