There is a fantastic new web-site that is collecting teachers’ letters written to the most powerful man in education. The letters share teachers’ experiences under this powerful man’s influence. They are heartfelt and moving, and they expose the impact of data driven corporate education reform on the teachers and students who live with it daily. Please take some time to read them.
Now, you may wonder, who is this most powerful man who these teachers choose to share their stories with? In a democracy that has control of its publicly held commons, you may think it is a person who is elected and accountable to the public. And, following our long-held tradition of pushing democratically held institutions down to the lowest common denominator for the purpose of the greatest control and accountability, you may think these letters are written to he president of the local school board. It’s pretty to think so. How about a local state representative, or state governor? Sorry, not even close. How about the President of the United States, the highest office in our so-called democracy? Wrong still. Then it must be that president’s own appointed Secretary of Education? Nope.
The most powerful man in forming education policy in the United States is actually a private citizen who has no accountability whatsoever to the public. The letters are written to Bill Gates.
And, you may wonder, how did this single private citizen acquire more power in educational policy than the rest of us, including all of the voiceless teachers and students left out of the process?
The answer is fairly complex, so let me break it down into two parts for you minions of our corporatocracy:
1. Bill Gates has a shit-ton of money.
2. And you don’t.
And how does this money work in the good old US of A? Check this article which exposes the flow of corporate and foundation money and its translation into actual legislation via the American Legislative Exchange Council. (Duly note the role of the Gates Foundation.)
So what’s a poor minion left to do?
Study up on the Citizens United ruling.
If you pray, pray for what’s left of our democracy.
Educate everyone you can on the ways corporate money is impacting all of our children.
And for the biggest impact, write to Bill Gates.