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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Billionaires Privateering on the high seas of Education

Modern privateers don't come across with eye patches or peg legs. And they don't wear fancy hats or run for President (except for the Donald) . They mostly work behind the scenes, with PR firms, "charitable donations" and paid think tanks doing their bidding. They run flotillas of law firms, PR firms, faux think tanks manned by men in suits. Sometimes they seem to even have convinced themselves that they are doing charity, doing good with their money, and that they are the "heros." But in reality these pirate fleets do as much or more, with the power of finance and undue influence, than their Sea Dog forebears ever could do. This is the case with education Anti-Reform. The only way you can sniff out who is in it for the public benefit is and who is doing "'private, separate advantage" and buccaneering, sometimes, is to dig into where the money is going.

These billionaires "donate money" that goes right back into their coffers with interest.

"Hundreds of private philanthropies together spend almost $4 billion annually to support or transform K–12 education, most of it directed to schools that serve low-income children (only religious organizations receive more money). But three funders—the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Eli and Edythe Broad (rhymes with road) Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation—working in sync, command the field." [Dissent on Schools]

But are they really doing charity? Are their "reforms" "reforms", or just another scam on the general public?

..."their market-based goals for overhauling public education coincide: choice, competition, deregulation, accountability, and data-based decision-making. And they fund the same vehicles to achieve their goals: charter schools, high-stakes standardized testing for students, merit pay for teachers whose students improve their test scores, firing teachers and closing schools when scores don’t rise adequately, and longitudinal data collection on the performance of every student and teacher. Other foundations—Ford, Hewlett, Annenberg, Milken, to name just a few—often join in funding one project or another, but the education reform movement’s success so far has depended on the size and clout of the Gates-Broad-Walton triumvirate." [Dissent on Schools]

And they make their money back by owning the folks doing the testing, privateering with charter schools and -- at the expense of students and equal opportunity for all As the schools they aim their cannon at are usually ones that are under-resourced and serve poor kids!

Schools are just one example of how billionaires are scamming us and distorting our decision making for their own "private, separate advantage."

Source and read more:
[[Dissent on Schools[]
Review of Salon Article on 5 additional Billionaires: []
Sirota's Article:
The Kochs are just one pirate flotilla in a fleet of pirates:

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