Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rhee helped design Ohio's union-busting bill for T-Party Gov. Kasich

Michelle Rhee, who claims to be operating with close to a billion-dollar war chest from Gates, Broad and other power philanthropists and conservative groups, has played a major role in drafting Ohio's union-busting legislation. 
Between January and April of 2011, [Rhee's] StudentsFirst group employed Robert Klaffky, the president of firm Van Meter, Ashbrook & Associates and a close adviser to Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) to help push various aspects of education policy. In particular, the group, established by Rhee after she left the D.C. school system following then-Mayor Adrian Fenty's defeat, had Klaffky work on SB5, the infamous anti-collective bargaining bill passed into law but already facing the likelihood of referendum.-- Sam Stein, Huffington
In addition to appearing alongside Kasich at a recent event with the US chamber, she has also worked closely with Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fl.), the third leg of a triumvirate of new, sharply anti-union governors. Rhee has also drawn support and adulation from Obama's Education Sec. Arne Duncan.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The "big three" in power philanthropy

E.D. Kain's American Times blog at Forbes, examines the role of the "big three" power philanthropists, Gates, Broad and Walton, in driving current school reform policies. His  2-part series begins with "The Deep Pockets Behind Education Reform." Kain responds to an earlier Think Progress piece by Zaid Jilani which focuses primarily on ultra-right power brokers like the DeVos family.
Any discussion of education philanthropy is incomplete without mention of the “New Big Three” as a triumvirate of sorts. It’s true that the other players Jilani mentions have a role in the education debate, but the “New Big Three” are the game changers.

For all the money floating around, even the powerful Gates Foundation has met with more failures than successes. Time and again Gates has changed course, shifting from a focus on small schools initially, to testing and a focus on teacher compensation more recently.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Media huckster Rupert Murdoch discovers school reform.

Look out kids!

Rupert Murdoch, the power and money behind FOX News and the right-wing Weekly Standard, has almost single-handedly turned the world's news media into tabloidworld and now wants to do the same to the world of public education. He's hired former NYC chancellor Joel Klein as his education front man and he has already signed a $400 million deal with Mayor Bloomberg to bring NewsCorp into the schools.

You can see Klein's hand in this obviously-planted Guardian story where Murdoch poses computers in the schools as the solution to poverty and racism.
Murdoch attacked the "mandarins of mediocrity" who argued children were too poor, too ignorant to learn or were immigrants who had difficulty understanding. "This is absolute rubbish. It is arrogant, elitist and unacceptable," he said.
"In putting this creative force into schools we can ensure the poor child in Manila has the same chance as the rich child in Manhatten," Murdoch said. "The key to our future is to unlock this potential."
Murdoch attacking arrogance and elitism? Surely we've moved to Bizzaro World. But then again, this is the man who (along with Glen Beck) called Pres. Obama a "racist."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gates has spent close to a billion dollars buying "grass-roots" advocacy

“We’ve learned that school-level investments aren’t enough to drive systemic changes, The importance of advocacy has gotten clearer and clearer.”  -- Gates Foundation spokesman Allan C. Golston

According to a story by Sam Dillon in today's NYT, The Gates Foundation is using a big chunk of its multi-billion fund to pay teachers to testify at hearings in opposition to their own unions and in favor of more test-based accountability. Writes Dillon:
For years, Bill Gates focused his education philanthropy on overhauling large schools and opening small ones. His new strategy is more ambitious: overhauling the nation’s education policies. To that end, the foundation is financing educators to pose alternatives to union orthodoxies on issues like the seniority system and the use of student test scores to evaluate teachers.

In some cases, Mr. Gates is creating entirely new advocacy groups. The foundation is also paying Harvard-trained data specialists to work inside school districts, not only to crunch numbers but also to change practices. It is bankrolling many of the Washington analysts who interpret education issues for journalists and giving grants to some media organizations.

Wealthy powerful forces driving expansion of vouchers and "choice"

Betsy Devos
Two weeks ago, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) marked “a new era for education in Indiana” when he signed into law one of the most expansive school voucher laws in the country, opening up a huge fund of tax dollars for private schools. Daniels' school reform plan even received a blessing from none other than Arne Duncan.

Daniels told the WSJ he talks more with Education Secretary Arne Duncan than he did with any Bush Administration cabinet secretary during his 2001-2003 tenure at the White House. Vouchers have been unpopular with the American public. Between 1966 and 2000, vouchers were put up for a vote in states 25 times, and voters rejected the program 24 of those times. But powerful ownership society forces are driving successful voucher initiatives in several states despite their unpopularity with the voters.   
"What I want in education is almost completely aligned with what President Obama wants," Mr. Daniels says, noting the administration's support for charter schools and merit-based pay for teachers.
If one looks behind the curtain — at the foundations, non-profits, Political Action Committees (PAC) — into the workings of the voucher movement, it’s apparent why it has gained strength in recent years. A tight-knit group of right-wing millionaires and billionaires, bankers, industrialists, lobby shops, and hardcore ideologues has been plotting this war on public education, quietly setting up front group after front group to promote the idea that the only way to save public education is to destroy it — disguising their movement with the innocent-sounding moniker of “school choice.”  - Think Progress

A soon-to-be published Think Progress report identifies this list of  powerhouse voucher supporters, including:  Betsy DeVos, American Federation of Children (AFC), Alliance for School Chioice (ASC), Bill and Susan Obernborf, and The Walton Family Founcation,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Behind the "choice" movement

Richard and Helen DeVos are the parents of Dick DeVos, whose wife leads the American Federation for Children, a leading school choice advocate that moves millions of dollars to support local legislation expanding voucher and public-to-private school initiatives. The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation also donated $200,000 to the Alliance for School Choice between 2007 and 2008, a Washington, D.C.-based school choice organization that supports public funds paying for students private school tuition costs. -- American Independent

Koch Bros. Bankroll Legal Dream Team to Defend Wisc. Union Busting

From Uppity Wisconsin

One of the Koch brothers front-groups, the union-busting group National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, is rolling their tanks into Wisconsin to defend against a lawsuit from Dane County Firefighters and other public employee unions challenging the constitutionality of Walker's union-busting bill.

A 4/26 NRWLDF letter sent to numerous right-wing leaders in Wisconsin, said:
Dear Right to Work Supporter:
As you may know, three Madison local AFL-CIO unions, Laborers Local 236, Firefighters Local 311, and AFSCME Local 60, have sued the State of Wisconsin and Governor Walker to have the courts declare unconstitional the "budget repair bill," 2011 Wisconsin Act 10.  This is an attempt to reverse the decision of the legislature to repeal compulsory unionism for most public sector employees.
Staff attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation have defended similar statutes against constitional attacks before the United States Supreme Court.  The Foundation is willing to help public employees of Wisconsin preserve their right to be free from forced tribute to unions.
"Willing to help public employees"?   It doesn't get any more perverse than that!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The People's Business

From The People's Business by Lee Drutman and Charlie Cray
...corporations have also established a stronghold in both education and the media. Today, corporate ties to universities run deep, and their designs on our system of public education are growing daily." (p.6)

When corporations begin to control the delivery of essential services like water, education, and health care, we can find ourselves in a troubling situation where making money becomes more important than providing reliable and affordable service, and where corporations--largely accountable only to their shareholders--are granted control over captive markets with dependent customers. (p. 136)

The idea of turning public schools over to the private sector goes back at least a half-century to an article written by Milton Friedman in 1955, which called for the privatization of public schools. Privatization of public schools is becoming increasingly popular with a variety of groups, including libertarians interested in shrinking the government, religious groups that denounce secular liberalism of public education, anf for-profit educational corporations looking to boost their bottom line. (p. 163)

Drutman, Lee, and Charlie Cray. The people's business: controlling corporations and restoring democracy. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler, 2004.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Kochtopus spreads it tentacles into schools

From the New Yorker
Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.
by Jane Mayer August 30, 2010
In the mid-eighties, the Kochs provided millions of dollars to George Mason University, in Arlington, Virginia, to set up another think tank. Now known as the Mercatus Center, it promotes itself as “the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas—bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems.” Financial records show that the Koch family foundations have contributed more than thirty million dollars to George Mason, much of which has gone to the Mercatus Center, a nonprofit organization. “It’s ground zero for deregulation policy in Washington,” Rob Stein, the Democratic strategist, said. It is an unusual arrangement. “George Mason is a public university, and receives public funds,” Stein noted. “Virginia is hosting an institution that the Kochs practically control.”

The brothers have given money to more obscure groups, too, such as the Independent Women’s Forum, which opposes the presentation of global warming as a scientific fact in American public schools. Until 2008, the group was run by Nancy Pfotenhauer, a former lobbyist for Koch Industries. Mary Beth Jarvis, a vice-president of a Koch subsidiary, is on the group’s board.
The real scandal around the endowment by the Koch brothers of two chairs at Florida State University is that state universities now have to seek such outside money and accept strings. The reason they have to do so is that many state legislatures have chosen not to have state universities any more. At many ‘state universities’ the state contribution to the general operating fund is less than 20 percent, falling toward 10 percent.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Koch Bros -- Homes are where the heart is

Charles and David Koch are worth $42 billion and make $13 million every day while vulnerable Americans struggle to afford shelter and groceries. Meet three Florida seniors who rely on Social Security and are fighting back against the Koch brothers attempt to make them homeless. They tell the Kochs what's on their minds.

Koch Bros. Buying Professors to Spread the Gospel of Greed

ThinkProgress reports that the Koch Foundation reached an agreement in 2008 to fund professors at Florida State University, as long as they would teach right-wing economic theory. In fact, the Koch Foundation had to approve any faculty hires who were paid with its “donated” funds

The Saint Petersburg Times reports:
A foundation bankrolled by Libertarian businessman Charles G. Koch has pledged $1.5 million for positions in Florida State University’s economics department. In return, his representatives get to screen and sign off on any hires for a new program promoting “political economy and free enterprise.”…
Under the agreement with the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, however, faculty only retain the illusion of control. The contract specifies that an advisory committee appointed by Koch decides which candidates should be considered. The foundation can also withdraw its funding if it’s not happy with the faculty’s choice or if the hires don’t meet “objectives” set by Koch during annual evaluations.
George Mason University also received over $23 million from Koch Bros. foundations to hire seven libertarian professors.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cerf: wants no vote allowed on charter schools

Forget teacher certification

Former Edison exec Chris Cerf, now N.J. State Supt. wants end to teacher certification.
“I don’t care if a teacher is certified and has a Ph.D from Harvard. If their students aren’t learning in a year, we ought to take not of that,” Cerf told the state Senate Budget Committee. --
Cerf is also trying to prevent voters from having the opportunity to vote for charter schools or the monetary appropriations that support them. The reason? Voters would most likely vote to oppose them.
 "If the electorate does not support or cannot afford charter schools, then continued State support for such schools becomes an extension of a dictatorship, rather than a democracy." --Salvatore Pissuro, "Are N.J. charter schools an extension of a dictatorship or a democracy"

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The DeVos Family

Amway, Blackwater all part of the DeVos empire

By now you've surely heard of the Kochs. Meanwhile, the powerful, wealthy DeVos family has remained largely under the radar, while leading a stealth assault on America's schools.

Rachel Tabachnick posting at AlterNet has the goods on the super-wealthy DeVos family. 
The decades-long campaign to end public education is propelled by the super-wealthy, right-wing DeVos family. Betsy Prince DeVos is the sister of Erik Prince, founder of the notorious private military contractor Blackwater USA (now Xe), and wife of Dick DeVos, son of the co-founder of Amway, the multi-tiered home products business.
Dick DeVos is said to have coined the term "government schools" when referring to public education.

Tabachnick  also describes the role of Howard Fuller, the conservatives' hired gun in the African-American community. Fuller, a '60s civil rights activist, is the founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO). The group tries to portray school vouchers as an effort to help low-income kids and children of color "escape" public schools to the freedom of private and religious schools.

But Tabachnick says that a new report explores the money trail behind BAEO, finding that it leads directly to a handful of wealthy right-wing foundations and individuals that have a deep agenda -- not only supporting the school voucher movement, but also backing anti-affirmative action campaigns and other efforts that African American organizations have opposed or considered offensive.”

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Roberts, former GM exec, now running Detroit Public Schools

Snyder (left) and Roberts
Michigan's T-Party governor Rick Synder, has appointed a former General Motors Corp. executive as the new emergency manager for Detroit Public Schools. Roy Roberts will take over for Robert Bobb, who was named the school district's emergency financial manager in 2009. Roberts currently is managing director and co-founding member of the Chicago-based private equity investment firm Reliant Equity Investors.

Roberts made his millions during GM's good years. When he retired in 2000 as GM group vice president for North American sales , service and marketing, he was the highest ranking black person in the car industry.

See Modern School for more on Roberts.

What is it with these guys with two alliterative first names --Bob Bobb and now Roy Roberts?

Trib's John Kass tells how he fell out with Daley

Despite the fact that we were falling out, I didn't want to be the critic, the hammer. I wanted to interpret and explain. But by the mid-1990s, Daley's hatchet men had rigged employment tests to build vast patronage armies, allowing him to control all of Cook County and become the dominant political silverback male in Illinois.

He was the strongman of the wrought-iron fist, with all those suck-ups around him, laughing at his jokes like hyenas in a children's cartoon. There was a media love fest. And I couldn't take it anymore. --
Chicago Tribune, May 5, 2011

Rahm gives Daley's daughter a job

Mayor Daley’s daughter Nora Daley Conroy, and son, Patrick, attend his finally City Council meeting. | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times
Look dad, I'm an arts commissar!

Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel gave a gift to outgoing Mayor Daley. He gave Daley's daughter, Nora Daley Conroy a job as chair of his Cultural Affairs Advisory Council. Emanuel says he hopes Conroy will serve a “critical role” in helping the newly-merged Dept. of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, carry out its core function of engaging Chicago’s diverse artistic communities.”  Maybe it's just me, but this pick doesn't sound all that "diverse" if you get my drift.

He also chose a Joyce "Foundation official, Michelle Boone to lead the merged departments. There's nothing new here except the fact that there's nothing new here, despite all the usual Rahm campaign talk about "reform."

What's this got to do with schools? The mayor runs the schools. The Joyce Foundation is one of the main underwriters of corporate school reform in Chicago, ie. Renaissance 2010. Joyce also funded Emanuel's transition committee. The mayor's wife Maggie, ran Gallery 37 and After School Matters, which became a conduit for patronage contributions for businesses wanting city business once the Shackman Decree officially banned patronage. A former director for Gallery 37, Boone also serves on the board of the Arts Alliance Illinois, Grantmakers for the Arts and other community-based arts organizations.

You see where this is going?  To any school reform groups, teachers or schools looking for funding for initiatives that aren't in line with the mayor's version of school reform, all I can say is, good luck.

OR hire Eddie Burke's law firm

Speaking of doing business with the city, check out the list of companies seeking contracts from Mayor Rahm, who are also clients of  Eddie Burke's law firm. Burke also happens to be the most powerful alderman on Chicago's City Council:

In 2009, Burke reported 34 law clients that did business with the city. Last year, he added five more. 

The list includes: Avis Budget Group; AT&T; Bank of America; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois; Brandenburg Industrial Service; Centerpoint Properties; Centrum Properties; Cole Taylor Bank; Columbia Michael Reese Hospital; Commonwealth Edison; Community Housing Partner XI, L.P.; Dominick’s; Elenco Electronics; Fifth Third Bank; Friedman Properties; Greater Southwest Development Corp.; The Habitat Company and Harris Bank.

Burke’s client roster also includes: Humana, Inc.; Imperial Realty; Jewel Osco; JP Morgan Chase Bank; K-Five Construction; Kenny Construction; Marc Realty; MB Real Estate; New West Realty; Northern Trust; Northwestern Memorial Hospital; Seaway National Bank; Southwest Airlines; South Shore Plumbing & Heating Supply; Standard Bank & Trust; T Mobile; U.S. Equities Realty; Union League Club of Chicago; Walgreens; WBBM and Wentworth Tire.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

We were promised an Ownership Society...

Derek Thompson, associate editor at The Atlantic, writes:

We were promised an "ownership society." It was President George W. Bush's campaign slogan when he ran for reelection in 2004. The comforting term invoked responsibility and stability. It connoted a patchwork of plots, homes, and fences extending into the horizon of every city suburb. homeownership rate 2010-q3.pngSo much for campaign promises. Today, we're suffering a crisis of ownership, and Bush's slogan reads like an epitaph to an era of hyperconsumption.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Free-Market Think Tanks and the Marketing of Education Policy

Kevin Wellner, professor of education and director of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC),writing in Dissent Magazine:
The most engaged in this neoliberal education campaign are organizations focused on school choice: Democrats for Education Reform (and their 501(c)(4), Education Reform Now Advocacy), Education Sector, and the Progressive Policy Institute; as well as service-oriented groups like New Leaders for New Schools, the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) and Green Dot charter networks, Teach for America, The New Teacher Project, Stand for Children, the New Schools Venture Fund, and even the leadership of the Harlem Children’s Zone.

Ravitch: Outrage of the week

Diane Ravitch asks: When did we vote to hand over American education to Gates & Pearson?
Yes, indeed, the education reform business is booming. A recent article in Idaho details the campaign contributions of online learning companies to the state superintendent of instruction, who recently decided—surprise!—to mandate online learning and laptops for every student. This is the new face of corporate reform. It offers entree to the vast riches of the nation's education industry, a sector that spends about $800 billion of public money at the local, state, and federal levels. Some refer to the No Child Left Behind Act as "no consultant left behind." It has been and continues to be a bonanza for the testing, test preparation, and tutoring industries. Race to the Top has opened the door to many more consultants, charter operators, and turn-around strategists. The gold rush is on! -- Bridging Differences Blog

Monday, May 2, 2011

Some of the corporate muscle behind KIPP

The Gap, Viacom, Bain Capital, Netflix, Walton...

John Fisher, Chairman

President, Pisces, Inc.
Mr. Fisher is President of Pisces Inc., an investment management company for the Fisher family. He is also a partner of Sansome Partners, the private investment partnership of the Fisher family. He sits on the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco, San Francisco Day School and the Alliance for School Choice.
Mr. Fisher is a graduate of Princeton University and Stanford's Graduate School of Business. He and his wife live in San Francisco with their four children.

Philippe Dauman

President and CEO, Viacom, Inc.
Mr. Dauman is President and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom and has served on the Company's Board of Directors since 1987. Viacom is the world's leading entertainment content company and it engages audiences on television, motion picture and digital platforms through many of the world's best known entertainment brands, including MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, COMEDY CENTRAL, Spike TV, BET and Paramount Pictures. Under Mr. Dauman's leadership, in 2009 Viacom partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to launch the "Get Schooled" initiative, which aims to increase high school and college graduation rates, improve postsecondary readiness and promote the fundamental importance of education.

Mr. Dauman earned his bachelor's degree from Yale College and his law degree from Columbia University Law School. He is a director of National Amusements, Inc. and Lafarge S.A. He is also a member of the Business Roundtable and serves on the Executive Committee of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the Board of Trustees for The Paley Center for Media and the Dean's Council of Columbia University Law School.

Doris Fisher

Founder, Gap Inc.
Mrs. Fisher, co-founder of Gap Inc., is an exceptional volunteer and philanthropist whose generosity has positively impacted such fields as education, the arts and health care. A graduate of Stanford University, Mrs. Fisher's volunteer work there began in 1969, the year she and husband, Don, opened the first Gap store in San Francisco.

Over the years, Mrs. Fisher has offered exemplary services to the Graduate School of Business Advisory Board, the Stanford Art Museum Advisory Board, the School of Medicine, the Cantor Arts Center, the Stanford Alumni Association, the Office of Development, and the Board of Trustees. In addition, she has served on the Princeton Art Museum Advisory Board, the San Francisco Symphony Board of Governors and the Northern California Cancer Center Board since 1983.

Reed Hastings

Founder and CEO, Netflix, Inc.
Mr. Hastings founded Netflix in 1997 and launched the subscription service in 1999. In 2005, Time magazine added Mr. Hastings to its "Time 100" list of the one hundred most influential global citizens. Earlier in his career, he founded Pure Software, which he built into one of the world's 50 largest public software companies.

Mr. Hastings was President of the California State Board of Education from 2000 to 2004. He has led successful statewide political campaigns for more charter public schools and easier passage of local school bonds. He received a BA from Bowdoin College in 1983 and an MSCS degree from Stanford University in 1988. 

Mark Nunnelly

Managing Director, Bain Capital
Mr. Nunnelly is Managing Director of Bain Capital, a leading global private investment firm based in Boston. In 1989, Mr. Nunnelly helped found Information Partners, a venture and technology fund backed by Bain Capital that focused on early stage investing. Currently, Mr. Nunnelly sits on the Boards of Domino's Pizza, Warner Music Group, Eschelon Telecom, and Houghton Mifflin Company.
Mr. Nunnelly is an active supporter of several charitable organizations, serving as a member of the Board of Directors of Jumpstart. He has also been actively involved with City Year since its inception. Mr. Nunnelly received his MBA, with Distinction, from Harvard Business School, and an A.B. from Centre College, where he is a Trustee.

Carrie Walton Penner

Trustee, Walton Family Foundation
Carrie Walton Penner is an education reform advocate who is committed to dramatically improving K–12 student achievement in the United States, especially in low-income communities. Along with the other Walton family members, she guides the Walton Family Foundation’s education reform strategies and investments. The Foundation believes that the best way to achieve continuous and sustainable improvements in K–12 schools is to create competition among schools by empowering parents to choose among them.

Ms. Penner serves as a board member of several organizations including the California Charter School Association, EdVoice, the Alliance for School Choice, and the California Academy of Sciences. She earned a B.A. in economics and history from Georgetown University and master’s degrees from Stanford University in education policy and program evaluation. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband, Greg Penner, and their four children.

Shawn Hurwitz, Founding Board Member, Emeritus

President and CEO, MAXXAM Property Company
Mr. Hurwitz is President and CEO of MAXXAM Property Company, a real estate development company focused on community development and related real estate investment.  As President and CEO, Mr. Hurwitz is responsible for the supervision and implementation of all real estate activities, including development, acquisition, disposition, investment, sales and marketing, and operating activities.

Mr. Hurwitz served as a founding board member of KIPP Foundation from 2000 to 2009. He also served as Chairman of the Board of KIPP Houston’s schools from 1998 - 2006, thus playing an active leadership role in the creation of KIPP’s first region in Houston as well as the national replication.

Don Fisher, Founding Board Chair, Emeritus 

September 3, 1928 – September 27, 2009
Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Gap Inc., Co-Founder KIPP Foundation
Mr. Fisher was the founder and chairman emeritus of Gap Inc. He served on the board of trustees of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, was a director of the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco and a governor of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Mr. Fisher was also on the California State Board of Education and was a director on the board of EdVoice and Teach For America.

Mr. Fisher was the director of the National Retail Federation and received the Retailer of the Year award in 1996. He was also actively involved in the California Business Roundtable and the Committee on Jobs Executive Committee. Other honors include the California Arts Council Governor’s Award for Individual Patrons of the Arts and selection to the Bay Area Business Hall of Fame and American Academy of Achievement.

In 2000, Don Fisher Co-Founded the KIPP Foundation and served as Chairman of the Board until 2009.

Rhee Fee

Hi Leonie,
Thanks for your interest. Michelle’s standard fee is 50K plus first class expenses from DC.  We encourage all offers, even if not at her full fee, since certain groups are very appealing to her and her number one goal is to raise awareness of the problems facing our educational system and speak on affecting positive change.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.
Kind Regards,
Peter B. Jacobs
Creative Artists Agency

Back to School for the Billionaires

“Our role is to take risks that government is not willing to do ... People question my motivation,” -- Eli Broad

The richest man in America stepped to the podium and declared war on the nation’s school systems. High schools had become “obsolete” and were “limiting—even ruining—the lives of millions of Americans every year.” The situation had become “almost shameful.” Bill Gates, prep-school grad and college dropout, had come before the National Governors Association seeking converts to his plan to do something about it—a plan he would back with $2 billion of his own cash. -- Newsweek

Sunday, May 1, 2011

L.A.'s Deasy stacks bureaucracy with Gates guys

John Deasy (L.A. Times)
The L.A.Times has reported that about 20 senior jobs in the school bureaucracy will be funded not by taxpayer dollars but by philanthropists Eli Broad and Casey Wasserman, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others.
Broad and Wasserman, for instance, are strong proponents of charter schools, and the Gates Foundation has supported charter schools as well as softening tenure rules and making test scores a bigger part of teacher evaluations. Several of the new hires also come from that reform world. The new superintendent of schools, John Deasy, is a former official at the Gates Foundation. --L.A. Times (Editorial: "LAUSD: Public education and private money may prove a mixed bag")