Monday, March 10, 2014

Randi Gives Up Some Gates Dough -- And She's Being Praised?

Oh, Jesus, when will it end? Diane Ravitch posts the "good news" that Randi will no longer accept Gates money and there are some cheers - but also critiques.

Breaking News: Randi Says AFT Will No Longer Accept Funding from Gates Foundation for Innovation Fund

There are a bunch of comments you should read. I left one but it is awaiting moderation. In case it doesn't pass muster, here it is:

  1. Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Rowdy delegates to a national teachers convention Saturday gave several standing ovations to Bill Gates, whose billions in foundation grants for experimental-education-overhaul efforts over more than a decade have sparked widespread controversy and debate. There were scattered boos and hisses among the 3,400 attendees at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) convention in Seattle, and a small group of dissident teachers walked out on Gates’ speech, but many at the Washington State Convention Center seemed to welcome the Microsoft co-founder’s message that teachers must be partners in any efforts to improve student achievement… Seattle local report
    At what point do our leaders take responsibility for their actions and be accountable for their errors? Remember how Randi and her horde mocked the people who walked out on Gates at the AFT convention? I shot the video of the sing-song “good riddance” shouts.
    Here is a link:
    We have seen well over a decade of AFT/UFT collaboration and only the weight of resistance has forced — and I say forced– Randi to take actions like this — but does is it good news and a real change in the way the leadership which persists in promoting the common core and other ed deforms until forced to change direction? and often for PR reasons? Why does Randi always have to be forced?
    Here are links:
    laugh yourselves silly — remember the Unity caucus hooting and booing those who walked out on the Gates speech at the AFT convention.
    Only when the AFT and UFT which is the tail that controls the AFT become democratic institutions of change will we see a true change in policy that will allow the unions to lead rather than tail the fight for public education.
    I only have to point to the big battle over charters in NYC over rent and co-location and how the very body that should be organizing against the Eva Moskowitz monster – the UFT – is toothless because of Randi’s folly – a co-located charters pushing out public schools — one middle school in the same building was closed by Bloomberg and the parents and teachers blamed the UFT charter.
    Will we get cheers when Randi one day gives that folly up? Really, when will this end?
    If you need a refresher google links to stories about that walkout in July 2010
    Here is one:
    Gates’s controversial speech to the AFT – Substance News‎
    Jul 11, 2010 – A video of the protests against the Gates speech has been posted … [A separate report in Substance will cover the walkout and protests from some of the delegates]. ….
I also asked:
Did Randi also disavow any Gates money to support the Common Core?
Just sayin' - oh, and who is giving the UFT money for its charter? Just askin'.

Some more comments:

  1. I appreciate that Randi Weingarten is doing this, but please read Mercedes Schneider analysis.
    Weingarten implied that “so little” Gates money does not matter. However, it apparently does since not accepting “the next round” for the AFT Innovation Fund means a dues increase. The current Gates grant for the Innovation Fund and CCSS ($4.4 million) expires in May 2015.
    Note: There was no mention of returning any Gates money. There was also no agreement to not accept Gates money in the future– just not for the Innovation Fund.
    The Gates money matters to those who take it. However, the connection to Gates and the power that such connection brings matters to those benefiting from his circle of power more than does his money.
    A five-cent annual annual dues increase for all 1.5 million AFT members yields $75,000 in additional revenue.
    A two-dollar annual dues increase for all 1.5 million AFT members would yield an additional $3 million in AFT revenue.
    I would like to challenge Weingarten to offer AFT members the total amount that AFT dues must rise in order for her to say no to all corporate-reform-associated philanthropic money given to AFT.
  2. Janna
    Thanks to Mercedes, Diane and all of the people who have been speaking loudly about this. Unions are our best hope to fight corporate reform and if our unions are misbehaving then we need to speak up and put pressure on them. I think the recent conference, and Mercedes recent posts and many private and public conversations demonstrated to Randi where her mistakes had been. And she has never been a fool. She knows where the wind blows. Great news!


  1. Ravitch basically functions as a public relations firm for Weingarten based on their personal relationship.

  2. Let me know when Randi starts representing the interests of teachers.


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