The chief ed deformer in the AFT hen house. But with Randi Weingarten playing the role of the Manchurian Candidate, (or the Trojan Horse herself as Fiorillo notes) those chicks came home to roost a long time ago.
Or as NYC Educator states in today's brilliant post.
.....a follow-up to yesterday's post where he catalogued Gates' persistent failures of judgement on ed policy - and touches on just one of the numerous failures of Microsoft even in the computer field. (Both of us are Apple users for a reason - and I who was a school tech since 1984, know full well the extent of so many Gates failures.)
Beginning July 8, the AFT convention will take place in Seattle. That city's favorite son, Bill Gates will address the convention. Diane Ravitch will not - she is going to speak at the NEA a few days before instead.
I wonder if the AFT leadership really wants to hear what Diane has to say since they seem much more in alignment with Gates' educational philosophy that hers.
One of my thoughts is that Gates speaking to the AFT is like the proverbial Trojan Horse (thanks to David Bellel for the graphic), though Michael Fiorillo's comment – "Gates is not the Trojan Horse; Randi Weingarten is" - may make more sense.
I will be in Seattle to cover the convention for Ed Notes, The Wave and as a stringer for Substance and will try to put up daily reports. If the Wall Street Journal or the NY Times wants a stringer I am available. I work cheap - which means nada.
Below are the 2 target posts from NYC Educator that I am cross posting to give them the widest possible coverage. They are so in the must read category as to make me insanely jealous that I didn't write them myself.
The only statement I would dispute is: "Fortunately, he'll only be addressing those teachers who've openly collaborated with him, so we won't have to worry about his converting anyone new." That may be true of the recently elected 800 Unity slugs who would vote unanimously to abolish free air if told to by their UFT masters - anything for a free trip, though recent contacts with Unity people indicate that even some of them are not happy. But then there are those 150 newly elected delegates from Chicago and others that have been in touch from around the nation who know exactly what Gates is and the role he plays in undermining public education and using his money to privatize not just schools but control over educational policy.
Unlikely headlines. Nonetheless, I keep reading that Bill Gates is addressing the AFT convention. It kind of makes me glad I won't be there. What the heck can Bill Gates, who knows nothing but union-busting, trendy gimmicks, and ungodly alliances with Wal-Mart, tell a bunch of teachers?
Fortunately, he'll largely be addressing those teachers who've openly collaborated with him, so we won't have to worry much about his converting anyone new. After all, UFT leadership insisted we collaborate with him on a value-added experiment back in September. Bill placed his surveillance cameras in classrooms all over the city to figure out some sort of rubric for good teaching. His lies and Big Brother techniques alienated a handful of teachers in my school to the point at which they dropped out, turning down his $1500 payoff.
Then, before this experiment even concluded, before its results were even imposed upon us, UFT leadership made a deal with the state to have value-added used to assess teachers. They promised us they'd do research. They promised us they'd negotiate how it was done. After all, there's no research whatsoever to support the validity of value-added. I suppose if you're going to do something baseless and stupid, you may as well do it carefully. Teachers will certainly lose jobs as a result of this, particularly coupled with the rubber-room agreement that makes sure they're dumped quickly and efficiently.
Last week, though, in order to avoid some of the school closings (which, if not for the UFT collaboration on mayoral control, may not have even been a consideration), the UFT agreed that a bunch of schools would begin value-added assessments next year, a full year ahead of the agreement, with no research, no planning, and no specifically negotiated plan. One might argue, since the entire notion has no validity, that there's no point fretting over a valid model.
Considering all that, why shouldn't the most destructive force in education address his collaborators? What have we got to lose? You'd hope that an AFT convention would be a place where they'd discuss a productive future for education, a vision for improving the lot of teachers.
Instead, you've got the Antichrist coming to deliver the Sunday sermon.
Microsoft, after having invested who knows how many millions, has killed its cool new phone, the Kin. Here's the problem--no one wanted to buy it. So the Kin is kind of a modern-day Edsel. How could Microsoft, the company practically synonymous with rich guy/ educational genius Bill Gates make a mistake? It's a mystery. Why am I writing this on a Mac? Yet another mystery.
Of course, Bill made a few errors himself. There was that small schools thing, which was a great idea, except that it didn't work. Oh well, you can't have everything. What's important is that Gates is still widely regarded as an expert, despite his utter lack of credentials and his repeated willingness to support ideas that are not only unproven, but which must be repeatedly propped financially up by Wal-Mart to even exist.
Now, of course, we're talking about charter schools, the most recent panacea, the magic bullet that will change everything just like all the previous magic bullets failed to do. Bill's billions will see to that. With Eli Broad, the Wal-Mart family, and all the faux-Democrat hedge fund managers, they continue to push non-union charters as ways to get our children accustomed to working long hours with no play time--just as they want them to do as adults.
For our children, though, the ones who will be left with even fewer decent job opportunities, Bill's latest wide-eyed golly gee whiz venture may not prove to be an Edsel after all.
Indeed, it could be the Titanic.