Governing Outside the Public Sphere? Here’s Another Gates Funded Anti-Public Education Billionaire Front Group 

Bill Gates and venture philanthropy in general have been in the news lately[1] and I don’t believe the attention has been all that welcome in those circles. There is a lot of evidence these “disruptive innovators” are on the defensive. I take the Gates funded Higher Education for Higher Standards group rallying some higher education “leaders” into lip synching the Common Core chorus to be a rather frank admission of concern.   Continue reading

  1. See here and most notably, here — the Foundation is also the subject of a protest this coming week.

Engaging the Public in Discussing the Common Core and the Privatization of Public Education

The June issue of Buffalo Spree has a piece by Bruce Adams, entitle Education Counterrevolution, in which I’m featured; I also introduced the article, along with Buffalo Spree editor Elizabeth Licata, on AM Buffalo yesterday as well.

In the coming weeks, I will keynote two events, during which I’ll summarize my latest findings regarding the political significance of the Common Core Standards Initiative, and where I think these findings point us. The article in Buffalo Spree has generated more interest in serious discussion about the Common Core agenda, serving to counter propaganda that opposition to the Core only comes from a few “fringe elements” who don’t “care about the kids.” It along with the upcoming forums described below can serve to involve more people in discussion about what is taking place in public education. Those who wish to dismantle public education have historically used the summer to hatch their plans, expecting passivity among parents and teachers as the school year comes to an end. These events can contribute to energizing the public. Continue reading

High Stakes Tests as Forced Intellectual Labor?

In this recent story we read:

Tracy and Mary Finney thought they were meeting with the principal at West Side Elementary in Marietta, Georgia, this morning to discuss their choice to opt out of Standardized State Testing for their children. Instead, they were met by a police officer who told the Finney’s that their decision to “oppose something the school is trying to do” is considered “kind of a trespassing situation.”

“I certainly didn’t wake up this morning thinking I was going to meet with police at my children’s school,” said Tracy Finney, father of 9-year-old and 11-year-old students attending West Side Elementary.

Continue reading

$1.5 Billion and Counting: It’s Not Just What He Bought, But What He’s Building

An increasing number of students, parents, educators and community members have entered the public domain and created space for their views critical of the Common Core Standards Initiative (CCSI), the ever-increasing emphasis on testing, and the collection and sharing of students’ private data against parents’ will. The Opt Out movement grows as legal will moves farther from that consciously expressed by an increasingly frustrated public, upsetting those who believe money alone makes history. The big education data mining company, inBloom, now lies dormant, on account of public action against it.  Continue reading

Common Core Forum Rescheduled

Learn More about the Common Core

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 7:00pm-9:00pm
Unitarian Universalist Church, 695 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 14222

Because of the Winter Storm Warning issued for Wed, March 12, we have canceled the Common Core Forum on that day and rescheduled it for Tuesday, March 18, 2012, same time and place.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Mark Garrison, Professor, Education Policy and Research, D’Youville College


• Robert Christmann, Executive Director WNY Services Council
• Dr. Mira Tetkowski Berkley, Assoc. Professor, Early Childhood, SUNY Fredonia
• Molly Dana, MA, Curriculum Instruction; West Seneca Parent
• Danilo Lawvere, Teacher, Iroquois Central; Amherst Parent

Areas of Discussion:

• Origin of Common Core Standards (CCS)
• Relation of CCS to No Child Left Behind/Race to the Top
• Implementation
• Relation to testing
• Privacy concerns

Co-sponsor: Social Justice Task Force, Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo

Free parking on Elmwood and on West Ferry. Everyone welcome. For more information please call LWVBN office at 884-3550