I would’ve sworn you used the word “transparency” – The Art of Moving Public Funds “Off-Line”

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Oh, remember the good ole days when politicians just directed that public contracts go to friends, donors and certain companies.

That was then and this is now…and a whole new approach is taking shape.

This week we learned that Governor Malloy and his education commissioner, Stefan Pryor hired certain consultants to help develop Malloy’s “Education Reform” bill.  Rather than go through some silly competitive bidding process, they simply got a quasi-state agency, SERC to hire the two consultants; one for $195,000 and the other for $60,000.

The State Department of Education then reimburses SERC with funds from its budget and it’s all legal (maybe, sort of).

But that is nothing compared to what is quietly taking place in Bridgeport.

Bridgeport is taking it to a whole new level – an approach that saves time and energy by creating a system in which hundreds of millions in school funding can be moved “off- line.”

When Mayor Bill Finch and Fairfield County businessmen got tired of having to deal with elected members of the Bridgeport Board of Education last year, they convinced Governor Malloy to have the state take over the Bridgeport school system.

Alas, the state moved so quickly that it broke the law and the State Supreme Court was forced to step in to stop the takeover attempt and require that a new election be held to fill the vacancies on the Bridgeport Board of Education.

Meanwhile, not to be outdone, the Mayor and business community moved forward with its overall plans.  The superintendent of schools was fired and Paul Vallas, Jr., the famous and renowned “school reformer” was brought in to completely revamp Bridgeport’s system of public education.

Since the endeavor would cost money that the city of Bridgeport didn’t have, business leaders set up the Bridgeport Education Reform Fund and quickly raised about $400,000. Vallas’ $229,000 salary is being paid out of the Fund as are the various consultants Vallas says he needs to complete his task.  To date there has been no information about just who those consultants are or how much they are being paid.

In fact, since the Fund’s activities are confidential, there is no way to actually determine how much money has been raised, who donated the money or even how it is being spent.  The Connecticut Post, the Wall Street Journal and others have written that one of the lead “investors” in the effort is the ZOOM Foundation and the Lone Pine Foundation, both of which “belong” to hedge fund billionaire Steve Mandel.

For more on this issue, see the  March 26, 2011 Wait What post for details about the role Meghan Lowney, Zoom’s Executive Director, played when it came to lobbying state officials to take over the Bridgeport schools.  Although Lowney and others failed to register, as required under state law, the Ethics Commission can neither confirm nor deny that an investigation is under way.

But we are now learning that the Bridgeport Education Reform Fund was only the stalking horse for a much bigger and more impressive effort.

As Bridgeport Superintendent of Schools Vallas rolled out his plans for a revamped Bridgeport education system, he included the creation of a “Good Schools Bridgeport Foundation” which will “support the school district by securing public and private funding that…and to use that funding to help the district expand high quality school options.”

Under Vallas’ plan (which was immediately endorsed by Bridgeport’s Mayor), the “Principal Functions and Responsibilities of the Foundation” would be:

  • To monitor academic, financial and operational performance of Bridgeport schools.
  • To identify high quality Bridgeport schools for future duplication and franchising.
  • To implement programs to improve existing schools and to expand school choice options by supporting open enrollment, accelerated and exemplary programs in qualified schools.
  • To create a system for identifying, recruiting, incubating and certifying proven high quality providers to open new schools or to assume management of failing schools.
  • To create a process by which the community can provide input into the selection of school providers to open new schools or to take over failing schools.
  • To serve as a pipeline for recruiting and training high quality administrators, principals and teachers for Bridgeport Public Schools.

And, of course, the Foundation would hold the purse strings to ensure that its vision of appropriate developments take place.

To further insulate the Foundation from meddling by elected school boards or, for that matter, democracy, his plan also provides that the Bridgeport Regional Business Council will “monitor the school district finances” and a new entity that will be called the Bridgeport Academic Accountability Council and consist of “nationally renowned researchers” will be put in place to evaluate and guide the school district’s performance and programs.

In this way, Bridgeport’s parents, teachers and taxpayers would not need to worry themselves about how school funds are being spent.

The Mayor has announced that he hopes to raise at least $50 million in private funds for the program or, in his words, “I’m going to raise millions of dollars…A lot of wealthy people in Fairfield County, they drive by Bridgeport all the time, and I know they can help, and we welcome their support.”

And Paul Timpanelli, the President of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, the organization responsible for monitoring the Bridgeport School’s finances called the plan terrific saying “It’s comprehensive, aggressive. I’ve seen a lot of the details and I’m very pleased…I don’t know what’s not to like.”

And should anyone doubt their intentions, the Wall Street Journal wrote last week that “Mr. Vallas argues that if he can show early successes, the push for better schools from parents, the mayor and the governor will sustain the momentum no matter who is on the new school board. But he isn’t counting on that. Under his deal with the current school board, he is to help pick his successor. And, according to both Mr. Vallas and the mayor, new money for schools—not only private funds but, in a twist, also new city tax money—will be funneled through a non-profit, Good Schools Bridgeport, to try to keep the new school board from deviating from the Vallas path.”

Although it would certainly engender law suits, there is even talk of moving the money the city of Bridgeport receives from the State (i.e. the ECS Funds) into this new Foundation, thereby, bypassing the need to follow all those pesky “transparency” rules like having to use competitive bidding or limiting the use of consultants.

Of course, Wait, What? readers will recognize that Governor Malloy’s “Education Reform” plan already includes a generous program to move money “off-line.”

Under Malloy’s proposed “Commissioner’s Network” system, the commissioner of education will take over 25 failing schools, fire the staff, ban collective bargaining, turn the schools over to a third party and that entity will then be legally exempt from the state’s laws requiring competitive bidding and the law limiting the use of outside consultants.

Taxpayer funds going to private entities to spend as they deem appropriate.

On the other hand, if they can pull off what they are attempting to do in Bridgeport, governors and others won’t have to go through that awkward process of having to order quasi-state agencies to retain certain consultants or the “lengthy process” of getting the legislature to change the laws.  Under Bridgeport’s new approach the money – public and private – would go to a private foundation.  Then, since the consultants would already have control of the funds, they could decide among themselves how they wanted to divvy up the taxpayer’s money.

Between Malloy’s “Education Reform” plan and Bridgeport’s new effort, the notion of “transparency” is on the way t0 becoming a word of the past.

And lest Connecticut residents think these efforts are confined to Bridgeport, rest assured that if Malloy, Pryor, Vallas and the Michelle Rhee’s of the world can get away with these activities in Bridgeport; New Britain, Hartford and New London, other fiscally and academically distressed school districts won’t be far behind.  There is a reason the corporate elite and outside groups are spending so much money to get Malloy’s bill passed and Bridgeport’s new Foundation set up.  When all is said and done, we aren’t talking about tens of millions of public dollars; we are literally looking at hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars at risk.

  • Napatty1

    What’s a little fascism among friends?

  • guest

    Drive-by “donating” is such a novel idea.  These Fairfield County millionaires and billionaires are just chomping at the bit to help out Bridgeport school children.  They should certainly be able to pick and choose their causes, and to have their foundations.  I mean, we should really be getting them to pay their share of taxes for the PUBLIC good, for the PUBLIC schools.  But taxing citizens, especially taxing them in a progressive manner, is so passe.  Kind of like democracy, so yesterday.
    Bring on the drive-bys, and don’t forget to Stand your ground.

    • jonpelto

      You so need to write a blog – this is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4IUD4D2BEZMBUKPABNJJAY5CZU Thomas B

    Connecticut must be the state that stops this thievery and selfishness — the kids and our nation deserve better—what they want is “Education by Bernie Madoff” and with all their money and lobbyists they are actually getting our legislators to CONSIDER it—–come on legislators–do some reading—

    This isnt Malloys plan—it is Louisiana’s plan (the state with the lowest education rating anywhere)–but the business people are happy–I guess thats all that counts

    My kids are in middle school and high school so hopefully they wont have to put up with this facade as it plays out–and hopefully my grandchildren will see the pendulum swing back to what is good for children–not for $$$$ making adults—–

    To all the parentsin our state–please read up on what is happening around the country concerning education–it ain’t good–and fight back against these self-serving bureaucrats and corporations—

    • Buygoldandprosper

      EXACTLY– Education by Madoff. Perfect description and Dan is trying to do a Ponzi scheme of sorts. You hit the nail on the head with that one!

  • Buygoldandprosper

    Very much like Ct Innovations!  Or the way Stamford runs the library…it is 98% publicly funded but is a separate corporation with no oversight by the city. The president-for-life is one of the highest paid in Stamford,a car,benefits that one can only dream about,travel…the works. It is a fat cats dream and Dan obviously saw the benefits!
    Hedge funds,politicians and organized crime like to do “business” out of the public eye.Why all the altruism by hedge funds? Plausible,only to those on their payroll or ignorant of their ways. 

    Ná feic a bhfeicir, Is ná clois a gcloisirIs má fiafraítear díot, Abair ná feadrais(Don’t see what you see, Don’t hear what you hear
    And if you’re asked, say you don’t know)

  • NMI

    Regarding all your efforts to expose the lobbyist/administration cabal, I offer this reference from an op-ed by Tom Friedman today:
    “Indeed, America today increasingly looks like the society that the political scientist Mancur Olson wrote about in his 1982 classic ‘The Rise and Decline of Nations.’ He warned that when a country amasses too many highly focused special-interest lobbies — which have an inherent advantage over the broad majority, which is fixated on the well-being of the country as a whole — they can, like a multilimbed octopus, choke the life out of a political system, unless the majority truly mobilizes against them.”

    You make clear that Bill Finch, yet another do-nothing politician, has his hand out for any available scraps that might fall his way. And today’s Times does a special report on how ALEC turns legislators into lobbyists across the states of America.  The question is: how does the majority get “truly motivated?”

    Friedman coined “vetocracy” as the current state of politics in the US.

    • savage

      Love Friedman’s Hot, Flat and Crowded. Read the op-ed. Not sure that I entirely agree with his analysis, but I do agree that “how does the majority get truly motivated” is the central most important question at hand. I fear that if the majority does not get truly motivated, and right quick, we will soon run out of options. Keep spreading the word? Hope that some of what you say will make it through the sports-mania, junk television, consumerism-induced fog that people seem to have fallen into?  

  • schoolmom

    Whoever reads this PLEASE send it to your state delegation.  Franchising our public schools? Is this Democracy or McDonald’s?

  • Chris

    Thank you for getting this information out. The chutzpah is astounding.
    And remember, Finch wants to have the Board of Ed report to him.
    How convenient. And totally opaque.

  • JM

    Wait…What? – Really, I said that when I saw the GNEPSA ad in the courant. How can GNEPSA put an ad in the courant today (Sun.) boasting that teachers back their ‘real reform’?  Are those 50 signatures in their ad anything comparable to the 40,000 teachers in CT?  I’d be interested to find who those signature belong to, and if they knew what they were signing.

    • Linda174

      I am going to be SICK!  GNEPSA is a fraudulent front for Students First which is the fake grass roots organization of Queen Rhee – she taught for three years and now she is an expert on everything education. She taped students mouths shut to keep them quiet in the hallway and joked about it…it is all on audio. We would have been fired. I can’t stand her self promotion. She IS the Bernie Madoff of education reform.

      Now that I feel a little bit better, I can’t bring myself buy the Courant and those names ARE NOT teachers.  Do you mind JM typing in a few of the names. I suspect they are the same crew from: CBIA, CAPSS, CCER, etc. etc. etc..

      Teachers DO NOT support SB 24 in its original version and teachers WOULD NEVER support anything coming from Michelle Rhee.

      This infuriates me.

      • Linda174

        One more thing – there is a radio version and there are five or six voices, male and female, not only saying they support the bill but that they helped to write it. At the end one time is said: Paid for my GNEPSA (silent G) and another time it said: Paid for by Great New England Pulblic School Alliance – don’t they mean greater?  Are they allowed to lie?

        Here is the link and proof (as Jon already posted) that GNEPSA and Students First and Rhee are all one in the same:

        http://blog.ctnews.com/politicalcapitol/2012/04/17/students-first-i-mean-gnepsa-sends-out-slick-mailer/

        The more money and outsiders that pour in their support, the more suspicious the average citizen, taxpayer, parent, etc should be!!

        This is designed to isolate the union and make it look like she supports teachers.

        Check out this photo op for RHee on the cover of Time as she proudly boasts about all the public school teachers she fired:

        http://www.google.com/imgres?q=michelle+rhee+broom&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&qscrl=1&nord=1&rlz=1T4ADSA_enUS378US390&biw=1786&bih=768&tbm=isch&tbnid=fLSJIzsRZAergM:&imgrefurl=http://www.eiaonline.com/intercepts/2009/09/30/rhee-photographer-wont-give-aft-the-broom/&docid=5i00igNXpAx0_M&imgurl=http://www.acc-tv.com/images/wjla/news/rhee_timemagazine1128.jpg&w=399&h=526&ei=WWiUT_2gIO_M6QG8xZXBBA&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=180&sig=116732408161777961554&page=1&tbnh=131&tbnw=99&start=0&ndsp=42&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0,i:74&tx=79&ty=67

        • JM

          The names are signed like they are all doctors.  I can’t make out one full name – some first, some last.  The ad is on the back of the opinion page. 

          Then, ConnAd has an ad in the same section listing all of the people/acronyms that support Malloy’s efforts.

          On another note too – earlier this week, there was an article on how the changes that the education committee made will complicate our NCLB waiver.  Why is Patrick Riccards quoted in this article? 

          • Linda174

            So they don’t have their names typed beside them so you know who they are? Maybe that was intended.

            You know what – screw the waiver…we have to be blackmailed into the Race to Nowhere to get out own tax dollars given back to us.  Really, is that the purpose of the Fed. dept of ed. Institute new rules or you won’t get your money back. Sounds like Malloy…they are all of the same ilk.

            We are being held hostage to conform to Arne Duncan’s philosophy – another quasi “education expert”

            So 50 illegible signatures vs. 43,000 teachers . Why don’t they come to our rally?

          • JM

            Found it.  Quite a few are faculty here:
            http://www.bridgeacademy.org/main/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50&Itemid=57

            I’m sure the others are somewhere else similar.

          • Linda174

            and this is a charter school, yes? Well I suppose GNEPSA will say it is public, but the only public part about charter schools is the money.

          • Guest

             Achievement First would love to see this school fail. They’d swoop in and fire the lot of them and take them over. Just another feather in AFs hat.
             
            Bridge Academy should be very scared of this legislation. Bridge is a failing charter school and would be turned around just like their public school counter parts. Be careful for what you wish for.

          • savage

            Here’s  little excerpt from the article I linked elsewhere in this thread re Arne Duncan and his connections to Bill Gates:

            To support the new initiatives, the Gates Foundation had already invested almost $2.2 million to create The Turnaround Challenge, the authoritative how-to guide on turnaround. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has called it “the bible” for school restructuring. He’s incorporated it into federal policy, and reformers around the country use it.

            And, from the same artice, the reaction of the Broads, the Waltons and the Gates’ to the appointment of Duncan by Barack Obama:

            The election of President Barack Obama and his appointment of Arne Duncan, former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, as the U.S. Secretary of Education, marked the pinnacle of hope for our work in education reform. In many ways, we feel the stars have finally aligned.With an agenda that echoes our decade of investments—charter schools, performance pay for teachers, accountability, expanded learning time, and national standards—the Obama administration is poised to cultivate and bring to fruition the seeds we and other reformers have planted.

          • Linda174

            The seed you planted will breed a nation of  test takers who will not be able to think or read critically, but will make great factory workers and  WalMart greeters….all potential Stepford workers.

          • schoolmom

            the waiver is WORSE than NCLB itself. It is a way to shove the Obama/Duncan agenda down the throats of states. We should wish for our application to be denied.

          • guest

            Absolutely.  Forget the waiver.

          • Linda174

            Riccards is ConnCon which is an Achievement First Spin off (possibly so is SFER – students for education reform – rally this past week – spent $10,000 on buses and subway – Malloy pimps them out to show support and when asked by a reporter some of them said they didn’t know why they were there).

            Achievment first was started by Toll, a friend of our Commissioner- Pryor and they started Amistad together. Riccards, Pryor, Toll, etc…they are all in bed together.

        • JM

          I think one is Denise D’onofrio.  Looks to work at a charter school.  Can they claim these people as public school teachers, as stated in the ad?

          • Linda174

            No just like the radio ad – no school or town or teacher name was given…just voices. Everything RHee does is dishonest and manipulative. She is also incoherent when she speaks:

            http://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com/2012/04/incoherent-reform-of-michelle-rhee.html

          • Linda174

            If these Bridgeport teachers were proud of their school they would have gladlly given their names and the name of their school in the radio ad. Rhee won’t even say the ad was paid for by Students First because her brand is tainted. She is a fungus spreading rapidly.

        • savage

          Here is a similar photo of Rhee:

          http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/18-11

          Why on earth would she allow herself to be photographed in this way? And more importantly–why would any parent feel that a woman who chooses to be portrayed in this way would be someone that they want making decisions about the education of children?

          • Linda174

            I bet most people do not know who she is….she is very impressed wtih herself. If you didn’t  read Jersey Jazzman’s summary of her radio appearance you should, titled The Incoherent Reform of Michelle Rhee:

            http://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com/2012/04/incoherent-reform-of-michelle-rhee.html

          • savage

            Read it. That was great. I really don’t understand why the billionaires’ club has chosen Rhee as such an important spokesperson for their cause. I’ve yet to hear/read anyting she’s said that was the least bit convincing. She’s not much of a Spin Doctor, in my opinion.

          • Linda174

            Well guess what…the grand poobah was on Oprah twice and Oprah was conned.

            She has gotten plenty of air time and she repeats the same simple statements: All children need a great teacher.

            It is simplistic and not something one wouldn’t agree with.

            However, becoming a great teacher is a process that takes time. One that she never accomplished herself. 

            As a matter of fact, by her own high standards, she would have been fired and possibly arrested.

            She was a TFAer (teach for a while and build up your resume) herself and an Ivy league graduate. She thinks she is smarter than the rest of us. She is trying to market herself like Wendy Kopp who started TFA and it became a booming business for her. She makes close to or over $300,000 (Kopp) and her husband is involved with KIPP schools. Together they make well over $600,000 helping the poor children stuck in public schools with unionized teachers.

      • Magister

        GNEPSA must have offered those 50 signers Subway sandwiches or something.

        • Linda174

          Yeah and she added them to her list of grass roots supporters but they are probably all bankers, hedge fund managers and anyone else joining in on the gravy train.
          I need some names, but I can’t get myself to spend money on that rag of a paper.

        • Linda174

          She may have offered them something else, but children may be reading.

    • Linda174

      Letter from Mass teacher to Ms. Rhee’s request for donations to help reform CT schools. Her pathetic attempt for one or two grass roots supporters to offset the millions she has received from Gates and Murdoch.

      http://amybisson.com/2012/04/19/dear-ms-rhee/

      Dear Ms. Rhee,

      Please STOP sending mail to this address. First of all, you are not “my friend”. I work as a public school teacher and have for nearly 25 years. Wouldn’t that make ME one of your targets, a public school slacker?

      Just FYI, it is a vacation week here in Massachusetts. I am not paid for this ”vacation” nor is any other public school teacher here in Massachusetts. However, I AM here on my own time working hard to prepare a learning environment for my students when they return to their studies next Monday.

      I don’t have time for this kind of nonsense on my WORK email account. I feel that your solicitations, and I have received 3 so far, are inappropriate for the workplace. I have no intention of donating $10 to your Political Action Committee or you rconsulting firm – however you wish to define your money-making scheme today.

      Remove my name from your list permanently.
      Amy Bisson

  • savage

    Doing a google search under “education privatization,” I came across this article from Dissent Magazine. I know nothing about the author, Joanne Barkan, but what she has to say about Bill Gates (and the Waltons and the Broads) and his connections to the increasing trend toward the privatization of education makes a ton of sense. Mentions Michelle Rhee as well. Great article–eye-opening and frightening at the same time. Her suggestion seems to be that Gates and his ilk have good intentions but too much hubris. Anyway, here’s the link (hope it works):

    http://dissentmagazine.org/article/?article=3781

    • guest

      Thanks for this!

    • Linda174

      Thank you for posting…I will read soon. The link worked!

    • Buygoldandprosper

      Today’s revelations about WALMART prove what many already knew about the family and the business…corrupt as the day is long. A corporate Chimera.The rest? Bill Gates and all the rest? Bloodsuckers feeding off humans.

    • Linda174

      Savage  – thank your for posting. I just finiished reading it.

      This is mind blowing. Everyone needs to read this. I will post two excerpts. Gates was actually choosing states that he thought met RTTT guidelines and he offered $$$ to have consultants write their applications. What is going on?

      Enter the Gates Foundation. It reviewed the prospects for reform in every state, picked fifteen favorites, and, in July 2009, offered each up to $250,000 to hire consultants to write the application. Gates even prepared a list of recommended consulting firms. Understandably, the other states cried foul; so did the National Conference of State Legislatures: Gates was giving some states an unfair advantage; it was, in effect, picking winners and losers for a government program. After some weeks of reflection, Gates offered the application money to any state that met the foundation’s eight criteria. Here, for example, is number five: “Does the state grant teacher tenure in fewer than three years? (Answer must be “no” or the state should be able to demonstrate a plan to set a higher bar for tenure).”Who says the foundations (and Gates, in particular) don’t set government policy?

      Closing:

      Can anything stop the foundation enablers? After five or ten more years, the mess they’re making in public schooling might be so undeniable that they’ll say, “Oops, that didn’t work” and step aside. But the damage might be irreparable: thousands of closed schools, worse conditions in those left open, an extreme degree of “teaching to the test,” demoralized teachers, rampant corruption by private management companies, thousands of failed charter schools, and more low-income kids without a good education. Who could possibly clean up the mess?All children should have access to a good public school. And public schools should be run by officials who answer to the voters. Gates, Broad, and Walton answer to no one. Tax payers still fund more than 99 percent of the cost of K–12 education. Private foundations should not be setting public policy for them. Private money should not be producing what amounts to false advertising for a faulty product. The imperious overreaching of the Big Three undermines democracy just as surely as it damages public education.

      • savage

        I know–mind blowing is right! I agree–everyone should read it to better understand where this movement comes from and exactly how far-reaching it is.

        • Linda174

          The wealthy do not send their kids to public schools. I wonder where Gates sends his kids.

          The upper middle class and middle class who value education and are aware of this madness will stop sending their kids to public schools. Mine are done, but if they were still school age I would spend every penny for a private education. They would not be guinea pigs for a test crazed nation. 

          That will leave the rest for charter schools to skim from the top. Public schools will be the very poor, the uninformed and the neediest of the special ed.

          Who is going to tell Gates he made a huge mistake? Who would he even listen to?

          • savage

            Some people seem to think that he’s innocently misguided but too egotistical to listen. Others that the reform movement is a deliberate attempt to keep the “lesser” members of society (the 99%, I suppose) in their place.

  • Linda174

    Last one for today about Rhee – google her name and DC schools and what appears…link after link about the cheating scandal – high amount of erasures – like Hopeville and mostly wrong to right and kids go to other schools the next year and their performance level drops.  Initially reported in USA today over a year ago. She left before she could be held accountable…sound familiar, Adamowski?. They always do:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/27/education/duncan-and-rhee-on-panel-amid-dc-schools-inquiry.html?pagewanted=all

    Sorry to get off the Bridgeport topic, another frigthening situation, but JM got me going with the courant ad.

  • Linda174

    It is a sad state of affairs when the only company supporting us with advertisements is Exxon/Mobil. 

  • savage

    After reading the article (that I linked elsewhere in this thread) re the influence of Bill Gates, the Waltons and the Broads in the education “reform” movement, I started looking for more info re Gates’ “philanthropic” initiatives. Scary stuff. There are all kinds of allegtions regarding his plans to reduce the world population through his widespread financing of untested vaccines in developing nations and his newest venture–his investment in Monsanto, the bio-engineered crops giant. I’m not fully convinced yet that Gates is an evildoer rather than a philanthropist. But at least where education is concerned it looks as though he bears a lot of responsibility for what is currently going on in CT and other states across the nation.  In this case, anyway, it appears that his campaign has resulted/will result in chaos and decay rather than the betterment of the condition of those he claims to want to “help.”

  • savage

    A nice op-ed piece (a little wordy) that mentions Rhee, Gates, Waltons, et al and their involvement in the “ed reform” movement.

    http://archive.truthout.org/when-generosity-h

  • JM

    Here’s the ad from the courant.  It’s a PDF file.

    cf.ctnow.com/displayads/A1096617.PDF

  • savage

    I agree. I used to dismiss New World Order theories as paranoid nonsense. But seeing what’s going on in my own home state, I’m beginning to have second thoughts.

  • CTVeteran

         
    14 Points was written in 2004 by Dr.
    Laurence Britt, a political scientist. Dr. Britt studied the fascist regimes
    of: Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia),
    and Pinochet (Chile).

                 
     

                 
     

                 
    1. Powerful
    and continuing expressions of nationalism

          
    Replace Nationalism with “DO IT FOR
    THE CHILDREN!!! Being against Malloy is like hating children”

                 

    2. Disdain for the importance of human rights

                 
    Removing collective bargaining.
    Taking away our salaries, benefits and ability to have educational creativity
    and freedoms. Aren’t teachers also parents, taxpayers and voters?

                 

    3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause

                 
    BAD TEACHERS!!! BAD BAD BAD ! We
    need the power to fire them all and rehire who will drink our cool-aid.

                 

    4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism

     
    Not really applicable but if you
    replace with Corporations and Capitalism …

                 

    5. Rampant sexism

    Not
    applicable.

    6. A controlled mass media

    SHHH
    Hartrford Courant…don’t report the truth, it will cut into our agenda!

    7. Obsession with national security

    There
    were comments made in DC about how the failure of our education is going to
    cause a national security issue. What interesting is that Finland has modeled
    their education system off of the system and ideas that came out of the US in
    the 70’s. (don’t believe me google it. Pasi Sahlberg)

                 

    8. Religion and ruling elite tied together

    Remove
    religion and I do believe that there are quite a few “Ruling ELITE” backing
    education reform of the corporate type…no matter what political party they are
    on. 
                 

    9. Power of corporations protected

       
    I do believe Jon has done enough
    posting for everyone to be well aware of this one.

                 

    10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated

                 
    Redundant. Look at what is happening
    to the prison systems too…

                 

    11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts

           
    Teachers are to be told what to do,
    for the amount we think they are worth and not to think for themselves. If they
    do, Michelle has some tape and a ruler for you!

                 

    12. Obsession with crime and punishment

                 
    Redoing Tenure every 3-5 years? Loss
    of pay for average performance? Because everyone can be above average in
    ConnCan-Land!

                 

    13. Rampant cronyism and corruption

                 
    Do I even need to say anything
    here????

    14. Fraudulent elections

    Replace Elections with “HIRES”   Pryor, Adamoski….?

    Listen. I know I might be reaching with this one, but there is a lot of crap going on. The two sides are very clearly. Rich, Corporate interests of no political party vs. The people who want the best for their kids, want to make an honest living, and not have to worry about their job, or money being taken away from them. Over 70% of our schools are great, and CT is in the top for many educational categories. The Governor picked one category and has made that the only issue. Are all Bridgeport kids failing? No. We just dont want to say that the passing ones statisically come from different backgrounds than the failing ones (ie, money and language) Its monatarily beneficial to blame in on the teachers and get rid of their salaries.

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  • Mybelle813

    Did you notice that the school district is broke?  Not only is under achieving, but is broke?  It has gone from one budget crisis into another?  Did you notice there was no budget allocated for school books? The State is actually fix the district.  Not only do a quick fix, but actually build a long term fix.  What in the world does our reform have to do with Michelle Rhee?  Has there been any lay off of teachers?  Your blog is a complete misrepresentation of what we are trying to do.  As for the Vallas’ team, Vallas is getting the Superintendent’s salary and not a dime more, with a non paid provision any time he needs to leave the district on personal business.  Private investors who are providing a salary for Vallas rather than making the district pick up the tab.