You might notice that my last post about Anthony Cody’s book is not the same as the review I’m posting on Amazon, and that’s because Amazon might not approve what I said in my Blog review of “The Educator and the Oligarch”. They might not approve of this watered down version either, but what the heck—nothing ventured, nothing gained.
I firmly believe that the best way to judge a person is by what they do—not what they say—and Bill Gates seldom does what he says when it comes to improving public education in the United States.
When I say that in front of our daughter—and I’ve done it several times—who graduated from Stanford in June, she looks at me in disgust, because she thinks Bill Gates is a great man, a humanitarian and philanthropist, who is trying to make the world a better place—at least that’s what Bill Gates wants her to think. It also helps to know that Bill Gates gave the commencement address for our daughter’s Stanford graduating class in 2014.
Our daughter is right about one thing, Bill Gates is a great man, and that’s why he is CORRUPT. If you doubt what I just said, then argue with Lord Acton—not me. Lord John Acton (1834-1902) said, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men (like Bill Gates) are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority.”
Bill Gates is not the man he wants people like our daughter to think he is, and Anthony Cody in “The Educator and the Oligarch” proves repeatedly in almost every chapter that what Bill Gates says he wants to do to improve public education in the United States isn’t what he’s doing. Instead, Gates is spending billions to influence (through bribes that are called grants) state and national leaders to do what he wants.
For instance, in Chapter 2, Anthony Cody mentions that in 2011, NBC held the Teacher Town Hall program, and Bill Gates was introduced as the top funder of education in the world … spending half a billion dollars to devise a way to figure out what makes a great teacher, what makes them most effective, and Melinda Gates acknowledged that good teaching cannot be reduced to a test score—but that’s exactly what her husband is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to do: to judge teachers by test scores.
Then in Chapter 3, Cody quotes an Op-Ed piece that Bill Gates wrote for the New York Times: Gates said, “Student test scores alone aren’t a sensitive enough measure to gauge effective teaching, nor are they diagnostic enough to identify areas of improvement.”
But regardless of what Melinda and Bill Gates say, the Gates Foundation has spent and is still spending hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the federal and state governments to use the results of the Common Core student standardized tests to judge and then rank and yank (fire) teachers with an ultimate goal to close public schools and replace them with corporate Charter schools—that several Stanford studies funded by the Gates Foundation have already proven are mostly worse or the same as the public schools they are replacing.
To achieve these goals, Bill Gates is spending $5 – $7 billion dollars, and when he ran into opposition from democratically elected school boards, what did Bill Gates do—he started spending hundreds of millions of dollars to get rid of the democratically elected school boards that run public school districts and replace them with the corporate CEOs of charter schools who will do what Bill Gates wants.
Cody’s book has 27 chapters and they are loaded with more examples than the few I have shared in this review.
How do you help someone by firing them? Why isn’t Bill Gates funding training programs that will eventually show teachers methods that work—that Bill Gates doesn’t select—that will help teachers become better at their job?
Just for a moment, imagine what investing $5 – $7 billion in early childhood education and improving teacher training and follow up support after a new teacher is in the classroom would have achieved—-instead of destroying lives by firing teachers and subjecting children to hours of testing that serves no purpose except labeling children as FAILURES.
I bought a paperback copy of The Educator and the Oligarch: A Teacher Challenges the Gates Foundation at Laurel Book Store in Oakland, California. This review is my honest opinion.
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).
Honorable Mention in Biography/Autobiography at 2014 Southern California Book Festival
His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves
Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).
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