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Tag Archives: The Educator and the Oligarch

My Amazon Review of “The Educator and the Oligarch” by Anthony Cody

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

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300

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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Badass Teachers Association versus Corporate War on Public Education

Marla Kilfoyle is the General Manager of an education activist group called The Badass Teachers Association.

The Badass Teachers Association has broken new ground because they are the first of their kind. They started as a Facebook group of teachers angry with federal education policy. In a year and a half, they grew into a strong and powerful national presence both on and off social media. BadassTA is now 53,000 strong on Facebook, 15,000 strong on twitter, and has a strong presence in fighting the privatization of our public school system around the nation.

BadassTA uses social media to expose the false narrative of the wealthy oligarchs, for instance, the Koch Brothers and Eli Broad. BadassTA trended on twitter for 2 days straight with their #Evaluatethat campaign, and they were recently featured in Time Magazine for their rebuttal to the Time cover showing teachers as rotten apples.

The Badass Teachers Association was created to give voice to every teacher who refuses to be blamed for the failure of our society to erase poverty and inequality through education.

Badass teachers refuse to accept assessments, tests and evaluations created and imposed by corporate driven entities (funded mainly by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) that have contempt for authentic teaching and learning. They refuse to accept the fact that non educators are allowed to make education policies that hurt our children, communities, and public schools. Badass teachers insist on equality, social justice, and equity in education and society. They will be meeting in Washington DC this summer, July 23-26 for their BAT Congress where they plan to lobby the U.S. Congress for children and public education. They are truth tellers and are united in their cause.

NOTE FROM BLOG HOST

The corporate funded and driven public education—FAKE—reform movement in the United States does not respect teachers, pay them what they deserve or intend to train them properly. All anyone has to do is look at Teach for America (TFA) to see what I mean. A TFA recruit has five weeks of summer training and little or no classroom experience with little or no follow up support when they take over a classroom, often from a highly trained and experienced teacher who was paid more and lost their job. More than two-thirds of TFA recruits leave teaching in 2 – 4 years and never return to education as a teacher. Of the one-third that remain, all but 3% transfer to higher preforming schools in wealthier communities that do not teach high numbers of challenging to teach at-risk children who live in poverty. TFA is an element of the corporate public education fake reform movement that was designed to break the teachers’ unions.

If you need more convincing, I suggest you examine closely the Bill Gates funded and driven Common Core Standardized Testing agenda that will rank and yank teachers—in addition to closing public schools and turning our children over to corporate Charters that often lie and deceive through corporate funded propaganda to lure children away from public schools—Did you know that several Stanford studies have reported that about 75% of private sector Charter schools perform worse or the same as the public schools they replaced, and a Stanford professor, who supports market based reforms, says this reform movement does not work in education?

Instead of ranking teachers, firing them and closing public schools, the United States must offer proper training and support for teachers who want and/or need help. Ask yourself this question: Once the public schools are gone, will we ever get them back from profit-hungry corporations and billionaire oligarchs like the labor union hating Walmart Walton family and Koch brothers? Do you want democratically elected school boards in public schools to be in charge of your child’s education or a billionaire/CEO, for instance Bill Gates, who sends his children to the same expensive private school he attended as a child, a school that doesn’t give endless Common Core standardized tests?


Anthony Cody, author of The Educator and the Oligarch: A Teacher Challenges the Gates Foundation

_______________________

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

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300

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).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

 

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Listening to Anthony Cody talk about The Educator and the Oligarch

The Oligarch is Bill Gates. The Educator is Anthony Cody, who has gone toe-to-toe with the Gates Foundation in private conversations and publicly for several years. Cody’s book, The Educator and the Oligarch, covers what he has learned while in the trenches battling a billionaire and his vast, entrenched organization, and the book is worth reading.

Do I NEED to repeat that?

At 2:30, Saturday (12-6) afternoon, I left home to walk the two miles to the nearest BART station.

At 4:05, I walked into the Laurel Book Store in Oakland, California to hear Anthony Cody, who started talking soon after I sat down, and by then it was standing room only.

Cody has been in the fight to save democratic public education much longer than I have, and his knowledge of the issue is deeper. Back in the mid 1980’s, I started suspecting that there might be a plot to destroy the public schools—it was just a feeling I had due to the crazy and insane things that teachers were being forced to do that made no sense.

Thinking I was cooking up a conspiracy theory, I went into denial mode and continued teaching and dodging bullets from those imagined ghosts until I retired in 2005 after thirty years in the classroom. Then in November 2013, my wife came home and told me she’d heard Diane Ravtich on NPR talking about her book “Reign of Error,” and I read the book and discovered my suspicions had been true all along—but like cancer this plot has branched out and taken on a malignant life of its own and it’s spreading into every element of public education in the United States in addition to corrupting our democratic government—thanks in large part to Bill Gates.

Listening to Cody late this afternoon, I learned how Bill Gates always gets what he wants—he buys everyone and everything he can, and he has dedicated between $5 to $7 billion dollars to destroy America’s democratic public education system and rebuild it into what HE thinks it should be.

I didn’t raise my hand until the end of Cody’s talk, and after several others had asked questions and shared their thinking. It was obvious that there was a lot of passion in the room among parents and teachers.

Then I had my say—not knowing that I was going to be attacked, not by Cody, but by another person in the audience. I said that we had to stop measuring children and focus on the children who needed the most help: children from dysfunctional homes and who lived in poverty. I mentioned that France had launched a national early childhood education program managed by its own public schools in the 1970’s, and thirty years later, the French poverty rate had dropped more than 50%.

When I finished talking—one loud person—grabbed the crowd’s attention and attacked me for blaming dysfunctional parents for at risk children who were difficult to teach. She said that it wasn’t the parent’s fault their children were not succeeding. I didn’t respond to her attack maybe because I’m severely dyslexic and it takes me time to think before I open my mouth. It’s so much easier to write, revise, edit and wait a few days and then revise some more. I had no desire to get into a heated shouting match with this stranger.

When the event ended and the crowd moved from the event area into the bookstore, several people came up to me and offered support. They all agreed that I had never blamed dysfunctional parents for the problems in classrooms caused by at-risk and difficult to teach children.

I replied that dysfunctional parents can’t be blamed when their children are not learning in school, because my parents were dysfunctional—who both dropped out of high school when they were fourteen—because I was born to poverty; because when I was six or seven, my mother was told I would never learn to read, but she taught me anyway after failing to teach my older brother 12 years earlier. My brother died at age 64 illiterate and he left behind several of his own adult children who are still illiterate. My father was a gambler and an alcoholic. If he wasn’t drinking, he was a wonderful, gentle man. My brother spent about 15 years of his life in prison. He was also an alcoholic, a sometime drug user, and a heavy smoker. Like our parents, he also never had the tools to raise children who easily learned in school.

If my family wasn’t dysfunctional, I don’t know what is.

If you ask someone to fix your car who doesn’t know how to use the tools, do we blame that person for not fixing the car? Dysfunctional parents—like my parents—did not have the parenting tools to raise children that were ready to learn, and I wasn’t ready to learn until I was in my early twenties after serving several years in the U.S. Marines and fighting in Vietnam.

It was dark out when I left the bookstore and started the long ride home on BART, and it was a long ride. The BART train was delayed several times sitting at stations because of some problem down the line. What should have been a 25-minute ride stretched to about one-and-a-half hours, and this turned out to be a good thing, because the wait provided time for me to read to Chapter 4 in Cody’s book, and discover just how involved Bill Gates is in HIS own goal to destroy our democratic public schools, and replace those schools with what HE wants.  For instance, if Gates was cutting open our bodies and reaching inside to do surgery to save our lives HIS way, he’d have our blood all the way to his shoulders, smeared on his face and drenching his clothing down to his shoes as he pulled out one organ after another and threw them over his shoulder to the filthy floor.

Bill Gates has bought—bribed would be more appropriate—the media, nonprofits, and institutions for education, state governments, the Department of Education, and the White House. At the moment, Bill Gates is the unelected emperor of the United States, and if he achieves HIS goals with our schools, our democracy and our freedom will be gone too.

It’s getting late. If this needs editing, I’ll fix it tomorrow. Right now, I want to publish this post, brush my teeth and relax by watching the last of the 3rd season of The Tudors . I think I see a lot of similarities between Emperor Bill Gates and England’s King Henry 8, but Bill Gates isn’t beheading wives. He is beheading teachers, children—and our democracy.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300

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).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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