Sunday, January 23, 2011

Disproportionate influence of foundations

Article in an online magazine arguing that foundations have a disproportionate influence in public policy on education, ahd that partnerships make it difficult for the media to be independent with respect to these foundations:


Anonymous said...

Wow. Old Timer was saying this last week. Guess it takes an article to have validity here.

Anonymous said...


Scary and alarming, We must be a small district for Gates & Eli Broad to play with.

A Must Read.

Questioner said...

Many have been making similar observations about Pittsburgh for a long time. It is interesting to see the same observations in a national context.

Anonymous said...

good point the bottom line is that these so called mega foundations wants aeducation reform on a national concept.for instant
charter schools
performance pay for teachers
expanded learning time
GOP always say that government needs to stay out of peoples lives
so now these foundation has a voice it is about control money is power and influence that's why Gates and Broad think that they can convert PPS to there vision and standards
does this makes since!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

see page 9 of 12:

". . . The union took the money in exchange for giving Rhee some of the changes seh wanted. The money came with a political restriction: the foundations would withdraw their pledges if there was a "material change" in the school districts leadership. When critics challenged the legality of the arrangement. . . "

Anonymous said...

This is new news? If so the community has a lot of catching up to do. I thought it was common knowledge.

Step one read the book: "The Death and Life Of the Great American School System."

It is Pittsburgh among other districts.

Questioner said...

Many people in Pittsburgh still do not know what is happening- especially if their children are not in city schools.

Questioner said...

A point that has not yet received much attention is the role of smaller nonprofits that stand to RECEIVE a piece of the money being pumped in by the large foundations.

Many if not most of the "community members" who speak out if favor of reform plans are directors or employees of these small nonprofits or otherwise have a financial incentive to support the proposals. They assert passionately that they are able to remain objective in considering a proposal; but somehow they invariably come out on the side of the money.

An appeal from Curious George said...

As anon 1:22 said "Old Timer was saying this last week."

So this is an appeal to Old Timer to begin posting again.

We really do need viewpoints from everyone involved in the educational process.

And for those who feel that Old Timer is too harsh, or whatever, fair enough. Just skip over his/her comments without reading them.

Anonymous said...

If you read 100 Plan, part of it is going on a retreat with the board. This was also in Roosevelt's plan. Guess where the money came from, Th Eli Broad foundation, I think the last time the retreat was in the Napa Valley. This is were they indoctrinate the school board with their vision.

Free Trips for the School Board, no wonder they never question anything. Scary

Old Timer said...

I haven't gone away, George. If there is anything that I feel needs to be written, I'll do it. One individual with personal issues isn't going to chase me away. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:55 Spot on. Very cult like mentality, it is very scary.

Anonymous said...

Cult-like mentality? As a teacher, you understand this quite well. It's there in central administration when walk-throughs are being conducted. It's there with all PELA-types currently in charge of schools.
Cult-like is a very applicable term for this bunch.
And yes, it is quite disturbing that everyone from assistant principals on down to supervisors walk in lock step and speak with the same terminology.
It's like nothing you have ever seen, and reminds me of Goebbels, his dis-information and brainwashing methods and the book 1984.
A simply incredible time to be a teacher.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:16. I do understand and I am not a teacher.

Employees must be on Broad/Board, if not they either "quit" or are "dismissed" regardless of the job title.

Anonymous said...

Its a facist coporate type of enviroment filled with wet behind the ears types in charge.

Anonymous said...

$100M+ disproportionately now!!!!

The individual does not have a fighting chance!

Anonymous said...

It would take a bit of detective work to do this, but it would be quite interesting to see if the parent companies behind foundations, or even influential donors, bet on stocks based on insider information.

Think its not possible? Think again. You would need to look at the larger curriculum or perhaps technology contracts with traded companies that are small enough that a multimillion dollar contract announcement could make a difference.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:23

I have thought that also, I wish I knew how to follow that money. I wish somebody would. It would not surprise me, their is always a hidden agenda in Corparate America. No one around here will the Post Gazzette does not investigate anything concerning the PPS.

Anonymous said...

NCLB cracked the public education "non profit" issue. It was the only large institution wealthy people had been unable to profit from.

They have desperate communities begging for their "help". It is too late once they found out they sold their soul. Very few people care. Board members just want to be elected. It is sad because so many city families with influence, money, transportation, computers, & the knowledge of how to navigate the system simply put their kids in private education, and no longer think it is their problem.
(regardless of color) The kids/parents/communities that need our support the most have no voice. Mark Roosevelt did not want to attend a Town Hall meeting regarding the East Side changes.

Can you imagine if he refused Colfax?

I was/am shocked at how many people just shrug and say PPS is corrupt and will never change. This is not acceptable, nor should it be.

Giving up, giving in and expecting failure should not be an option either.

Old Timer said...

I posted this under administrative pay raises and in light of the last comment, it seems pertinent to post here, as well.

I'm 'all ears' about ideas for change in PPS. Roosevelt's corporate model of education has essentially built a 'hopeless' scenario for teachers. Sorry, but as stated below, my days of believing in change, thinking that we're all on the same page and that administration--from Lane down to the rest of her central office brethren--is in it as much for the kids as teachers are.

You can refuse to believe all you like. At some point, you stop believing in the tooth fairy.
I'm struck by administrator raises, once again. I'm literally amazed that these people make additional money on the backs of teachers.

Then again, I seem to be in a minority where teachers are concerned, in a 'place' where all veteran teachers will find themselves, sooner or later. I'm cognizant of the fact that many, many younger teachers are buying into the idea of career ladders. I'm aware that they have embraced this schlock and "realize" that some teachers (read, older teachers) must go.

Go to enough meetings where younger teachers are, and this point resonates repeatedly.

But I'm also aware that there is no reason to stress. There is no hope. There is no recourse. None.

As a teacher, you will get nowhere with your building administrators. In most cases, they are PELA disciples who, again, envision a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

You will get nowhere with central administration. These people were never in the classroom long enough to have any idea of what is actually happening, what the kids need, etc. They envision wealth, too, and since they have been brainwashed via PELA and the IFL, since they have too many years till retirement, well, they are no allies.

You will get nowhere with parents. I don't say this in negative tones, to be sure. The Schenley closure, the middle school closures, the East End realignment--it's all proven that the district has no concern for parent pleas.

And most pointedly, you will get nowhere with the PFT. In many instances, they actually sound like administration. You will likely not even get them coming to your school, let alone listening to your concerns. Again, I refuse to believe John turned colors. Instead, I can only think some arrangement has been made--an arrangement we will never be privy to.

As such, I've come to understand that as teachers...we have no say and we have no recourse. We have no protection and we have no representation.

I've been a vocal member of the union for years but again, what has taken place is simply incredible. So do I get myself sick or do I simply say to myself that this is the reality of our times? A school district has carte blanche to do as it pleases--to even give itself raises--and a union that gets a mandate for changes, has 4 independents run for and win election to its executive board, and then circumvents those new members' ability to become actively involved.

It's a bad and worn out cliche, but truly, it is what it is. Teachers--no one cares. No one cares. At this point, remember your health.