We, the undersigned, demand the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation divest from corporate education reform.
Dear Bill and Melinda,
Prestigious academics from around the world collaborated to write a letter to Dr. Andreas Schleicher, director of the Organization for Economic and Cooperation Development’s (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment, to express deep concern about the impact of the PISA tests. The authors of the letter are Heinz-Dieter Meyer (State University of New York) and Katie Zahedi (Principal, Linden Ave Middle School, Red Hook, New York). Here is the link where you can support their letter to Dr. Andreas Schleicher. These academics who signed the OECD PISA Letter include David Berliner, Regents Professor of Education at Arizona State University; Diane Ravitch, Research Professor, New York University; Alfie Kohn, Author and Lecturer; Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor, MIT, rtd; Carol Burris, Long Island school leader and former High School Principal of the Year; Henry Giroux, Professor of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University, and Yong Zhao, Professor of Education, Presidential Chair, University of Oregon. Together they called for a halt of next year’s round of testing. Here is what they said:
“We assume that the OECD’s PISA experts are motivated by a sincere desire to improve education. But we fail to understand how your organisation has become the global arbiter of the means and ends of education around the world. OECD’s narrow focus on standardised testing risks turning learning into drudgery and killing the joy of learning. As PISA has led many governments into an international competition for higher test scores, OECD has assumed the power to shape education policy around the world, with no debate about the necessity or limitations of OECD’s goals. We are deeply concerned that measuring a great diversity of educational traditions and cultures using a single, narrow, biased yardstick could, in the end, do irreparable harm to our schools and our students.”
This statement also applies to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s corporate education reform policies. We at Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates and the following signers hereby assume that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation experts are motivated by a sincere desire to improve education. But we fail to understand how your organization has become the national and global arbiter of the means and ends of education in the United States and around the world. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s narrow focus on standardized testing risks turning learning into drudgery and killing the joy of learning. As the Gates Foundation’s national and global push for the Common Core, high-stakes testing, and teacher evaluations based on test scores has led many governments into a national and international competition for higher test scores, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has assumed the power to shape education policy in the United States and around the world, with no debate about the necessity or limitations of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s goals. We are deeply concerned that measuring a great diversity of educational traditions and cultures using a single, narrow, biased yardstick could, in the end, do irreparable harm to our communities, our schools, our profession, and our students.
You and the OECD have much in common, Bill and Melinda. Your imposition of corporate reform policies, which are measured using a single, narrow, biased yardstick, are successful in one area only: making a profit for you, test companies, publishers, and the privatizing corporate reformers. Your policies continue to use our children as guinea pigs in your corporate reform experiments and risk doing “irreparable harm to our schools and our students”.
We the undersigned reject the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s tight control of education policy. Venture philanthropy’s influence on public education has been all-pervasive and we demand an immediate restoration of democracy in our schools. Divest from corporate education reform.
(Note: We will deliver this letter with signatures along with a published copy of all Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates at the #EducatingGatesRally in Seattle on June 26th. Readers, please send us a note to add your name as a signer. Join us at the rally! )
Susan DuFresne, General Education and Special Education Kindergarten Teacher, Co-Author of Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates
Katie Lapham, NYC public school teacher, Co-Author of Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates
Anthony Cody, NBCT, M.Ed, Retired Teacher of 24 years, Author and Education Blogger at Living in Dialogue
Jennifer Rumsey, Parent, High School English Teacher
Mark Naison, Professor of African American Studies and History, Fordham University and Co-Founder of the Badass Teachers Association
Julianna K. Dauble, M. Ed. Teacher, Activist & Parent
Linda Myrick, Teacher, Bellevue School District
Kris Nielsen, Parent, Teacher, Activist
Keitha Bryson 1st grade teacher – Highline Public Schools
Michelle Murphy Ramey Elizabeth Lynch – Public School Teacher, Adjunct Professor, Grandparent, Activist
Lance Fialkoff, Founder, Musical Media for Education (MME)
Joan Kramer, Retired School Librarian
Susan Polos, National Board Certified Teacher, Board Member Section of School Librarians, New York Libray Association
Kathleen Canavan, M.Ed.
Terry Preuss, NBCT, Career Public Educator, Broward Teachers Union Executive Board, Broward County Public Schools District Advisory Council, Concerned American Parent and Citizen
Helmut G. Preuss, Concerned Parent, co-founder ABC+LOVE
Tracy Eddins, Kindergarten Teacher, Parent and concerned human
Cynthia Liu, Parent and Founder, K-12 News Network
Rosalie Romano, Educator for a sustainable future with social justice for all
Ani McHugh, Parent and English Teacher
Lissa L. Coleman, Certified School Dropout Prevention Specialist
Leonie Haimson, Class Size Matters
Judie Haynes, ESL author, educator and professional development provider
Thomas Garrard, Teacher Librarian
Amy Walls, Teacher and Parent
T. Daniel Brown, Parent, 4th grade Teacher, Grand Ledge, Michigan
Susan M. Goncarovs, Art Teacher K-12 and ^0^
Sheri Kittay, Parent and Teacher
Karen Glennon Retired Teacher with Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, Master Teacher, author, and parent
Krisha M. Allgood, Badass student and Teacher-to-be
Ms. Robin Lunt, Parent
Sabrina Joy Stevens, former teacher, current public school guardian & Executive Director, Integrity in Education
Maria Schrenger, Parent and 1st grade Teacher
Marie Corfield, BFA, MAT, Elementary Art Educator, Concerned Parent, Vice President Flemington-Raritan Education Association, Vice President Hunterdon County Education Association http://mcorfield.blogspot.com/
Lesa Aloan Wilbert, M. Ed. Karen Adlum, Trained Professional Teacher, Early Childhood Development/Elementary Education and concerned citizen for our future democracy
Robert D. Skeels, public education advocate
Becca Ritchie, Veteran Middle School Educator, Education Activist and concerned citizen
Mary Reed, 1st grade Teacher
Linda Liddell-English teacher
Ann Marie Finnen, Music Teacher and Parent
Sherm Koons, Teacher, human, Washington County Career Center, Marietta Ohiohttp://hypnohio.blogspot.com/
Jeanne Berrong, California Public Educator
Tina Andres, California Teacher and parent
Michael Struchen, proud public school English Teacher
Jannike Johnsen, M.Ed, Special Education Teacher, parent, and concerned citizen
Stewart Bloom, Retired Elementary/Reading Recovery Teacher, Fort Wayne, Indiana.http://bloom-at.blogspot.com
Kathleen Jeskey, Teacher, Parent, Grandparent; Oregon Save Our Schools, Oregon BATs
Gerardo Barboza, M.Ed. Education Policy Research englishincostarica.org
Helen Sadler, Educator
Nancy Bailey, Ph.D. former Special Education Teacher and Principal, public education advocate, author and blogger Nancy Bailey’s Education Website athttp://nancyebailey.com/
Noelle Jaddaoui, Veteran Public Elementary Teacher of ELs, Parent, Education Activist, Concerned Citizen
Cathleen Calderone Montilla, Special Education Teacher 28 Years!
Sheila Resseger, M.A., retired ELA teacher, RI School for the Deaf; parent of two college graduates; member of the Coalition to Defend Public Education (Providence, RI), national BATs, RI BATs, and the Southeast MA and RI Coalition to Save Our Schools
Cathaline Gray Carter, retired member Chicago Teachers Union, member Caucus of Rank and File Educators, parent of two public school graduates who now have graduate degrees
Vonda Van Farowe, Teacher in Alternative Education; M.A. Reed College; Portland Association of Teachers
Clinton Rozelle, PSU Art Education, VA Public School Educator
Pia Payne-Shannon, Educator, Founding member of REACH, Fierce Protector of Public Education and the Joy of Learning
Heidi Jensen, 3rd grade teacher in a distressed-Title 1-Priority School with SIG money, in Salt Lake City, Utah
Caroline Hooper, Teacher, Minneapolis, MN
Dr. Doug Martin, Researcher
Sharlayne Henske, Reading Support Grades 3-5. Prosser Heights Elementary, Prosser, WA
Heather Poland, M.Ed, English Teacher, Reading Specialist, A Teacher’s Perspective, BAT, CA BAT, Mom to 6 year old twins
Judith Lienhard, RN, concerned citizen
Michelle Gunderson, First Grade Teacher, Vice President for Elementary Schools Chicago Teachers Union
Lloyd Lofthouse, Taught in the public schools from 1975 – 2005 http://lloydlofthouse.org/
Janice Strauss, Grandparent, Retired Teacher, Student Teacher Supervisor for SUNY Cortland
Ted Dettmann, 4th grade Teacher
Martha Roe Mulcahy, M.Ed plus 30 additional graduate credits. Twenty-two years of teaching experience
Julie Borst, Parent and Special Education Advocate
Drs. William and Jeanne Pollock, Retired NJ Principals
Bettie Saccardo Educator, Parent, Advocate of Free Public Education
Cheryl Pavkovich, Retired (33 years) HS Teacher
Pearl K. Holloway, Providence (RI) Public School Teacher
Debra Martin, RN, Concerned Citizen
Sue McCabe, M. Ed. Special Educator
Dana Bialecki, 20 years experience as a Special Education Teacher and parent of two boys impacted by Common Core aka Bill $ Melinda Gates
David Greene: former HS teacher; author, DOING THE RIGHT THING: A Teacher Speaks; Treasurer of Save Our Schools
Cherie Schneider M.A., Earth/Space Science, Life Science, Physical Science, Honors Logic, Agri-science and Reading teacher, Concerned Teacher, Concerned Parent
Teresa Collins Rotella–3rd Grade Teacher 21 years–Master’s Degree
Christopher J. Benison, Pre-K Teacher, Morgantown, WV
Clyde Gaw, Parent and K-12 Educator, Indianapolis
Heather Jones, Teacher and Concerned Parent
Joel Melsha, Educator
Cheryl Lee Dorsey, Parent and Teacher
Mary E Burnham, Educational Consultant and Grandmother
Demian Godon, Concerned Parent
Rose Girguis, Middle School Math Teacher, Parent, Concerned Citizen, California
Christine Marmé Thompson, Professor of Art Education, Penn State University
Rebecca Nutile, Public Education Advocate and Parent
Lindy Cavness, Parent, Middle School Teacher, Public Education Advocate
Michael Flanagan, Ed.D, Parent, High School Teacher, BAT and Activist, NYC
Michael Klonsky, Ph.D. Small Schools Workshop, De Paul University
Nancy Thall, Concerned Citizen
Dana Doyle, Early Childhood Trainer/Consultant
Dr. Evan Lowenthal, PhD. High School English Teacher
Janie Dixon, MA.Edu, Former Classroom Educator, Mother, BAT, Public Education and Special Education Advocate
Yvonne Siu-Runyan, Professor Emerita, University of Northern Colorado and Past President, National Council Teachers of English
Paula Meyer, PhD, Bilingual Eeacher Emerita
Liza Womack, First Grade Teacher
Maggie Joralemon ESL Public School Teacher – “Education is not a business.”
Susan Kaller, Teacher of Advanced Mathematics, TESOL, and Computer Science for Portland Public Schools: Portland International Scholars Academy, and Hillsboro Online Academy Mathematics Department Chair, Recipient of 2014 National Science Foundation STEM Grant University California, Berkeley
Angela De Scalzo, 20 Year Veteran Teacher -How many years in education do YOU have Mr. or Mrs. Gates??
Dale McIntyre, Editor, CentervilleAdvocate.com
Tracy Clifton, Retired Middle School Math Teacher
Paula Hurdle, In solidarity with Public Educators
Tiffany T. Reed, 4th grade Science teacher
Shelby County Schools, Memphis, TN
Memphis-Shelby County Education Association, member, Board of Director
Tennessee Education Association, member, Board of Director
National Education Association, member
Charlotte Vrooman, Retired Elementary School Teacher with credential in Bilingual-Cross Cultural Competency
Candace Lawrence, I’m a successful AP English teacher in a low-income school, and I’d like to know why “Bill and Melinda” (like they’re our best friends) don’t offer their largesse to cancer research or–someplace where they might actually be able to do some good–instead of throwing their considerable weight around in a field they clearly know nothing about.
Ellen Lubic, Director, Joining Forces for Education
University Public Policy Educator
Gene V Glass, Emeritus Regents’ Professor, Arizona State University, Senior Researcher
National Education Policy Center
Lisa Litz-Neavear, M.Ed. (and proud of it!) Public School Educator since 1988
Those who can, teach!
Paula Johnson, I am a 4th generation, now retired, educator and I have never witnessed such greedy predators targeting America’s students. Saddest part is the government is giving their blessing so personal legislators can profit. Shameful!!
Michael P. Dominguez: Your policies have given school administrators nationwide the cover that they need to make decisions about personnel based solely upon payroll costs while claiming that they are protecting children. The best example of this is the LAUSD where Gates clone Mr. John Deasy has orchestrated a 20% increase in administrative positions and pay while firing thousands of veteran teachers based upon false charges of incompetence and child abuse. The GatesBroadWalton agenda is so pervasive and the power of your money so corrosive that the media cannot and will not cover this. The evil that you perpetrate will attach to your name forever.
John McTigue, Badass & Buffalo Public School Teacher
Laurie Krause Taylor, Parent, public school teacher, taxpayer, citizen. I disagree with every educational policy you have funded. STOP using your wealth to circumvent democracy! Leave our children alone!
William J. Adsley, Masters in Music Education and Administration
Nicholas Tampio, Associate Professor of Political Science, Fordham University
Karen M. Fraid, Chicago, IL. Public School parent, Arts Educator, student, Local School Council member, former PTA officer, and advocate for non-traditional learners and at-risk youth. Signing because true philanthropy never has strings attached, especially when children are involved.
Julia C. Vassilatos, Chicago IL. Masters in Religious Studies, Divinity School, University of Chicago. Public school parent, former Preschool Teacher, former Local School Council member, former PTA officer, advocate for Deaf and hard of hearing children and programs, Art Educator, public school advocate and education blogger. Your work in education is causing untold harm that you will never see because your children, who are not in the public schools, will never experience the problems you have caused.
Adenia Linker, Chicago, IL Social & Emotional Health Advocate, UIC Youth Development, College of Education
Stephanie Jordan, Parent/Teacher
Karla Maroney, Mother of two elementary-aged children, middle school English teacher, NYS citizen who votes
Thomas Ultican, Physics and Mathematics Teacher, Mar Vista High School – Imperial Beach, California
Omar Sangiovanni, Father. Husband. Printmaker. Artist. Art Teacher.
Mary Beth Franzeo, Special Education Math Teacher Clark County School District, Nevada
DeeAnne Bennett, MS Social Studies Education, I.B. Certified, NBPTS Social Studies AYA, 24 years in classroom experience!
Erica DuBois, NJ BAT (14 years and counting in an urban public elementary school) and parent of 2.
Terry Weber, Retired High School Math Teacher, New York City
Kathryn Hogan, Mother and Teacher
Cindy Hayden, Public School teacher 40+ years
Elizabeth Rubenstein, Art Educator, Pacifica, CA – Children are neither standard, nor common.
Luis Alicea, Bilingual Chemistry Teacher, Jersey City Public School
Diane Sekula, ESOL Teacher, Mom and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer
Walter and Kim Baskin
Darcey Addo, National Board Certified Teacher, M.Ed, PhD candidate with 12 years experience in public education. Parent of two elementary school children who are individuals, not data points and consequently will not be sitting for high-stakes tests. #OptOut #RefuseTheTest
Jeanne Damone Parent & 5th Grade Teacher New York
Nancy Malsom, Iowa Middle School Special Education Teacher from 1982-current, MA in Curriculum and Instruction, BS in K-8 education with endorsements in reading, learning disabilities, mental disabilities, behavioral disabilities, Level 1, self-contained, self-contained with integration, and multicategorical resource.
Anna Shah, JD; Education Policy Advocate: Hudson Valley Parent Educator Initiative/ HVACC, Schools of Thought Hudson Valley, NY
Dr. John Thompson, Oklahoma education writer and Retired Teacher
Josh J. Middleton, Ed.D. American public education has deep roots and proud heritage in local control. Any attempt at deep change must include the stakeholders who have students and student learning interests the top priority. Ed reform does not work with top down directives.
Sharon Higgins, Concerned citizen, Oakland (CA) public school parent (1993-2011)
Mr. And Mrs.James Ardito; Parents, Advocates and Educators
Andrea McCoy: Public School Educator and Psychologist
Wanda L. Horne, Special Education Teacher, Pulaski Country Special School District, Little Rock, AR.. Your changes have dealt a blow to special needs students that is actually worse than the disability they have. I’m afraid this could be irreparable damage to a group that is already behind in so many ways.
Sylvia TeGantvoort, Classroom volunteer, Concerned Citizen & Pissed off Parent
Shawn DuFresne, Parent, Grandparent and husband of a hardworking public school teacher!
Janet Demers, Retired Teacher, B. Ed in Education, M.Ed. in Reading from University of Massachusetts, taught for 34 years in public schools. I am against the corporate take-over of public schools, high-stakes standardized testing, teacher-bashing, Department of Education officials who have little or no experience as educators, and robbing children of joyful, hands-on learning.
Kristina Carbone, Concerned Parent and prior Teacher
Sara Gilberg, Mom, Grandma, Teacher
Bob Shepard, Concerned Parent, Member of Coloradoan’s Against Common Core, U.S. Air Force veteran, Retired Firefighter/EMT, business owner
Vanessa McMahon, Academic Intervention Specialist and Mother
Shaun Johnson, Teacher, PhD, At the Chalk Face
Eileen Glynn, Art Teacher for 25 years, mother to 4, mother-in-law to 3 teachers and grandmother to 6 present and future public education students. I am committed to working for quality education that hasn’t been deformed by those with monetary interests and without knowledge from long term experience in education. Those with direct teaching experience need to lead not those who only have inexperienced opinions and limited outside experience.
Warren Williams: Stick to health care.
Ed Lambert, Parent
Donna Saragnese, Middle School Math Teacher, parent, taxpayer.
Judy Bjorke, REACH Caucus, Minneapolis, MN
Phillip Cantor MEd, Science Department Chair at North-Grand HS, Chicago, IL
Shoshanah Mercado, Ed.S , School Psychologist, serving K-6 and 9-12
Stefanie Norris, MSpEd. — Bill, you should stick to what you know…..and it isn’t education!
Jamy A. Brice-Hyde, Public school Teacher, parent, educational activist for public schools, human rights, and the eradication of poverty.
Monique Caton, M.Ed, Teacher in Philadelphia School District
Caroline Hooper, Founding member of the REACH Caucus, Teacher, Minneapolis, MN
Daniel Santos, Educator, Advocate for Public Education, & one of The Houston 7
Monica Kalfur,Speech & Language Pathologist, public school speech provider & mother of a student in the public school system
Teresa Kiedrowski, Parent & High School Teacher: Divest now, Bill & Melinda!
Kristen Caven, Public School Parent & PTA leader
Elizabeth Welsh, Linden, New Jersey
Kathleen R. Nelson, Special Education Teacher, Parent, Taxpayer, Milwaukee Public Schools
Laurel M. Sturt, author of Davonte’s Inferno: Ten Years in the New York Public School Gulag.
Terri Graham, retired Arts Educator 32 yrs teaching in a large northeast urban school. Mr. Gates: explain again where you received your degree in education…..& how many years experience do you have teaching in a public school classroom.
Laura M. Longhi, MAT, 20 year science teacher, math and science upper elementary lead teacher, math and science on-site school specialist Pre-K through 8th, concerned citizen, member BATs, Illinois BATs and BATs Prisons to Schools. A true philanthropist doesn’t push agenda based on his or her ego and desires and tie giving to said agenda. A true philanthropist listens to the experts, learns about the needs from these professionals and then gives to actually improve upon a situation. In this case, those that should be listened to are professional educators. Give it a try. You might learn something.
Lorraine Naggi, The elite would never subject their kids to this nonsense, so why is it acceptable to subject everyone else’s kids to this? Our children will not be cogs in the machine, or serve as your children’s underlings to be dumped on and further disenfranchised!
Janet Dendy, Retired Public School Teacher, Parent, and Grandparent
Stephani Itibrout, English Teacher and Public School Parent
Michael Sahlman, 5th Grade Teacher & Taxpayer, Oakland, California
Lynne Rerucha, MA, Literacy Specialist, grandparent, taxpayer, Littleton, CO
Christina Cortez, CA Educator and Parent
Julie Borst, Parent and Special Education Advocate
Jennifer K. Cody, Post Secondary Financial Aid Adminstrator for 25 years, Current Director: Cornerstone Community Educational Foundation, Huntsville, AL
Lawrence Graykin, M.ED., Chairperson of NHCIC & Public Educator, NH
Lisa Harris, I have a Ph.D in education. I’m a 20-year veteran high school English teacher and adjunct professor.
Aneva Williams, Grandparent and school bus driver
Rose Reyes, Bilingual Teacher
Arthur S. Getzel, 36 years as a Public School Teacher New York City Department of Education, soon to be retired.
David Sudmeier, History Teacher
Newark Students Union: The Newark Students Union is an organization founded by and for Newark students with the goals of protecting student rights, ensuring we receive a quality education, and empowering the student voice in the political process.
Shanon Dahlstrom, Common Core Forum member and parent, Chelmsford MA
Kelly Trussell M.ED Special Education Teacher and parent
Sue Morgan, Retired Elementary Teacher Oakland Unified
Jody Harbison, Retired Public School Teacher of 42 years, previous Union President and Grievance Chair
Cathy DiBenedetto, Parent
Michelle McFadden DiNicola, Our committed group of parents in Highland Park support you in the divest quest! Bill Gates was not elected to anything & he is no Demi-God.
Lisa Bauman, Science Teacher and concerned Parent
Amber Tyndzik, MEdT, 5th grade teacher in Honolulu, Hawaii.
I have conducted thorough research on high-stakes, one-size-fits-all testing and its effects on our students and teaching practice. My master’s thesis was written on this topic. As a 5th grade teacher, I also have personal experience of the emotional distress and anxiety it causes my students. Bottom line, the Common Core, along with its high-stakes testing component, does not only negatively affect teaching practice, but it also does not give an accurate measure of student achievement and is causing unnecessary stress and anguish in our young people.
Pamela Spadaro, Parent/Teacher
Sue Snizek, Mom of 8 grown people all working all graduated all had that old time education you 2 + 2 is 4!!!! Get out of the education game !!!
Mandy Vonnie-Buehlander, Proud 26 year veteran Classroom Teacher
Tr. Kerry Quillen, Public School Teacher
Lynnda Butler: The Gates Foundation has no business sabotaging education!!!
Betsy Carpenter-Wilson, Music & History Teacher
Lynn Coleman, Early Childhood Educator, 18+ years experience in public schools, Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education
Angela Hanson, M.Ed., Teacher, Taxpayer, Union Member, Advocate for Social Justice
Alison McDowell, Philadelphia Public School Parent and member of Opt Out Philly
Kirsten Pannek, M. ED., teacher, and parent of a son who attended public school. My son and I both left public school because of Bill Gates’ influence on curriculum. Bill and Melinda Gates need to keep their money.
Carmen R. Andrews, MA Ed Parent & Teacher
Theresa Patane, Educator, Union member, public school parent: Our once great nation is being undermined by corporations, and the fact that corporate interests seem to matter more than those of the average citizen.
Dale Garrard. 18 year teacher of AP Japanese, Psychology, English, and IB Theory of Knowledge