@HastingsTeacher @lacetothetop - nat'l civil rights grps support annual tests- they r working w/us on curbing the hi -stakes @civilrightsorg
— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) April 11, 2015
It's true that many national civil rights organizations support annual testing, Common Core and other tenets of the corporate education reform agenda.
It's also true that many of them are on the take:
@rweingarten @chiefwally @HastingsTeacher @lacetothetop @civilrightsorg Many of those orgs are on Gates payroll.
— rbe (@perdidostschool) April 12, 2015
@rweingarten @chiefwally @HastingsTeacher @lacetothetop @civilrightsorg Gates has bought off many orgs w/ $$$$.
— rbe (@perdidostschool) April 12, 2015
Whenever you see somebody from one of these national civil rights organizations tossing around the "Testing is a civil right" rhetoric, go to the Gates Foundation website and search to see how much money they're taking from Bill Gates.
Today for example, Michael Lomax, the president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund, who has a piece in the NY Daily News claiming that parents who opt their children out state tests are hurting all children but especially children of color:
By opting out, parents do a disservice to all children, not just their own. Without an ample number of test takers, we will lose perspective on how our children are truly doing against the higher bar. This is especially important for students who need a better education the most: children of color, children from low-income families and those who require special education services or are learning English.
This spring, three of my grandchildren who attend public charter schools in Atlanta will take these tougher exams. The exams will tell us if they are meeting rigorous national and global academic standards. If they are not, their parents and I will fight to ensure they get immediate support, so upon high-school graduation, they will be genuinely prepared for our country’s best universities and a globally-competitive workforce.
In the 20th century, we fought for our right to an equal education. Now, 60 years after Brown vs. Board of Education, we are still fighting. Parents who opt out or urge others to do so may mean well, but they are wrong.
No one should be against higher standards or tougher tests. On the contrary, this is exactly what we should be fighting for. We know that the alternative is much worse.
Before I read Lomax's piece in the Daily News, I went on over to the Gates Foundation website and searched for how much money Gates has paid to the United Negro College Fund over the last decade.
It's a lot:
United Negro College Fund, Inc.
to support the Gates Millennium Scholars Program
Yes, that's over a billion and a half dollars the United Negro College Fund has received from Gates since 1999 to provide scholarships.
That's an awful lot of money, but it's not the only cash the United Negro College Fund has gotten from Gates - here's the rest.
Now it's possible that Michael Lomax, CEO of the United Negro College Fund, would love testing and Common Core without the billion and a half+ in cash his organization has received from the Gates Foundation to fund scholarships.
But getting that kind of help from Gates sure does cut down on the time the organization has to spend fundraising and you can bet neither Lomax nor the United Negro College Fund want to lose that source of funding.
Now I dunno if somebody at the Gates Foundation called in a chit and "suggested" Lomax write his pro-testing screed or if Lomax just decided to be pro-active on his own and do it himself.
But you can bet it's not an accident that a national civil rights organization that is receiving over a billion and a half dollars in cash from the Gates Foundation is pushing an education reform agenda that makes the Gates Foundation happy.
And as I tweeted back to Randi, this is true almost every time I see some national civil rights organization or national civil rights figure pushing the "Testing Is A Civil Right" talking point - they're inevitably on the Gates Foundation payroll.
The Leadership Conference?
National Urban League.
Children Defense Fund?
The list goes on - pick a civil rights organization that has signed on to the "Testing Is A Civil Right" movement and you'll almost inevitably see they've taken money from Gates in the past or are currently taking money from Gates now.
Not every organization is getting the kind of cash the United Negro College Fund is getting from Gates, but donations are donations and every dollar that comes to these organizations from Gates is one less dollar they have to raise somewhere else.
And again, it's possible some of these organizations would happily push the "Testing Is A Civil Right" movement without the Gates Foundation payola, but you can bet receiving the Gates cash helps grease the wheels on that movement.
Randi Weingarten loves to trot out the excuse that national civil rights organizations are backing yearly standardized tests every time she is challenged on twitter for the AFT's support of yearly standardized tests, but as you can see from this post, that excuse is deceptive since so many of these organizations are taking money from the pro-testing/pro-Common Core Gates Foundation.
And in fact, Randi and the AFT have been on the Gates payroll in the past, so she knows very well just how the Gates cash influences policy support.
The next time you see a civil rights organization or leader trotting out the "Testing Is A Civil Right" rhetoric, check them at the Gates Foundation website and see just how much payola they're taking.
And the next time you see AFT President Randi Weingarten defending her own support of yearly standardized testing by pointing out the national civil rights organizations who also support yearly standardized testing, challenge her on it by pointing out the common denominator in all that support - the Gates Foundation cash.