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[Susan notes: The letters are pouring in in response to Stephen Krashen's letter in The New York Times. I hope they print one, like this, that provides corporate context. . . and the key role played by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.]

Submitted to New York Times but not published

To the editor

Stephen Krashen is correct about poverty being the real impediment to an excellent education for all. He is also correct that increasing testing will only divert money away from solving poverty. However, he does not pull back the curtain to reveal the real reason that education “reform” is suddenly an interesting topic to billionaires. Who will profit from all this testing? States struggling to function after their budgets were decimated (probably by a manipulated Libor rate) have been enticed into signing onto the Common Core in exchange for Race to the Top funds. Unfortunately, the excessive computer generated testing that is mandated by 2014 to receive the funds will cost more than the funds will provide.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has provided the seed money to get things rolling for the adoption of the Common Core. The concept of using a small amount of private funding to access (leverage) vast amounts of public taxpayer money is not lost on Bill and his friends. This is nothing less than an investors dream to privatize public schooling with for-profit charter schools, replacing creative unionized teachers with CCSS software run on computers managed by low paid facilitators in charge of making sure the computers are working and the students are staring at the screens. This factory model of education will not improve anything except the bottom line for charter school investors, test prep companies, online curriculum delivery, etc. Since the media is owned by the billionaires, this fact won’t get out till we have wasted ten years crushing the creativity out of our students so that they will not be college or career ready by anyone’s standards.

Dawn Hoagland

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