"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, August 17, 2009

Gates Pushes Mayoral Control; Donated $4.1 Million to LearnNY

What do you call it when one billionaire puts up $4 million to extend the mayoral control of education in a city controlled by another billionaire?
Education reform, NYC style.
The New York Post reports that Gates gave $4 million of his personal funds to LearnNY, the pro-mayoral control PR machine, in an effort to extend the little dictator's reign over the public school system.
From the New York Post:

Gates' $4 Mil Lesson

Aided School Control


August 17, 2009

America's richest man chipped in to help preserve mayoral control of New York City schools.

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates -- a pal of fellow billionaire Mayor Bloomberg -- has secretly bankrolled Learn-NY, the group that joined the campaign led by The Post to extend mayoral control.

Gates funneled about $4 million to the pro-mayoral-control forces during the fierce, dragged-out legislative debate, The Post has learned. A spokesman for Gates confirmed the donation and the approximate size.

The donation helped pay for Learn-NY's extensive public-relations, media and lobbying efforts in Albany and the city. The effort include advertisements, parent organizing and canvassing -- including a five-borough bus tour and trips to the state capital.

Gates gave the money from his personal pocket -- not from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has pumped $150 million into the city to develop small schools.

He made it clear that he liked having city CEOs in charge of education decision-making and accountable for results.

"You want to allow for experimentation. The cities where our foundation has put the most money is where there is a single person responsible. In New York, Chicago and Washington, DC, the mayor has the responsibility for the school system," Gates said during a CNN appearance.

Another billionaire philanthropist -- Eli Broad, a proponent of charter schools -- also gave millions to Learn-NY.

In related news, Bloomberg defended budgeting 8 percent raises for teachers over the next two years in spite of tough economic times, as The Post reported yesterday.

"It would be irresponsible when all of the other unions have gotten [similar raises] for us not to put the pattern into the budget," he said.

"Things are going to be different down the road as we continue to talk to the UFT."

And Billy's little interview where he discusses his love for education's most notorious dictatorships - the Chicago Public Schools (Duncan), the NYC schools (Bloomberg/Klein), and DC (Michelle Rhee). From a December 2008 interview:


  1. Zorro4:30 PM

    We are all playing a rigged game with the likes of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. So understand he will win every pot until we play the winner take all hand at the very end. When all the chips are finally on the table and we finally play over the very game itself--that's when we will win brothers and sisters.

    It's funny to hear Bloomberg confidently speculating about what he might do in his fourth term in office. His hubris and avarice have blinded him. He doesn't see what's coming. Yes, he should be confident over his election to a third term. That's in the bag with his other golf clubs. But he will not finish that term in office much less stand for a fourth. You can't run from prison or exile.

    Don't believe me good working people of New York City? Don't believe me Your Highness? In time, you'll see.

  2. When considering Gates' $4 million donation to preserve mayoral control, be aware that, to him, this figure is the equivalent of $5 to a person making $50,000. If readers don't believe me, they can do the math themselves.

    His power is extremely scary.