Latest News and Comment from Education

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Media Matters: Reporting on Corporate Reform and Omitting Walton, Gates, and Broad | deutsch29

Media Matters: Reporting on Corporate Reform and Omitting Walton, Gates, and Broad | deutsch29:

Media Matters: Reporting on Corporate Reform and Omitting Walton, Gates, and Broad

Pam Vogel is the education program director of the nonprofit, Media Matters. She has been with Media Matters since August 2015. Her previous experience includes four months in 2014 as an intern in the office of Vice President Joe Biden. For another six months in 2014, Vogel interned at the Clinton Foundation. Vogel graduated from Whitesboro High School (NY) in 2008; Vasser College in 2012, and Teachers College in 2014.
pamvogel-bio Pam Vogel
On April 27, 2016, Vogel published this piece for Media Matters, entitled, “Here Are The Corporations And Right-Wing Funders Backing The Education Reform Movement: A Guide To The Funders Behind A Tangled Network Of Advocacy, Research, Media, And Profiteering That’s Taking Over Public Education.”
Now, from the title, it sounds like Vogel’s piece is exhaustive– “a guide to the funders.” However, as one continues reading, one finds this summation:
Media Matters outlines the many overlapping connections in an echo chamber of education privatization advocacy groups, think tanks, and media outlets that are increasingly funded by a handful of conservative billionaires and for-profit education companies — often without proper disclosure.
Interestingly enough, Vogel’s “many overlapping connections” fails to include the Big Three corporate-reform-purchasing philanthropies: Gates, Walton, and Broad.
But she does include such notable names as the Scaife Foundations, Thomas A Roe Foundation, and Adolph Coors Foundation. (Tongue in cheek, my friends. Tongue in cheek.)
Also remarkable is that Vogel includes the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, which has received to date $2.6 million from the Gates Foundation just to remain in existence (i.e., for “general operating support”). She also includes Stand for Children (to date, $17 million from Gates). Still, Vogel omits Gates.
What else is noteworthy is that Vogel includes Campbell Brown’s The 74 but omits Peter Cunningham’s Education Post (which is really Results in Education Foundation, or RIEF). These two peas share a pod, with Ed Post carrying articles originally fromThe 74 and The 74 offering the disclaimer, “Disclosure: The 74 sometimes partners with Education Post to share content.”
The 74‘s funders include the Walton Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies, same as RIEF–uh– Ed Post.
In Vogel’s report, The 74 is shamed and Ed Post escapes.
In addition, Vogel makes no mention of the corporate reform money and proselyte funnel, Teach for America (TFA), which is Walton-Broad-Gates-funded ($5 million Media Matters: Reporting on Corporate Reform and Omitting Walton, Gates, and Broad | deutsch29:

Killing Ed | Charter Schools, Corruption, and the Gülen Movement in America

Killing Ed | Charter Schools, Corruption, and the Gülen Movement in America:


Sharon Higgins

A researcher on the topic of charter school, Sharon and her husband raised two daughters who were educated in the public schools of Oakland, California. She is a vocal opponent to the privatization of public schools and a reliable source for information on the growth of the Gülen Movement and its schools in the USA. Sharon is a Co-Founder of the national organization, Parents Across America. Sharon’s research is found on her blog

Dr. Diane Ravitch

One of the most well-respected authorities on education in the United States, Dr. Ravitch is a ardent critic of charter schools and the ‘reform’ movement. She is a Research Professor of Education at New York University and has lectured and consulted on educational topics for governments around the world. A native of Houston, she is a graduate of the public school system there. Dr. Ravitch is a prolific writer on education; her most recent book is “Reign of Error” about the failure of the education reform movement in America. Her popular blog is at

Amy Warren

One of several teachers interviewed for KILLING ED who worked at a Gülen charter schools, Amy represents the poor treatment of teachers and others who work at these schools throughout America. Her heart-rending descriptions of wage and gender discrimination are similar to the many other educators interviewed who entered the teaching profession through these schools.

Mary Addi

A former teacher at a Gülen-affiliated charter school in Cleveland, Ohio. After witnessing serious problems at the school, Mary approached the media and outside agencies to seek help. She has appeared on 60 Minutes and local newscasts in an effort to educate the public about the problems of the Gülen Movement’s charter schools in the USA. Mary holds an MBA, a graduate teaching credential in Education, and an undergraduate degree in English. She is licensed to teach in both California and Ohio and is a regular contributing blogger to the website,

Noel Hammatt

A former board member of the East Baton Rouge (Louisiana) school district, Noel has become a nationally known critic of the privatization of public education and the concurrent explosive growth of charter schools. He first encountered the charter schools of the Gülen Movement when the Kenilworth Science and Technology school opened in his neighborhood. His Twitter feed can be found at

Dr. Shirl Gilbert

A respected educator and administrator at districts throughout the USA, Dr. Gilbert experienced first-hand the ‘worst case scenario’ of education reform at a local Gülen-affiliated charter school. Responsible for charter schools in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Dr. Gilbert heard numerous complaints from teachers and parents which led him to investigate the numerous troubling problems at the Kenilworth Science and Technology charter school.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick

As Chair of the Senate Education Finance Committee for the State of Texas, Dan was recently elected as Lieutenant Governor. Perhaps the most powerful politician in one of the largest states in America, he is known for his unwavering political and financial support of charter schools in his state. Dan worked in media before entering politics and is a polished national spokesman for the ‘reform’ of public education.

David Dunn

The Executive Director of the Texas Charter Schools Association, a trade group, David represents the interests of taxpayer-funded charters in the state of Texas. He formerly worked for the Secretary of Education in Washington, DC in the administration of George W. Bush and was a lobbyist for school boards in Texas. The website for the TCSA can be found at

Baris Terkoglu

Baris Pehlivan

Two Turkish journalists who published a book critical of the Gülen Movement in Turkey and paid a high price – over a year in prison for their writings. Never interviewed before in the USA, they explain about the infiltration of the police, judiciary and media in Turkey by followers of Fethullah Gülen and the consequences of those that question the group’s anti-democratic activities.


Formerly in the inner circle of the Gülen Movement as it expanded from Turkey into Central Asia after the fall of the Soviet Union, “Serhan” is one of the few people who has extensive knowledge of this secretive Islamist group and its imam, Fethullah Gülen. “Serhan” lives in seclusion outside of the USA and remains a critic of the Movement’s activities taking place around the world.


A former follower of Fethullah Gülen, “Mehmet” was brought to the USA as one of the many teachers from Turkey who arrive on H1-B visas. Alarmed by what he experienced teaching at one of the Gülen Movement’s charter schools, he quit the school and went to the FBI, IRS and other government agencies with inside information on group’s questionable behavior. As a result, he was pursued by the Movement and falsely charged for drug trafficking by police in Turkey who are followers of Gülen.

Armagan Yilmaz

Organizer of protests against Fethullah Gülen at the imam’s compound in the Poconos of Pennsylvania, Armagan and several of his friends were tortured by members of the Gülen Movement who were SWAT police officers in Turkey. Now living in New York, he is outraged by the growth of the Movement in his adopted country – and wants people in the USA to understand the dangers of this growing Islamist group.
Several interviewees requested that their identities remain anonymous to prevent retribution by the Gülen Movement.

 Killing Ed | Charter Schools, Corruption, and the Gülen Movement in America:

Arthur Goldstein: Teachers’ discipline toolkits, now lighter - NY Daily News

Arthur Goldstein: Teachers’ discipline toolkits, now lighter - NY Daily News:

Teachers’ discipline toolkits, now lighter: New rules make it harder to keep school order

Things happen in the hallways
Things happen in the hallways

In Mayor de Blasio’s New York, when a kid curses you out in a crowded hallway, all you can do is call the kid’s parents. That’s what the new discipline code says.
Our job is already tough. You never know what’s going to happen when you’re face-to-face with 34 teenagers five times a day.
Over time, you develop strategies. When they work, you repeat them. Eventually you create a toolkit to create an environment in which students can learn. You learn what to do when they test you, which they do constantly. You learn which kids cannot be near which other kids. You learn when to speak up, and when to keep your thoughts to yourself.
Kids are unpredictable, and each one has a unique set of problems and triggers. It’s on you to create an environment of mutual respect: You respect them, they respect you, and they respect one another. It takes time, but once there is a positive culture, learning can take place.
Discipline is the last thing you do, the last place you go. But every student needs to know you will go there when it’s necessary, or your classroom will quickly become a chaotic mess. I consider it a personal defeat if I have to remove a student from the classroom.
The last time I did that it was because a girl threatened to beat up a boy, and I was absolutely persuaded she would do it. Removing her removed that possibility. The next day she was a little calmer.
In our school, kids aren’t supposed to wear hats. They aren’t supposed to use their phones without permission, and in my class, they don’t. (Well, they do, but if I give them a look they stop.)
The hallway is a different place altogether. I don’t know the kids in the hall. They don’t know me. I am not a stickler about rules in the hallway. But some things are beyond the pale. A colleague of mine, a rather large man, saw a boy and a girl getting passionate and physical in the hallway. He asked them to go to class.
The boy instructed my colleague to perform a vulgar act that may or may not be possible. My colleague was able to handle it in a professional manner, but found the consequences for the kid’s act to be mild indeed.
Why? Because principals must now get explicit approval from the central Department of Education for suspensions involving student insubordination.
These are new regulations, brought to you by the kinder, gentler Chancellor Carmen Fariña — intended to lessen suspensions that disproportionately remove black and Latino kids from school.
The way things work on the front lines in school buildings, requiring approval Arthur Goldstein: Teachers’ discipline toolkits, now lighter - NY Daily News: