Mr. & Mrs. Gates,
Shame on you. I am sickened to know there are people breathing the same air as me – as my children – who are so callously ignorant and dismissive about another human being’s quality of life, much less that of an entire society.
Clearly appealing to your humane and empathic sides hasn’t worked for teachers so far…clearly the passion felt within our words when pleading with you to stop this insanity you’ve created has failed to affect you… clearly money truly does taint one’s heart and dull one’s responsibility to the Common Good.
Shame on you both.
How dare you continue to sit there safely in the confines of your mansion, ignoring the heartfelt messages so many teachers like me have taken the time to post?? How dare you use your wealth to create the most massive sociological experiment of all time – one which has already proven to come at an immeasurable cost to teachers and students in American Public Schools?? How dare you prey on people’s ignorance by selling your BS as something that’s actually intended to help public education, all the while secretly knowing that your methods are nothing more than “Big Ideas” coming out of midair, with nothing to prove their value – except for the “studies” that you’ve “commissioned” to claim their false “worth”?
Who do you think you are, Mr. Gates? And how ’bout you, Mrs. Gates? In real life, how has being the richest man in America who knows a lot about computers allowed you to believe yourself to be the man with the answers to the education “crisis”???
Surely you must know that you have no real credibility in that department, don’t you, Mr. Gates?
Surely you can’t convince yourself that your license to consider yourself as the “educational expert” that you do is based on any actual, deserved right to consider yourself as such…can you???
Surely you understand that you got where you are as the direct result of nothing more than corruption, cheating, lying, bribery, and, especially, by defaming teachers who have dedicated their lives to educating America’s children.
Shame on you!
When this War on Education is over, and America finally sees you and your “crew” for who you really are – monsters who almost succeeded at destroying our very democracy because of their own narcissism and personal greed – I hope that you will endure the most torturous and devastating punishment possible.
I’m typically not one who thinks two wrongs make a right, nor one who generally seeks retribution, but you’ve brought me to a new understanding of humankind – one where “Bad Guys” really do exist…one where little children really should be afraid of monsters. [Emphasis added by Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates.]
You must be sweating the upcoming release of Diane Ravitch’s new book, Reign of Error, aren’t you?
You should be – if anyone has what it takes to bring your “empire” to it’s knees, unraveling millions and billions of dollars worth of “work” that you funded, and exposing your dirty little secrets to all of America on the way – it’s Dr. Ravitch.
But who knows? Maybe you’re not sweating anything. Maybe you’re so protected within your own little bubble of self-created “reality” that you aren’t even aware of how close Truth is to proving the limit of the Power of Money. Maybe you’ve been allowed to believe yourselves to be so infallible, so protected by your own billions, that you don’t even realize how close you are to losing everything.
When you do, as you surely will, I hope you spend your lives rotting in jail. I hope you come to know the same kind of life struggles that we, the average Americans, have to know. Especially those of us who have been struggling as a result of your direct and intentional, unspeakably selfish, actions.
Having those thoughts leaves me feeling very much unsettled and ill-at-ease. They aren’t thoughts I like to have about other people, nor typically do. But they are thoughts that you have instilled, and subsequently ingrained, in me, nonetheless.
Shame on you.
I don’t believe you don’t know about Teacher’s Letters to Bill Gates.
I don’t believe you haven’t hired someone to read them and keep you abreast of their messages.
I don’t believe you haven’t read many of them yourselves.
I don’t want to believe there isn’t the tiniest part of you that doesn’t feel some level of guilt about what you’ve done, and what you continue to do.
I don’t want to believe there exists a single person in the world who is so dispassionate about and unconcerned about the lives of innocent children that he’d ever knowingly engage in behaviors that could possibly harm any one of them.
But you and your “Club” are harming more than one – you’re harming an entire generation of children with your corporate reform measures. You’re also harming the teachers – like myself – who are desperately and tirelessly fighting to save those children. You and your Club are forcing me to accept these things about mankind, no matter how much I don’t want to.
Shame on you.
Mr. Gates, stop hiding behind your money.
Stop putting your nose in where it doesn’t belong.
Stick to what you do know – computers.
If you want to truly “help” education, ask educators how you can do that.
If you want to lend credibility to your efforts and initiatives, if you want to prove me wrong in saying that you’re nothing more than a bunch of selfish, self-righteous ‘*^&%@#%s’ who are only interested in fattening your own wallets and swelling your own egos, then do it.
I don’t have any of your money, Mr. Gates; in fact, thanks largely to you, I am actually in a financially trepidatious position right now, and it sucks.
But right now I have two priorities and responsibilities – to fight as a member of Dr. Ravitch’s “Army” in bringing you and your corporate friends down once and for all, and also to begin to homeschool my own 3 boys (who are in 1st, 2nd, & 4th grades now).
I have nothing immediately personal to gain by doing either of those things.
I have to do both because you have left me with no other choice.
I do so even when it comes at the cost of any personal financial reward; I do so for the children of this nation, for our future generations, and for democracy. I do so because I believe in the Institution of Public Education.
I am no martyr, nor would I ever pretend to be.
I am, like the rest of us, an imperfect person who is struggling to make her way through whatever sh%t life throws at her.
I am driven to do what I must in hopes of ensuring my boys grow up in the best world life has to offer them, no matter how that impacts my own.
I will continue to do what I must in hopes of ensuring the same for America’s students.
I am, at my very core, a Teacher.
I am also, temporarily, The Indignant Teacher.
You have created that identity for me.
As The Indignant Teacher, I would like to end this, my second attempt to get your attention, by inviting you to – finally – put your mouth where your money is, and engage in a dialogue about this.
You want to show the world just how loud money can talk?
Then start talking.
You want to convince society that teachers are nothing more than lazy, selfish, apathetic folks who have some personal agenda for becoming so?
Let me help you with that.
You want to prove that the only reason teachers are so resistant about your “Movement” is because we don’t want to be held accountable for educating the children in our classrooms??
Start with me.
Come on, Mr. Gates, you’ve sold the nation on your stupid ideas about teachers and teaching and learning.
The time has come for you to prove that America was right to buy them.
Stop hiding behind your wealth, Mr. Gates.
Stop being such a meek sissy.
Come out from behind your Billionaire Bubble, and show America what you’re really made of…show us who you are beneath what your money can buy.
You think you know so much about reforming education, sir?
The Indignant Teacher is inviting you to prove it.
What are you waiting for, Mr. Gates?
Afraid of something?
You should be.
Jill Conroy, The Indignant Teacher