Bill Gates, Commish King, PTA and Special Interests: Follow the Money

Dear Bill and Melinda,

Commish King has a big PR problem in New York where your Common Core tests didn’t go down so well.

Clearly this video below shows that middle class white, black, and brown families in New York aren’t swallowing your propaganda. They know their children aren’t failures. Commish King recently “got schooled” by these parents at a PTA Town Hall. They are smart, articulate parents who aren’t taking well to corporate reform’s oppression. These New York parents are very confident they have bright articulate students who are not failures. They know the problem is your Common Core. They know the problem is high stakes testing. They know the problem is corporate reform. They are resisting.

The hoax you created is beginning to crack because it was built on a foundation of propaganda. The parents of New York are widening those cracks. Commish King, as it turns out, is helping widen those cracks by giving you a PR problem.

Here King, a coward who is working on behalf of “special interests” of Senator John Flanagan, cancelled all further PTA Town Halls. Read King’s statement here.

This story isn’t over yet, as Commish King came out with another very salacious statement, blaming these parents for being part of “special interests”.

“I was looking forward to engaging in a dialogue with parents across the state. I was eagerly anticipating answering questions from parents about the Common Core and other reforms we’re moving ahead with in New York State. Unfortunately, the forums sponsored by the New York State PTA have been co-opted by special interests whose stated goal is to “dominate” the questions and manipulate the forum.

“The disruptions caused by the special interests have deprived parents of the opportunity to listen, ask questions and offer comments. Essentially, dialogue has been denied.”

“In light of the clear intention of these special interest groups to continue to manipulate the forum, the PTA-sponsored events scheduled have been suspended. My office will continue to work with PTA to find the appropriate opportunities to engage in a real, productive dialogue with parents about our students and their education.”

“Parents don’t deserve to be dominated and manipulated.”

Let’s look at the definition of “special interest”:

special interest


a body of persons, corporation, or industry that seeks or receives benefits or privileged treatment,especially through legislation.

1905–10, Americanism

Related forms

spe·cial-in·terest, adjective

Bill, we have a problem here. There are “special interests” involved on behalf of the PTA. But the special interests aren’t PARENTS. The parents haven’t paid for Common Core. They haven’t “bought” the PTA. Susan Ohanian points out the REAL “special interests” involved here:

“Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded grants

National Congress of Parents & Teachers (PTA)
Date: May 2013
Purpose: to educate parents and communities on the Common Core Standards and empower leaders to create the changes needed in their school systems
Amount: $499,962

Date: November 2009
Purpose: to support implementation of a strategic plan for national PTAs to promote college-readiness, and higher student performance outcomes
Amount: $2,000,000

Hillsborough County PTA
Date: November 2011
Purpose: to continue and enhance its parent advocacy training modules for Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that were originally created during its Gates-funded National PTA sub-grant in 2010
Amount: $25,000

Washington State PTA
Date: March 2011
Purpose: to assist with technology communications infrastructure to push for key policies in Washington
Amount: $191,424

It’s gratifying to see that money doesn’t buy parent silence when faced with their own children’s school experiences.”

~ Susan Ohanian

Another major way your “special interests” are involved is through your obscene funding of Common Core throughout its inception as pointed out clearly by Mercedes Schneider. Mercedes tells the truth about your special interests in one simple statement:

“CCSS is not “state led.” It is “Gates led.”How foolish it is to believe that the man with the checkbook is not calling the CCSS shots.”

Over 30,000 Badass Teachers have formed a group of conservative, moderate, and progressive teachers who are against Common Core and for whole child humane education. Parents across the country are waking up. Students are forming resistance groups to fight corporate reforms.

This 15-year-old has the Common Core “special interest” story figured out. There is something you hadn’t counted on in your big Common Core plan. Conservative and progressive teachers, parents, and students have something in common, Bill and Melinda. They are working together to fight Common Core. What do they have in common? They care about their children, democracy, and public institutions more than they care about “special interests”. Prepare to “get schooled” by a now 15-year-old, Bill and Melinda…

The public is awake, Mr. and Mrs. Gates. The spell of your hoax has been broken. Your toady, Commish King, needs to go. So do you. So does Common Core. So do all your other reforms. Take your “special interests” far away from our public schools.

If the public wants to know more, follow the real “special interests” — follow the money. Who paid for the Common Core? You did, Mr. and Mrs. Gates.

Will other parents resist Common Core when the high stakes tests fail their children too?

Susan and Katie, Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates

P. S.

On Twitter: new definition for “special interests” = “We the people.” via @smhstephens


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We are running for the following Renton Education Association positions because we believe in the following planks: Becca Ritchie, Candidate for REA President, Nelsen Middle School, Computer Tech Susan DuFresne, Candidate for Primary Executive Board, Maplewood Heights Elementary, Integrated Kindergarten ✅  Demanding a healthy work-load/life balance. ✅  Bargaining competitive professional compensation. ✅  Challenging the status quo test culture with: Less is more! ✅  Emphasizing our professional expertise. ✅  Prioritizing equity and access for all. ✅  Utilizing 2-way 21st century communication tools. ✅  Acting in solidarity with all unions. ✅  Supporting ALL members. ✅   Implementing developmentally appropriate K-3 curriculum/assessment.
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14 Responses to Bill Gates, Commish King, PTA and Special Interests: Follow the Money

  1. Pingback: PETITION # 2 FOR NEW YORK STATE… Also, NY State’s Education Commissioner Bails On Future Forums (Don’t forget about the previously posted petition from to have him terminated)! : Say No To Common Core

  2. Pingback: PETITION #3 FOR NEW YORK STATE… Also, NY State’s Education Commissioner Bails On Future Forums (Don’t forget about the previously posted petition from to have him terminated)! : Say No To Common Core

  3. Lindy Mosher says:

    I have written a series of childrens poetic stories that I actually hope will help children with learning disabilities to bring their attention back into focus and hopefully be able to have the opportunities that others have I have also had an app developed to work along side of my books. I hope you will take. A look at my site!
    Thank you
    Lindy M

  4. Lindy Mosher says:

    I am hoping to get my app and the children’s books that go together, into the school system I believe it will be a great learning tool for childrens with learning difficulties.

  5. Pamela Testoni says:


    I know many of you will not agree, BUT if you truly knew me, you would know I have the best interest at heart for all children, I do my research before speaking, and I would like to think I know at little bit about how to teach and reach children. ( 27 years) That said, I can’t let this go, even though I have been told letting this fight go would be the best thing for me to do in the interest of my well being.

    I’ve GOT to say something in order to sleep at night.


    ( By the way, the Feds say they had nothing to do with the CCSS and that it is up to the states to voluntarily use them…laughable… What would happen to state funding if they didn’t jump on board “voluntarily?” The Feds were given $ to push this through, and they sold out before they read the fine print! Sound familiar? $ talks,folks! Do you think the plan was read in its entirely? Of course not, because it “sounded” good.)

    This “common core method” of a lesson a day drill, then quickly move on, then test test test, will cause our children severe undue stress, track them as early as Jr. high age as to what job they are “best” suited for, take away the art of teaching in exchange for scripted or virtual lessons, and monitor children so scientifically that individuality and choice is compromised. I understand that not every child should or will go to college, BUT, that is NOT for the state or federal government or Mr. Bill Gates to decide.

    I’ve seen the copies of the tests that will be used to collect this tracking data. Some involve using the computer to “drag the correct answer to the correct box” which is so NOT confusing when multiplying double digit numbers. ( I’m being sarcastic here.)

    In some districts, the parents just get the results of the weekly tests. They are not allowed to see the questions their child got wrong! OH NO YOU DIDNT!!!!! I’d be at every school official’s door every day over that nonsense.

    Consequently, the “joy” of learning and the “art ” of teaching are being destroyed. Any child will tell you that the best teachers made learning fun, and though the content may not be remembered years later, the excitement and value of the entire learning process will.

    Well, Bill Gates wants to approach teaching and learning very scientifically. He wants lots and lots of data! So, he has pumped so much money into the CCSS through his foundations (and by funneling cash through other “educational” groups) that it may approach the billion mark. Who knows for sure? He funds so many groups indirectly and they ultimately fund his causes… no one really knows anymore. Sneaky business.

    They say teaches were involved and welcomed this! HUH!

    Would the teachers who devised and are in favor of this method PLEASE step forward?

    Seriously, please step forward. I want to hear your reasoning.
    Maybe you can change my mind.

    But for now, I believe we, the masses of teachers, were tricked once again. (After all, we have become experts at making our way through the continuous ” drop everything and use this new method” maze. As I recall, what we thought was a simple common sense idea of districts streamlining, creating a matched curriculum and maybe spending more money on nonfiction has been twisted and manipulated into creating a robotic future working force (separating the elite for the “best” jobs) to appease Gates, all while he makes a huge return on his investment with testing software and computers that schools have to agree to use in order to get the $!


    Here is a scary but true bit of info … A bracelet has been developed to track a child’s response to subject matter, i.e. Were they paying attention? How well is he or she learning the material?

    Still don’t believe me?

    Look up GALVANIC SKIN RESPONSE BRACELETS. I shit you not, this is a real thing funded indirectly via grants from Bill and his wife Melinda so we can compete with the rest of the world.

    Also, I’m so sick of hearing how the USA doesn’t “measure up” to other countries! We should be responding…you are damn right we don’t, because we educate EVERY child, and we work our asses off reaching all kids including those to whom things don’t come easily as well as the cream of the crop! So, they are right, we don’t measure up to them…WE SURPASS THEM. Do they have unified volleyball, integrated classrooms, free lunches for those in need? If we are going to compare, than let’s compare everything, like freedom of speech maybe. Do Chinese children have the freedoms our children have? Just askin’.

    And if the Gates are so unhappy with our education system that they would support and fund creepy methods like brain monitoring than they should direct their funds elsewhere because my country is based on freedom of choice or so I thought!

    So because of all of the above…

    My advice…enjoy your day with your kids. Take a nature walk, read their favorite books, discuss current events, visit the library, cook something together with measured ingredients, fly a kite, track the weather, set up a play store…need I go on? I understand parents have to go to work… Maybe you could pool your resources with other parents and plan an activity together…or just relax and take a breather from all the stress!

    I’m so disturbed about this that I had to rant. Thank you for reading and please don’t comment on grammar or spelling… After all, it’s ok to make or miss mistakes, I’M ONLY HUMAN!

    • Teachers'LettersToBillGates says:

      Thank you for letting us know about the “NATIONAL KEEP YOUR KID HOME FROM SCHOOL DAY TO SUPPORT the SAY NO TO COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS” movement. I have not heard it advertised anywhere. Do you have a link by chance?

      Susan, Co-author, Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates

  6. Pingback: The PTA Does Not Represent Parents or Teachers. It Represents Special Interests. | Missouri Education Watchdog

  7. Pingback: The PTA Does Not Represent Parents or Teachers. It Represents Special Interests. | Grumpy Opinions

    • Teachers'LettersToBillGates says:

      Thank you for sharing our work! In solidarity, we must end the corporate take-over of America’s public schools.

      Susan, Co-Author of Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates

  8. Pingback: The PTA Does Not Represent Parents or Teachers. It Represents Special Interests. | Viewpoints of a Sagitarrian

  9. Pingback: Articles, Updates and more! | Kansans Against Common Core

    • Teachers'LettersToBillGates says:

      Thank you for sharing our work. Together, we must stop Common Core and the corporate take-over of America’s public schools.

      Kind regards,

      Susan, Co-Author of Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates

  10. Pingback: The PTA Does Not Represent Parents or Teachers. It Represents Special Interests. | TRUTH ABOUT EDUCATION

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