Katie and I have formally endorsed the Washington Badass Teachers Association’s Educating the Gates Foundation Rally to be held on June 26th. We would like to join hands in coalition building with the Wa BATs by asking our readers to write letters to Bill and Melinda Gates over the next 7 weeks prior to the rally.
It just so happens that our blog will be one year old on June 9th and we thought we would coordinate our anniversary celebration with the Wa BATs rally (June 26th) by inviting all of you to join in both events!
All year long, teachers across the world have been writing and sharing their personal stories about how the Gates Foundation’s policy decisions — through Bill and Melinda’s corporate education reforms — have impacted the lives of their students, their classrooms, their schools, their communities, and their own profession.
Here’s how we would like to celebrate your work: We are asking you to be part of the Educating Gates Foundation Rally in letter form. We know many of you will not be able to attend the rally in person. Please think about the following list of 7 questions. Analyze: How have the policies of the Gates Foundation impacted the lives of your students? Your classrooms? Your schools? Your communities? Your pedagogy? Your personal lives? Your profession? Your unions?
Here are a few guidelines for our new teacher TLtBG authors:
1. Keep your letters professional, no foul language or personal attacks.
2. We are not editors. If you need help with editing, ask a friend before you share your letters to make sure you have used proper grammar, spelling, punctuation.
3. We will post your letters “as is” with formatting changes when necessary. Readers, please forgive minor errors and read for content. We will include a picture that we feel most demonstrates the emotive quality of your letter.
Over the next 7 weeks, please write to Bill and Melinda Gates and share your letters with Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates via the following methods:
A. You can post your letters here in the comment section here at http://www.TeachersLettersToBillGates.com or
B. You can email them to the Wa BATs rally email address: EducatingTheGatesFoundation@gmail.com .
Teachers, be silent no more! Write your story…
Here are the 7 topics:
1. How have you been affected by the teacher evaluation systems that were the result of the Gates Foundations’ advocacy?
2. How has your community been affected by school closures and expansion of charters as influenced by the Gates Foundations’ advocacy?
3. How have the Common Core State Standards — which are funded and promoted in great part by the Gates Foundation — influenced your teaching and your students?
4. How are the Common Core tests working?
5. How have No Child Left Behind, NCLB “waivers”, and Race to the Top policies influenced your classroom?
6. How have high stakes tests influenced your students, you, and your schools?
7. How has the use of technology and “personalized learning” via devices influenced your classroom?
We hope for an outpouring of letters from teachers over the next 7 weeks. On Friday, June 20th, we will begin publishing the letters from the last year — including all of the letters to Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates for this rally received prior by June 20th. These published letters from all of you will be hand delivered to the Gates Foundation on June 26th at the Wa BATs’ Educating the Gates Foundation Rally.
Thank you to all of those who have written previously. Remember to write no later than June 20th!
Your letters will be published in Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates, Volume 1 and hand delivered as well.
Help us make history that day by including your letters in the movement begun a year ago June 9th. Please pen your letters and send them to us as described above. We want your voices to be part of “Educating the Gates Foundation Rally“. We hope that Bill and Melinda will accept our invitation and receive our letters in their published form.
What is your story that will help us in educating the Gates Foundation?
Susan and Katie, Co-authors of Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates