Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Gates, Broads, Murdochs, Walmartians Sell Your Children Out & Steve Jobs/Google Feel You Up (Spy/Report Your Data) As "They" Disappear from View

(If throwing a contribution Pottersville2's way won't break your budget in these difficult financial times, I really need it, and would wholeheartedly appreciate it. Anything you can afford will make a huge difference in this blog's lifetime.)

Did anyone else notice that we didn't actually become a "Nation At Risk" (educationally) until after the Educational Foundations got their hooks into us? And, of course, we wouldn't want to get too many people who actually have some background in Education at the helm of this "obedience to business interests" new educational ploy. (And it's nice, isn't it, that those well-educated folk at Reader's Digest have a big voice here, isn't it?)

Mr. Horn points not only to the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, of Los Angeles, but also to the Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation, of Bentonville, Ark., as examples of what he sees as a worrisome trend of “venture philanthropy” in education. Venture philanthropists typically emphasize the imperative of getting measurable results for their investment and maintain close ties to the organizations they fund. “What venture philanthropy is doing seems to me to be wielding influence not to help public institutions, but to destroy public institutions, or take control of them,” Mr. Horn said. “This is a dangerous place, where corporations and government get mixed up.”
It's tough for people working several jobs (not to mention very long hours) to notice quickly sometimes, but the people in their local communities making the decisions about education (with their tax money) are no longer exactly looking out for their welfare.
Is the Broad Superintendents Academy Trying to Corporatize Schools? Billionaire businessman Eli Broad, one of the country’s most active philanthropists, founded the Broad Superintendents Academy in 2002 with an extraordinarily optimistic goal: Find leaders from both inside and outside education, train them, and have them occupying the superintendencies in a third of the 75 largest school districts — all in just two years. Now hosting its 10th class, the Los Angeles-based program hasn’t quite reached that goal, but it’s close. The nation’s three biggest districts have Broad-trained executives in top leadership positions: Shael Polakow-Suransky, the chief academic officer in New York City; John E. Deasy, the superintendent of Los Angeles Unified; and Jean-Claude Brizard, who became the chief executive officer of the Chicago schools last month. In all, 21 of the nation’s 75 largest districts now have superintendents or other highly placed central-office executives who have undergone Broad training. But as the program has risen in prominence and prestige — 758 people, the largest pool ever, applied for the program this year, and eight were accepted — it has also drawn impassioned criticism from people who see it as a destructive force in schools and districts.

They say Broad-trained superintendents use corporate-management techniques to consolidate power, weaken teachers’ job protections, cut parents out of decisionmaking, and introduce unproven reform measures.

One of those critics is Sharon Higgins, who started a website called The Broad Report in 2009 after her school district in Oakland, Calif., had three Broad-trained superintendents in quick succession, each appointed by the state.

She said she grew alarmed when she started seeing principals and teachers whom she called “high-quality, dedicated people” forced out. She contends in her blog that Broad superintendents are trained to aim for “maximum disruption” when they come to a district, without regard for parent and teacher concerns.

“It’s like saying, let me come to your house and completely rearrange your furniture, because I think your house is a mess,” Ms. Higgins said, adding that other parents around the country have reached out to her to complain about their own Broad-trained school leaders. ‘Corporate Training School’ Likewise, James Horn, an associate professor of education policy at Cambridge College in Massachusetts, keeps up a drumbeat of criticism in the blog Schools Matter. In one post, he referred to the academy as “Eli Broad’s corporate training school ... for future superintendents who are trained how to use their power to hand over their systems to the Business Roundtable.”

In an interview, Mr. Horn said that school officials trained by the program graduate with a hostility to teachers. His critique goes beyond the Broad superintendents program to include many of the foundations that have emerged as major players in efforts to reshape education over the past decade.

Mr. Horn points not only to the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, of Los Angeles, but also to the Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation, of Bentonville, Ark., as examples of what he sees as a worrisome trend of “venture philanthropy” in education. Venture philanthropists typically emphasize the imperative of getting measurable results for their investment and maintain close ties to the organizations they fund.

“What venture philanthropy is doing seems to me to be wielding influence not to help public institutions, but to destroy public institutions, or take control of them,” Mr. Horn said. “This is a dangerous place, where corporations and government get mixed up.”

The Broad Foundation has helped support Education Week’s coverage of school leadership and the 25th anniversary of A Nation at Risk, but it is not a current funder. Editorial Projects in Education, the newspaper’s publisher, received a Gates Foundation grant for organizational capacity-building that expired May 31, and it was a recipient of earlier Gates funding.

Whatever the larger issues surrounding the role of education philanthropy, supporters of the Broad Superintendents Academy say the criticism of the training program is off base.

Erica Lepping, a spokeswoman for the Broad Foundation, says that the academy exposes program participants to many viewpoints, and that the graduates themselves come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including education, and hold different points of view.

The academy does promote a management model of “continuous improvement” that is used by successful businesses, nonprofits, and school systems, she said. Pushing Change Thomas W. Payzant, a trainer and mentor for graduates of the Broad Academy and a former superintendent of the Boston public schools, says that the program’s graduates have to be willing to shake up districts that have been failing students for years — and that such change is going to be painful and sometimes resented. “You don’t go into a leadership role with a notion that you’re just going to coast,” said Mr. Payzant, a professor of educational leadership at Harvard University and a member of the interview committee that evaluates potential academy participants.

“You want to be able to show improvement, and often improvement in the education sector means change that will make some people very uncomfortable and will not be popular,” he said. “That’s what leads to pushback. People say, ‘We were fine before you got here.’ But when you look at the data, there’s lots of room for improvement.”

When the superintendent-training program was first launched, it was billed as a bipartisan solution to a “growing leadership crisis” in public education. Mr. Broad, who made his fortune in home building and insurance and is a prominent contributor to Democratic political candidates, partnered with John Engler, a Republican who was then the governor of Michigan, to create the program.

Academy organizers said they were making a point of seeking out skilled executives who might not have any experience in education. A press release announcing the program suggested it was a negative that the vast majority of superintendents were trained as teachers, without a background in “complex financial, labor, management, personnel, and capital-resource decisionmaking.”

Coverage of leadership, human-capital development, extended and expanded learning time, and arts learning is supported in part by a grant from The Wallace Foundation, at

And then there's always the latest news from New Jersey (that forward-looking state)!
The-Christie-Charter-School-Payment-Plan: Taxpayers-Get-the-Bill The original tea party in Boston Harbor was about taxation without representation. Today, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is pushing for a new form of taxation without representation: charter schools. While charter schools are publicly funded - in large part through property taxes - they are unlike traditional public schools whose budgets are voted upon by local taxpayers. With charter schools there is no opportunity for local taxpayers to have a say over whether they want to pay for a new charter school that when opened, will draw students and scarce funding from traditional public schools. Allowing taxpayer funded charter schools to take advantage of a loophole letting them operate without voter approval makes no sense in these tough economic times. Today, state funding for public schools has been slashed, parents are being charged to have their children play in the band or on the athletic field and property taxes continue to rise. Yet Governor Christie and Education Commissioner Cerf are encouraging, almost demanding, taxpayers take funds away from existing public schools and hand them over to charter schools without public approval and little or no oversight and accountability.
Click on the link above to see what New Jersey is doing with its diminishing taxpayer funds. And click below too for some real hometown humor: New Jersey Education System Explained It must come to quite a pretty pennysworth to make this type of "deal" worthwhile to their children (survivors) who must desperately need the extra money . . . . Previous to reading the following article, I was pretty sure that I had learned in pre-law courses (a millennia ago, obviously) that no one could sign away his/her Bill of Rights guarantees (of course, meaning now whichever ones we might still possess after last decade's BushCheney anti-Constitution raging madness). By the way, this blog is monitored by links at Mountain View, CA, every day. Get used to being "Totally Tracked," friends. I know I am. From Undeleted Evidence:
08 June, 2011 iSpy: Trojan Horse Technologies Yesterday in the tech world, Apple's Steve Jobs announced a new service called "iCloud," which lets Apple product owners store documents and music on the Internet instead of on their own computer hard drives or mobile phones. iCloud expands on the trend of cloud computing, which refers to the idea that computer users are storing more of their information "in the cloud" of the Internet rather than on their own storage drives. For those who may not be familiar, the newest introduction to the world of computing is this recently proposed idea of storing your personal data on a server that another party like Amazon, Google or Apple hosts. The idea in it's most sinister incarnation was first introduced by the likes of Amazon, Google and IBM acting as frontmen for obvious intelligence interests. Who else would benefit from inducing suckers people to store their most private of data on a total stranger's servers with zero knowledge of who has access? Cloud computing data storage is only the beginning, as companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple begin advancing steps to expand this technology to applications and even operating systems residing solely on the 'cloud'. User's home computers will be regulated to simple units that must access the cloud server to utilise virtualised systems. Instead of personal computers users will access the cloud for all their computing needs. They've even done up one better as money-mad thieving bastards. Instead of you just purchasing an operating system or applications for a pay and done deal, the cloud will introduce a monthly leasing fee. Sort of like rent-to-own scams where one "rents" furniture or computers from a company and pays upwards of three times the original price for the item(s) in leasing fees.
Eventually when this evil takes root and it will, as idiocratised people are trained to accept it, personal computing will be relegated as an antiquated notion used by "terrorists" with information to hide. Ponder this for a moment, what will you do when you've been using the cloud as your virtual system, and then suddenly you've been put on a digital 'no-fly' list and banned access to your data and computing access. All because your name just happened to turn up inadvertently on a federal watch-list. Or even worse, the iCloud is hacked and all your private information has been compromised and stolen? Still think the cloud is a safe environment for your data? Just ask Sony Playstation users who shared their data on Sony's servers how well that worked out recently. I've stated it before and I'll say it until it hits home as hard as a fascist takeover, every device that is marketed to the consumer as a "can't live without" ultramega-god-toy is a intelligence-backed Trojan horse. Behind every new technology lies intelligence intercepts that track, trace, document, and pull every piece of valued information they can access. They will catalogue your voiceprints, fingerprints (yes they are actually patenting that technology to read it off the easily fingerprinted iPhone glass), contacts and personal associations, email, voicemail, personal pictures as well as video. Facial recognition software married up to GPS tracking will ensure that they have the right bloke at the right location. In the new world of remote military violence, GPS location and the correct target are all essential for what they quaintly dub pre-emptive assassination. And here you thought that drones were exclusively to be used in foreign wars to kill brown people sitting on resources or in strategic locales. Think I'm fuckin' about? Just chattering up wind to have a laugh about all this? Then you better well short-course your studies on military intel tactics and current events. Your future and eventual survival depends solidly upon it. The Total Information Awareness programme was never dismantled as you were led to believe, just as COINTELPRO, the Phoenix Project and even MKULTRA were never decommissioned, they went underground and the names were changed in their current incarnations. They all run as regular as clockwork behind the scenes achieving and pursuing the objectives that they were created for. We are at the cusp of the establishment of the Total Information Awareness programme in its totality. Instead of going through central agencies, some of the civilian espionage (SIGINT, COMINT) has been contracted out to private concerns such as Google, Apple, IBM, Microsoft just to name a few. With Israeli intelligence setting up strategic interception points to siphon off economic, military, personal and private high value data. When you have compromising information at your disposal it is the simplest of matters to engineer all sorts of blackmail, false flags, covert drug, human and arms trafficking, and pinpoint your allies and opposition. According to Counterpunch magazine Google in particular was sought out by U.S. intelligence services for their data (mining) collection expertise. Why not they contracted a consultant named Stephen Arnold of the defence and intelligence firm Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. At an audio-recorded conference for current and former intelligence officials in Washington, D.C., in January 2006, he stated that relationship between the U.S. intelligence community and Google had become so close that at least three officers from “an unnamed intelligence agency” had been posted at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Kevin Bankston an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), reported that that the Fourth Amendment’s protections against search and seizure do not apply. The caveats are buried deep in the text that users usually skip over, and click “I agree,” to install a new application. But the consequences are huge, says Bankston. “When private data is held by a third party like Google, the Supreme Court has ruled that you ‘assume the risk’ of disclosure of that data.” When you store e-mail at Gmail – or, similarly, in the cloud at Yahoo or Hotmail – “you lose your constitutional protections immediately." Google’s links with the intelligence agency may stretch back to 2004. In 1999, the CIA founded an IT venture capital firm called In-Q-Tel to research and invest in new digital technologies focused on intelligence gathering. An In-Q-Tel funded company, Keyhole, Inc., developed the satellite mapping technology that would be acquired in 2004 to become Google Earth. In-Q-Tel’s former director of technology assessment, Rob Painter, joined Google as a senior manager of Google Federal, his focus the “evangelizing and implementing [of ] Google Enterprise solutions for a host of users across the Intelligence and Defense Communities”. Former CNet blogger Christopher Soghoian revealed that Google applications launch without telling users that the processing and data storage is conducted on remote servers, as long as an Internet connection is maintained — easy enough, given the ubiquity of wireless broadband. Even with no connection, software such as Google’s Gears enable “offline” access to the cloud, running applications and storing data on a PC (again, no cost, no fuss) until a connection is re-established and the new data can be uploaded to Google. Thus the naive user transmits information to a third-party unwittingly – a modus operandi close to the definition of covert surveillance. Google also works with some of the top players in the surveillance industry, notably Lockheed Martin and SRA International. Former CIA officer Robert Steele says that the CIA’s Office of Research and Development had, at one point, provided funding for Google. According to its literature, ORD has a charter to push beyond the state of the art, developing and applying technologies and equipment more advanced than anything commercially available, including communications, sensors, semi-conductors,high-speed computing, artificial intelligence, image recognition and database management. Steele says that Google’s liaison at the ORD is Dr. Rick Steinheiser, a counterterrorism data-mining expert and a long-time CIA analyst. Further, Anthony Kimery, a veteran intelligence reporter at Homeland Security Today, issued a report alleging a “secret relationship” between Google and U.S. intelligence. Google was “co-operating with U.S. intelligence agencies to provide national and homeland security-related user information from its vast databases,” with the intelligence agencies “working to ‘leverage Google’s [user] data monitoring’ capability as part of an effort to glean from this data information of ‘national security intelligence interest’ in the war on terror.” In other words, Google’s databases – or, some targeted portion – may have been dumped straight into the maw of U.S. intelligence agencies. The hard brick truth, is that they consider us all potential threats to be categorised and dealt with in the short term and the long term. They are fucking well right too, for we mean to fight them and secure a proper life for ourselves, community and world. We mean to wrench our freedom from their filthy, bloody claws. for this generation and the next and have those who plotted our enslavement and destruction dealt with all due judicious permanence. Read that how you see bloody see fit. Challenge the onslaught and refuse to be a slave shitting away your life on death row. Ask yourself this one question before you retire for the night. Did your mother birth a slave to live and die to serve bankers? Your valuable life sacrificed in toil to serve human garbage wrapped in flesh. To make them obscenely rich whilst being simultaneously drained as dry as a vampire's victim. To be exploited mercilessly, summarily discarded when your usefulness expires and summarily replaced with another cog. Is this the future you envision for yourself and your progeny? Take bold steps to secure your privacy, your vanishing freedoms, and a proper standard of living fit for human beings right NOW! (Counterpunch April 1-15, 2010 - The Cloud Panopticon Google, Cloud Computing and the Surveillance-Industrial Complex by Christopher Ketcham and Travis Kelly.)

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