Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bill Gates and Steve Barr are trying to take over UTLA, again



Bill Gates and Steve Barr are trying to take over UTLA, again

Billionaires and corporations will stop at nothing to bust unions and privatize education. For decades Steve Barr has made his living doing their bidding. Their latest attempt is supporting a candidate for UTLA President whose policy advocacy matches their own. Knowing how unpopular Barr and his backers are, Bill Gaffney's narrative has been one of revisionist history and obfuscation of facts. We aim to let people know the truth.

FALSE: Steve Barr had nothing to do with the widely despised Parent Trigger law.
FACT: Steve Barr was on Parent Revolution's Board of Directors before, during, and after the trigger law was passed. In the Los Angeles Times he boasted about he would use it to convert public schools into charters.1

FALSE: Steve Barr has a successful track record of turning schools around
FACT: Steve Barr has never turned a school around with either Green Dot or Future Is Now. Their latest attempt to turnaround New Orleans’ John McDonogh High School was an abject failure, leading charter friendly officials to shut Barr down.2 Their experiment at Locke3 in Los Angeles has been just as grievous.

FALSE: Steve Barr supports unions and Green Dot has unionized teachers.
FACT: Green Dot's AsociaciĆ³n de Maestros Unidos (AMU) is a company union. In over a decade of existence AMU has never had single case of successfully defending a teacher against termination. Article 4.1 of AMU's contract4 with Green Dot Corporation's unelected Board of Directors sums up AMU's impotence neatly.

It is understood and agreed that the Board retains all of its powers and authority to direct, manage and control to the full extent of the law. While input from the staff will be considered and decisions will be derived in a collaborative model; final decisions will rest with the Board.

FALSE: Green Dot founded Los Angeles Parents Union, not Parent Revolution.
FACT: Parent Revolution and LAPU are officially registered DBAs of Los Angeles Parents Union5. Los Angeles Parents Union was founded by Green Dot's6 Steve Barr and Ryan Smith to increase charter market share. Green Dot's CEO, Marco Petruzzi, remains a current board member of Parent Revolution.

FALSE: The Gates Foundation funds Future Is Now/Teacher Action Network to empower teachers.
FACT: The Gates Foundation provides FIN/TAN with huge grants7 to strip teachers of their hard won rights and replace them with ineffectual “thin contracts,” that leave both students and faculty vulnerable.

FALSE: Charter schools are public schools.
FACT: Federal and State Courts, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the National Labor Relations Board have all determined1 that with the narrow exceptions of charters run by “public universities and municipalities”, that charter schools are “private entities”. On the other hand, Forbes says charters are great for corporate profits.9




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