From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/03/13-4
Published on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 by Common Dreams
“Gates Foundation you will fail / Education is not for sale!”
The chants of some 150 teachers, students, parents and Occupy Seattle activists reverberated off the windows of the global headquarters of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – a leading promoter of a corporate brand of education reform—announcing we were ready for our scheduled debate about the schools as part of a national call to "Occupy Education" on March 1st.
From Oscar Grant Plaza in Berkley, California, to the Department of Education in Washington, D.C., Occupy activists schooled the nation with experiential learning demonstrations with the instructional objective of making education a right for the 99 percent, not a privilege for the 1 percent. In Seattle, when our spirited march for education arrived at the Gates Foundation, many of the event organizers were as nervous as kids before a high-stakes test--not because they doubted the validity of challenging one of the biggest backers of charter schools and standardized testing – but because many expected a no show from the foundation that they would have to simply chalk up as an unexcused absence.
As it turned out, the wealthy foundation sent three poor souls to debate the Occupy movement. I should admit from the start that it wasn't a fair competition—something akin to the Varsity taking on the JV team; in our corner we had people who have attended public schools, taught in public schools, and are parents of kids in public schools; all they had were policy analysts and public relations specialists.
The “throwdown” began with the Gates Foundation PR spokesperson declaring that he believes in the right of every students to receive a quality education and that some of the statements that were made during our rally mischaracterized the Foundation—without giving an example of what it would take to get a quality education for all students or explaining what Occupy got wrong.
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/03/13-4