Monday, August 25, 2008

Kudos to The Perimeter Primate

for her insights into the corporate hijacking of our public schools and the undermining of democracy under the guise of "philanthropy". Beware of billionaires bearing gifts.

...democracy in my city was pushed aside, permitting a set of wealthy
individuals (especially billionaire Eli Broad who inserted himself in the
management of Oakland Unified in June 2002) to acquire power over my school
district, and about the millionaires and billionaires who have gained control
of, and have infested, public education throughout our country under the guise
of “philanthropy” and “educational reform.” I am one of those who is repulsed by
this phenomenon.

Thanks Perimeter Primate. Here's a satirical piece I wrote about ole' Eli.


The Perimeter Primate said...

Hello Tauna, It's nice to meet you! It sounds like both of us would like to give dear Eli a little lesson about reality. I'll see you later online! P.P.

Anonymous said...

If democracy has been so undermined and if American society is so controlled by corporations, how do you explain the popularity of Obama? Is he a corporate shill for Eli Broad too?

The Perimeter Primate said...

Although he is quite popular, Obama has not been elected as our president, yet. To me, the reason he appeals to so many people is exactly because our democracy has been flailing. He hits that nerve of ours that is aching for a feeling of hope and a desire for change.

You and I are not the same person so maybe the message in James Boyd White's essay (link found on the post of my blog) doesn't ring true for you. However, it did for me and it has for a while. For instance, it has occurred to me for years that for the supposedly premier democracy on Planet Earth, the issue awareness and voter turnout in this country is abysmal.

As for Eli Broad, no one elected him to anything. His wealth and connections have allowed him to weasel into urban public school districts and assert his power. Is he a know-it-all or what?

Go ahead. Bow to him and think he's a grand philanthropist, but I never will. I don't care that he's a seventy-something-year-old billionaire. To me he's lost touch of his humble roots and is now off-track and out of touch.

I once rolled the body of a powerful federal judge down to the morgue. He looked just like everyone else.

Anonymous said...

So what power is Broad exerting in the districts he "weaseled" his way into?

tauna said...

Hi Anonymous. Gary Stager has said it well, in my opinion. Take a look here:

Anonymous said...

Stager's piece is absurd. Did he talk about what Broad and Gates are actually doing in public schools? No. Did he identify any specific way that Broad and Gates have hurt public schools? No. Did he talk to any teachers, principals, or parents in schools where Broad or Gates were running programs? No. Does he cite any statistics or studies that indicate that Broad and Gates have hurt public schools? No. So what value do you see in Stager's piece beyond puffery?

You might expect this kind of stuff from a 7th grader, not in a publication that purportedly addresses top-level school administrators.

The Perimeter Primate said...

Here is something else to read: "Eli's Experiment: Meet Eli Broad, a SoCal billionaire who uses his cash and connections to groom Oakland school administrators and keep the district under state control", by Robert Gammon, October 10, 2007 (

Anonymous said...

This article says little else than Broad has a lot of money and likes to spend it on schools. If you think that teachers' unions aren't also throwing their money around to influence the political process you're living in a dream world.

So the problem with Broad is what again?

tauna said...

I'll post a response in detail this weekend. Largely, it is through fear mongering, very skewed, selective, and misleading claims, and even disinformation that Broad/Gates and their ED in '08 campaign contribute to the undermining of support for public education.

Sadly, many leading Democrats and progressives who posture as civil rights advocates are up to their eyeballs with conservatives in the massive scapegoating of our nation's schools and teachers. By the way, why are you posting anonymously?

The Perimeter Primate said...

The philanthropists are all just great and I trust anything they do. (Phew! Now that's all done I'll be on to the next thing...)

“Not many speak their mind to Gates Foundation” at

“How Many Billionaires Does It Take to Fix a School System” at

Let's revisit this all in twenty years to see who had the best instincts.

The Perimeter Primate said...

The conversion links above won't work. Use these instead:


Anonymous said...

So how many people have you heard say that there is something wrong with the public schools because Gates or Broad said so? And what exactly is it that Gates or Broad are saying about public schools that is undermining them?