Follow by Email

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Google, Microsoft & ALEC: "Things that make you go, Hmmmmm."



It is interesting that two corporations vying for public school tax dollars are dropping out of the conservative "lobbying" group, ALEC. Both Google and Microsoft seem suddenly concerned with ALEC's stance on the environment. The American Legislative Executive Council is made up of corporations whose products and services we may love and trust. It is hard to boycott ALEC member's products and services because they encompass so much that we consume.
Warning: Sit back and kick your feet up when you click the link above. It is a long list.


"ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Through the secretive meetings of the American Legislative Exchange Council, corporate lobbyists and state legislators vote as equals on ‘model bills’ to change our rights that often benefit the corporations’ bottom line at public expense. ALEC is a pay-to-play operation where corporations buy a seat and a vote on ‘task forces’ to advance their legislative wish lists and can get a tax break for donations, effectively passing these lobbying costs on to taxpayers."

ALEC has been writing model legislation on issues like the ones below:

Privatizing public schools and higher education
Limiting voting rights through voter ID laws
Repealing labor rights
Protecting tobacco companies
Stand Your Ground Laws (as in the Travyon Martin case)
Supporting the for-profit prison industry
Forbidding local governments to limit pesticide use
Privatizing local water and sewer systems
Protecting polluting corporations from civil and criminal liability
And the list goes on and on...
The link above goes to their education page, but note the left side bar for many more of their pet projects.

Bottom line: Google and Microsoft products that have wormed their way into our schools & corporations like these see our schools and our children's education as an untapped market (some say the influx of Google and Microsoft in US classrooms has multiplied exponentially in the past several years). Ask your children and their teachers & administrators what Google & Microsoft products are being used in your schools.

Is it that these corporations suddenly care about climate change, or does it give them some legitimacy to usurp our public school tax dollars if they drop out of ALEC? It must be awfully hard to act like you care about public school children and their communities when you are funding a group who writes model bills that would, "...  privatize public education... Among other things, these bills make education a private commodity rather than a public good, and reverse America’s modern innovation of promoting learning and civic virtue through public schools staffed with professional teachers for children from all backgrounds...  "

Vying for their piece of our public school tax dollar pie...


It must be hard for Google and Micrsoft to defend being associated with model bills that compromise protections to students with disabilities, like the one written by ALEC in Wisconson. 
"This bill strips special education students of due process rights and rights to services. It allows for the segregation of students based on disability. It will devastate funding for public education in select districts. It will result in the largest expansion of private school regulation ever seen in Wisconsin and, at the end of the day, no one will have any data to show if it resulted in a better education."

In Pennsylvania, ALEC wrote SB 51:The Great Schools Tax Credit Program Act (Scholarship Tax Credits),
another Orwellian-titled bill that means the opposite of what it proposes. It would benefit charter and cyber charter schools so much, that some of those schools pulled students out of school (which public schools could never do) to promote the bill. The irony here is that charter schools perform the same or worse on standardized tests and PA's cyber charters are notoriously horrific for most students.

So do Google and Microsoft really suddenly care about climate change? It is worth noting that neither company sited ALEC's attacks on public education or student privacy as a concern, even as they collect our tax dollars for their "innovative technology."



No comments:

Post a Comment