top of page

​Bill Gates Is Not a Benign Philanthropist, Quite the Contrary

August 22, 2018

[Click here to read what's wrong with the idea that we need rich people because they create jobs.]

[Also of interest, "The Philanthropy Con: Charity fosters hierarchy, empowers the wealthy, and undermines democracy"]

[Read how Bill Gates lies: "Bill Gates says poverty is decreasing. He couldn’t be more wrong" ]

[Read "Gates Foundation is spearheading the neoliberal plunder of African agriculture"]

[Read "Bill Gates’s Foundation Is Leading a Green Counterrevolution in Africa:

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation promised Africa a 'Green Revolution' to fight hunger and poverty. It hasn't worked — but it has upped corporate agriculture’s profits. Local farmers are being left empty-handed, and hunger is rising."]

Bill Gates and his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation enjoy the best public relations money can buy--literally. But a closer look at what this foundation does reveals that it is not benign; it aims to make the world safe and secure for the mega-rich such as Bill Gates, at the horrible expense of ordinary people.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is especially well-known (and of course widely praised by the mainstream media) for its role in two areas: 1) health and 2) education.


In the area of health, Bill Gates gives TED talks, etc., about the need to control population growth in underdeveloped nations. For the sake of argument, let us assume for the moment that this is a reasonable goal*. Gates says that an important part of the way to achieve this goal is to make people, especially very young children, healthier (with vaccines and other disease-prevention policies) so fewer children will die young, which in turn will cause a change in behavior: parents will no longer think they need to have lots of children to ensure that at least a few will live to support them in old age and so will choose--with voluntary use of birth control measures--to have far fewer children. This in turn will control the rise in population.

This is the official rationale for the BMGF role in health. It does indeed sound benign. But what is the BMGF practice?

First there was Gates's involvement in promoting the Depo Provera contraceptive, described (pdf) this way:

Against a backdrop of the pure innocence of beautiful smiling females, esteemed philanthropist Melinda Gates announces her four billion dollar contraceptive strategy featuring Depo Provera as the optimum choice for women of color. Those beautiful females, oblivious that they are being insidiously exploited as diversionary cynical props to mask Gates’ egregious intent, are in an unprecedented Depo Provera campaign with serious racist implications to prevent their very births. The contraceptive campaign with Pfizer, Planned Parenthood, USAID and the UN, engages in a de facto discrimination policy of not counseling women of color about mandatory FDA Black-Box warnings. This report exposes the mendacity of United States’ Depo Provera family-planning policy. It reveals how racist and ideological rationalizations systemically perpetuate a de facto bifurcated “separate but equal” family-planning policy. A family planning strategy that unethically targets women of color to prohibit births of beautiful children, by not informing mothers of Depo Provera’s deadly risks as mandated under U.S. law/regulations; thus, denying women of color their inalienable right to choose and access safe reproductive health.

Here (same article as cited again below) is a description of the side effects of Depo Provera (also known as DMPA):

For example, a two-year study of over 5,000 women receiving DMPA injections at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains reported:


“Of the 5,178 women who received an initial injection, only 57% returned for a second administration; [another third dropped out after two shots]. . . . The overall one-year continuation rate was 23%."

And the main reason women gave for not returning for subsequent injections was “difficulty tolerating side effects.” What could they be? Here is a sampling of side effects found in the FDA labeling and/or reported in studies. 

1. Loss of bone mineral density: An FDA “Black Box Warning” appears on its drug label: “Women who use DMPA may lose significant bone mineral density. Bone loss is greater with increasing duration of use and may not be completely reversible. … Depo-Provera Contraceptive Injection should not be used as a long-term birth control method (i.e., longer than 2 years)” (emphasis added).

Other warnings and precautions include the following:

2. Cardiovascular events – syncope, tachycardia, thrombophlebitis, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolus – which can lead to cardiac arrest and stroke. The label offers this helpful tip for doctors: “Do not readminister [DMPA] pending examination if there is a sudden partial or complete loss of vision.” Wait! Sudden loss of vision? What the ?!?

3. Breast and cervical cancer: Hormone sensitive breast cancers (which often strike younger women) occur twice as often in women under 35 who have used [DMPA] in the previous four years. But after discontinuation, the additional risk does diminish over time if you’re one of the lucky ones.

4. Ectopic pregnancy: Women who become pregnant while using [DMPA] have an increased risk of a potentially life-threatening ectopic pregnancy – always fatal for the child and certainly fatal for the mother in rural areas with virtually nonexistent healthcare.

Depo Provera had the "drawback" that it had to be administered over and over again every three months. So the Gates foundation subsequently promoted a new and "improved" contraceptive for poor people, described this way:


12 Reasons to Get Angry about the Gates Foundation’s Latest Project to Sterilize Women Susan E. Wills | Nov 21, 2014


A shot too inhumane to give violent sex offenders, but just fine for women living in the "Third World"?

Last week, Pfizer Inc., the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) announced an agreement to foist the injectable contraceptive, Sayana® Press (medroxyprogesterone acetate or MPA) on women “most in need in 69 of the world’s poorest countries” – certainly an ironic project for a foundation that “invests” in children.

Through their generosity, Sayana Press will be sold for $1/dose to “qualified purchasers” who can then go door-to-door in rural areas where healthcare is virtually or completely nonexistent and ensure that women of reproductive age won’t be able to have children. The main difference between the infamous Depo Provera (DMPA), long discontinued in the U.S., and Sayana Press (MPA) is that DMPA required women to go to a clinic or MD’s office every three months for another injection, whereas MPA is delivered in a “single-use Uniject™ injection system that eliminates the need to prepare a needle and syringe,” according to the press release. Therefore, it allows “health workers” to administer the contraceptive injection to women “at home or in other convenient settings.”

The nature of this project is clear when one considers that the other use for MPA is the chemical castration of male sex offenders, which has “from time to time, been used as an instrument of public and/or judicial policy despite concerns over human rights and possible side effects.”

Far be it from Gates, Pfizer and CIFF to let concerns “over human rights and possible side effects” deter them from trying to prevent pregnancies and births in impoverished areas of the world. 

"Possible side effects" is the topic of this article because where women have a choice of contraceptives, MPA is not a contraceptive of choice, mainly due to intolerable side effects.

(The sanitized version reporting this is here.)

What about the Gates foundation's role in vaccine research?

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation talks about curing diseases, but it’s actually about something very different. It’s about increasing the profits of big pharmaceutical companies by arranging for them to use third world people as guinea pigs and thereby avoid the costs they would incur if they used the ethical and safe procedures enforced in developed nations like the United States. Here’s just one of many similar examples, based on Vera Sharav's report, "Gaining Control of Vaccine-Related Information: Establishing an Infrastructure":

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funds and therefore controls the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), which conducts large scale clinical trials in Africa and South Asia. In 2010 seven adolescent tribal girls in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh died after receiving injections of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccines as part of a large-scale “demonstrational study” funded by the Gates Foundation and administered by PATH. The vaccines, developed by GSK and Merck, were given to approximately 23,000 girls between 10 and 14 years of age, ostensibly to guard against cervical cancers they might develop in old age.

Indian physicians later estimated that at least 1,200 girls experienced severe side effects or developed auto-immune disorders as a result of the injections.52 No follow-up examinations or medical care were offered to the victims. Further investigations revealed pervasive violations of ethical norms: vulnerable village girls were virtually press-ganged into the trials, their parents bullied into signing consent forms they could not read by PATH representatives who made false claims about the safety and efficacy of the drugs.  In many cases signatures were simply forged.

An Indian Parliamentary Committee determined that the Gates-funded vaccine campaign was in fact a large-scale clinical trial conducted on behalf of the pharmaceutical firms and disguised as an “observational study” in order to outflank statutory requirements. The Committee found that PATH had “violated all laws and regulations laid down for clinical trials by the government” in a “clear-cut violation of human rights and a case of child abuse.” The Gates Foundation did not trouble to respond to the findings but issued an annual letter calling for still more health-related R&D in poor countries and reaffirming its belief in “the value of every human life.”

CNN reports:

While fraud and corruption are revealed on almost a daily basis now in the vaccine industry, the U.S. mainstream media continues to largely ignore such stories. Outside the U.S., however, the vaccine empires are beginning to crumble, and English versions of the news in mainstream media outlets are available via the Internet. 

One such country is India, where the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and their vaccine empire are under fire, including a pending lawsuit currently being investigated by the India Supreme Court. Narayana Kumar of The Economic Times of India has just written a scathing report of fraud and scandals surrounding the Gates vaccine empire: Controversial vaccine studies: Why is Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation under fire from critics in India? 

Kumar starts out his 4 page article by focusing on the current case before the India Supreme Court regarding deaths and injuries occurring during drug trials carried out over Merck’s HPV vaccine Gardasil. Vaccine trials were conducted on thousands of girls between the ages of 9 and 15. Many of the girls fell ill, and at least 7 died, and the lawsuit is alleging that in most of these cases, the girls and their parents did not even know what kind of vaccine trial they were participating in. 

Most of the girls were students, and an investigation showed that as many as 120 girls who participated in the HPV vaccine trials “experienced adverse reactions such as epileptic seizures, severe stomach ache, headaches and mood swings. The Sama report also said there had been cases of early onset of menstruation following the vaccination, heavy bleeding and severe menstrual cramps among many students.” 

Kumar points out that after these adverse reactions, a report was conducted to explain them all away as not related to the vaccines, so that the approval process could move forward to market the HPV vaccine in India. That report, according to Kumar, was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). Authorities in India have looked into BMGF, and see a huge conflict of interest: 

Activists allege that these two institutions have a working relationship with pharma companies. The main charge against GAVI is that it has representatives from pharmaceutical companies on its board while the PHFI accepts grants from pharma companies. “BMGF and GAVI are pushing the [vaccine] agenda with governments around the world, including India,” says Ritu Priya Mehrotra, professor of Social Medicine and Community Health and School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. The community health activist says the biotechnology industry was pushing more and more vaccines into India and that the health ministry was not ensuring that adequate testing was done before recommending their use in government programmes.

The Economic Times of India reports on this, especially the absence of informed consent, in its article titled, "Controversial vaccine studies: Why is Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation under fire from critics in India?":

In 2009, several schools for tribal children in Khammam district in Telangana — then a part of undivided Andhra Pradesh — became sites for observation studies for a cervical cancer vaccine that was administered to thousands of girls aged between nine and 15. The girls were administered the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine in three rounds that year under the supervision of state health department officials. The vaccine used was Gardasil, manufactured by Merck. It was administered to around 16,000 girls in the district, many of whom stayed in state government-run hostels meant for tribal students.

Months later, many girls started falling ill and by 2010 five of them died. Two more deaths were reported from Vadodara, Gujarat, where an estimated 14,000 children studying in schools meant for tribal children were also vaccinated with another brand of HPV vaccine, Cervarix, manufactured by GSK. Earlier in the week, the Associated Press reported that scores of teenaged girls were hospitalised in a small town in northern Colombia with symptoms that parents suspect could be an adverse reaction to Gardasil.

A standing committee on health and family welfare that investigated the irregularities pertaining to the observation studies in India tabled its report a year ago, on August 30.

The committee found that consent for conducting these studies, in many cases, was taken from the hostel wardens, which was a flagrant violation of norms. In many other cases, thumbprint impressions of their poor and illiterate parents were duly affixed onto the consent form. The children also had no idea about the nature of the disease or the vaccine. The authorities concerned could not furnish requisite consent forms for the vaccinated children in a huge number of cases. 

The committee said it was “deeply shocked to find that in Andhra Pradesh out of the 9,543 [consent] forms, 1,948 forms have thumb impressions while hostel wardens have signed 2,763 forms. In Gujarat, out of the 6,217 forms 3,944 have thumb impressions and 5,454 either signed or carried thumb impressions of guardians. The data revealed that a very large number of parents or guardians are illiterate and could not even write in their local languages, Telugu or Gujarati.”



In our society based on class inequality, with a few haves and many have-nots, education policy is in control of the haves and is aimed at maintaining the class inequality, specifically preparing the have-nots to take their assigned place at the bottom of society where they should be educated to perform their assigned tasks and never think there is anything wrong about the class inequality itself. In this context, the role of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is perfectly clear.

The BMGF was the major force in making U.S. public schools adopt the Common Core standards.

Here is how one professor describes (in a scholarly journal) the anti-democratic role of the BMGF:

For the past few years, I feel like an enemy power has invaded the local school district. As a professor who follows the news, I, like many parents, was blindsided by New York’s rollout of the Common Core in 2012. In subsequent years, I learned that the billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates paid Coleman to write the Common Core standards for the Race to the Top program and thus circumvent laws preventing the federal government from influencing curriculum (Layton, 2014). Political and economic elites continue to build an education system upon the foundation of the Common Core standards, despite popular opposition, including in historically disadvantaged communities (Hagopian, 2016). This is not how democratic education works, where the people involved in the education process need to have a meaningful voice. It is time to pull the plug on the Common Core experiment and empower communities to make their own education standards. [One should read the full article to learn lots more about the Common Core.]

The Common Core is about making working class children accept capitalist inequality and the glorification of profit and self-interest instead of mutual aid and solidarity as the norm. There are two articles, from which I will provide excerpts below, that discuss how the Common Core does this with its required textbook for first graders in some schools. The excerpts are long, but well-worth reading to learn about what most readers have never been informed of in the mainstream media.

For background to these excerpts, one should know that the publisher of the textbook in question and its first grade curriculum is ReadyGen. ReadyGen is in turn connected to Pearson Education, Inc. ("On Wednesday, December 04, 2013, a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed for READYGEN by Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. The USPTO has given the READYGEN trademark serial number of 86134676." [see here])

Susan Ohanian writes:

Looking inside the covers of the ReadyGEN first grade curriculum gives one a glimpse of the Common Core Revival Meeting based on corporate faith-based imperatives. It should cause: 

a) anger 
b) tears 
c) increase in homeschooling 
d) application for relocation to Finland 

First, let's remember that Pearson is responding to the national call funded by Bill Gates and promoted by these acolytes: 

Mission Statement 

The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy. 

National Governors Association (the Collective Voice of the Nation's Governors) 

Council of Chief State School Officers (Committed to the success of every child) 


New York, the most populous city in the US, also has the largest school system. A tourism site offers "2,618 things to do in New York," but hapless public school students are locked into doing just what Pearson says. Let's take a look at what this means for first graders. 

Message to New York City teachers #1 

1900 East Lake Avenue 
Glenview, Illinois 60025 

May 22, 2013 

Dear New York City Educator, 

The Pearson School English Language Arts Curriculum team is honoured (sic) to be partnering with the New York City Department of Education to develop Ready GEN. ReadyGEN is being designed from the ground up to address the ELA Common Core Standards, the Publisher's Criteria and the City's specific requirements. 

To provide you with more insight into the availability of classroom materials for the 2013-2014 school year, we have developed the enclosed schedule. [Please note the primary student resources--text set trade books and novels--are not included as they are being supplied by companies other than Pearson.] 

In an effort to ensure timely access to instructional resources for planning and implementation, Pearson will initially be delivering materials in a format that is less than final (e.g. covers, binding). This will give New York City teachers the opportunity to provide feedback on the instructional support which will be collected from September through December 2013. We will incorporate that feedback in advance of delivering in May 2014 brand new Teacher's Guides and Scaffolded Strategies Handbooks for each ReadyGEN teacher. 

To help ensure the successful implementation of ReadyGEN, Pearson along with the NYC DOE have developed a comprehensive learning pathway for all teachers implementing ReadyGEN. The professional development plan for ReadyGEN is designed to provide teachers with the ability to leverage Ready GEN curricula resources to affect instructional change in the classroom. 


  • engages students with complex text and its academic language through the use of units of study designed around text sets at each grade level

  • asks students to extract and employ evidence from text, and use text sets to understand evidence within and across texts to support writing to sources

  • builds content knowledge through theme based units of study that balance literary and informational text

  • exposes students to narrative, informative, and opinion/argument writing so that they can successfullly cite evidence in all genres through Writing Workshop

We are privileged to have this opportunity to collaborate with the great city of New York, and look forward to working with you to set your students on the path to reading success. 


The Pearson ReadyGEN Team 

Message to New York City teachers #2 
Greetings, fellow teachers! 

I am very excited for you as you launch ReadyGEN in your classroom. Of all the interesting components represented in ReadyGEN, text-based approaches to comprehension are the ones that I am optimistic will bring a revitalized approach to reading instruction to your classroom. Based on the Common Core State Standards, we have designed instructional practices that will guide your students to more effective use of close reading of texts which in turn will lead them to a deeper understanding of text meaning, author's intent, perspective, and related comprehension goals. I am interested in how your students advance through oral, written, and listening skills as you use ReadyGEN to scaffold their learning. I encourage you to enjoy the leap forward with your students as they progress in reading skills and understandings with ReadyGEN. 

Sharon Vaughn 
University of Texas 

Ohanian Reminder: The Texas Reading Initiative under then-Gov. George W. Bush became a model for Mr. Bush's federal reading program once he became president. In 2003, Sharon Vaughn, Edward J. Kame'enui, and Joseph Torgesen were named directors of Reading First's three regional technical-assistance centers. Vaughn was on the design team for Voyager, along with Kame'enui, Torgesen, and Roland H. Good III. In New York City, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein spent $31 million to implement their Voyager reading program in the city's low-performing schools. In 2005, G. Reid Lyon, who was the chief of the NICHD's reading-research branch and a key adviser to President Bush, former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige, and Mike Moses, who was commissioner of education in Texas went to work for the teacher education part of Voyager. 

May 9, 2007: In a report released by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee detailing the financial ties of the former directors three regional technical-assistance centers that provided advice to states on meeting Reading First's strict guidelines, Sharon Vaughn was one of four named. 

But this mini-scandal has in no way harmed Vaughn's standing in the education community. Her recent Research Projects and Grants include:

Understanding Malleable Cognitive Processes and Integrated Comprehension Interventions for Grades 7--12, Institute of Education Sciences* 
Texas Center for Learning Disabilities, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development* 
Special Education Research and Development Center on School-Based Interventions for Secondary Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2012--2014, $8,000,000* 
Scale-Up Evaluation of Reading Intervention for First-Grade English Learners, Institute of Education Sciences, 2011--2016, $1,470,182* 
Postdoctoral Fellowship on Reading Disabilities and Response to Intervention, Institute of Education Sciences* 

* Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk projects, where Vaughn is executive director. 

Vaughn is a Fellow at the George W. Bush Institute, which is listed as a partner of the Meadows Center. She leads the Pact project (Promoting Adolescents' Comprehension of Text), funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), a part of the US Department of Education which "reflects the intent of the President and Congress to advance the field of education research." 
July 2010-June 2015 

Put Sharon Vaughn into a 'search' at IES, and you will see lots of grant descriptions. In 2010, under Vaughn's leadership the Meadows Center secured the largest grant the College of Education has ever received -- $20 million from the Institute of Education Sciences -- and what is thought to be the largest grant ever awarded to any college or school of education. [This information comes from College of Education University of Texas at Austin

In education research, a little scandal doesn't seem to hurt.

And by the way, Vaughn is author of Pearson's Mountain Reading; Scott Foresman My Sidewalks on Reading Street; presenter in Pearson Get Ready to Go Webinar Series "Tips and Strategies for Implementing the English Language Arts Common Core into Classrooms"; author Teaching Students Who are Exceptional, Diverse, and at Risk in the General Education Classroom: International Edition, publisher: Pearson; The American Experience (Prentice Hall Literature) Penguin Edition Grade 11. And so on and so on. 

Moving along, others offering enthusiastic endorsement of ReadyGEN include (in order of appearance): Pam Allyn, Elfrieda H. Hiebert, and P. David Pearson. 

This is called rallying the people already in the employ of Pearson to shout out praise for Pearson products: 

Be Core Ready: Powerful, Effective Steps to Implementing and Achieving the Common Core State Standards by Pam Allyn. Publisher: Pearson 

The Common Core State Standards are a Bill of Rights for all children."--Pam Allyn 

Elfrieda H. Hiebert is author of Pearson's QuickReads Professional Development and participates in Pearson Common Core webinars

P. David Pearson is an author of Pearson's Reading Street Common Core 2013 

Den of Thieves: Other Praise for Pearson: 


  • The [New York City]Department of Education believes that the selected programs represent the highest-quality Common Core-aligned curriculum materials currently available. They include brand new curriculum materials and materials that are being updated to fully reflect the shifts required by the Common Core standards.--New York City Department of Education

  • "New York City is paving the way for other major city school systems across the country by adhering to a rigorous and transparent process for procuring new instructional materials in a way that will ensure publishers deliver the texts we need and teachers realize the full promise of the Common Core State Standards," said Mike Casserly, Executive Director of the Council For Great City Schools.

  • "Student Achievement Partners applauds the fact that New York City has put the Common Core State Standards Publishers' Criteria at the center of their instructional materials selection process, and commends their ongoing work to provide students and teachers with materials that are aligned with the shifts required by the Common Core," said Susan Pimental, Founding Principal of Student Achievement Partners and one of the authors of the Common Core standards.


So what are these folk so excited about? 
Here's the text based vocabulary first graders need to learn in their first unit of study: 

cash register 

Call me old-fashioned but here are a few of my favorite words from good books for first graders: 


  • Blah! (Frog and Toad are Friends, Arnold Lobel)

  • biggest, reddest dog (Clifford, Norman Bridwell)

  • OUCH! (Mouse Tales, Arnold Lobel)

  • dinosaurs If the Dinosaurs Came Back, Bernard Most)

  • Pooh-pooh! (Madeline, Ludwig Bemelmans)

  • "Don't eat her." (Little Beauty, Anthony Browne)

  • Howdy! (Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Kevin Henkes)

  • Could be worse ("Could Be Worse!" James Stevenson)

  • gather sun rays for the cold dark winter days (Frederick, Leo Lionni)

  • Hey, can I drive the bus? (Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Mo Willems)

And so on and so on. Once I embark on such a list, I find it very difficult to stop. Hundreds more could be added. 

Meanwhile, the Common Core imperative for what students are expected to learn. . . [so] our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy offers this: 

Pearson ReadyGEN Lesson 1 Reading Focus 

Readers understand that the details in the text 
support the author's main points. 

Lesson 2 Reading Focus: Learners will understand that people make decisions about how to spend what they earn 

Lesson 3 Reading Focus: Learners will understand that facts and details support main ideas. 

This all comes from text about produce and consume, produce and consume. 

After reading the Pearson text over and over, students choose one of the following texts and form discussion groups, called Text Clubs: 

Market Day: A Story Told With Folk Art 
by Lois Ehlert 
Literary Text 
Lexile 50L 

Needs and Wants by Gilla Olson 
Informational Text 
Lexile 280L 

Do I Need it or Want It?: Making Budget Choices by Jennifer Larson 
Informational Text 
Lexile 510L 

Bunny Money by Rosemary Wells 
Literary Text 
Lexile 540L 

I've known from the get-go that the Common Core is about training kids to be passive and obedient; convincing them they're not good enough and that any failures their parents have in finding living wage jobs is their fault, not the fault of our system. As much as anyone, I want students to learn that the "More! More! More!" consumerism on which our society is based is destructive. I just don't happen to think that lessons in first grade on economics is the place to start--particularly for children whose families are very short on goods in the first place. 

Here's what ReadyGEN tells the teacher to do with these books: 


  • Have children create a visual for an informational book, showing the main points and supporting details of the book.

  • Have children use sticky notes to mark the main points in an independent reading book.

  • Have children list the headings from an informational book they read during independent reading time. They write the main point and a few details under each heading.


And next: 

Research and Technology Center 

  • Have children research a particular food: 
    where it comes from, how it can be prepared, 
    and so on.

  • Have children find out some basic nutrition 
    information, from books or the school nurse, 
    and prepare a poster on guidelines for a 
    healthy meal.

  • Have children create a For Sale poster 
    advertising a real or fictional item they would 
    like to sell. Have them use photos, online 
    images, or an app, if available.

Remember: These children are six years old. At any age: How to kill a book? Smother it in projects. 

For imperatives, I suggest "have a kitten" --or "have a cow"--instead of "have children," an imperative I find exceedingly offensive. 

That's just the overview. 

Here's Lesson 2 in Goods and Services, using that Common Core buzzword Close Reading. For the teacher and children who find themselves at sea, the Pearson script provides not only what teacher is to say but also correct answers (which I put in parenthesis. Pearson uses a different color ink.) 

During guided close reading, revisit key points from the entire text. For unfamiliar words, follow the Close reading Vocabulary routine 

Use the following questions to lead the discussion.

  • The title of this text selection is Goods and Services. What are goods and services? (They are things people buy and sell.)

  • What do people use to buy goods and services?(They use money.) 

  • Where do people get the money? (They earn it by doing jobs or selling goods.)

  • Producers make and sell goods and services. Look at p. 12. What goods do the men produce? (They produce (grow) fruit and vegetables.) Look at p. 13. What service does the boy produce? (He delivers newspapers.)

  • Consumers buy and use goods and services. Find some pictures of people consuming, or buying, in the selection. (Let children point to illustrations.)

  • How are producers and consumers connected? (Producers need consumers to buy their goods and services. Consumers need goods and services to buy, so they need the producers to make them.)

  • Vocabulary 
    The money that people earn is called income. Look at p.16. What is the woman using her income for? (She is using it to buy meat.) 
    Look at p. 19. The boy behind the table is earning income. What is he doing to earn income? (He is selling his old toys.)

  • Now turn to p. 20. This is the same boy who had a yard sale on p. 19. 

    Read the page aloud. 

    What does Joe do with the money he earned?(He saves some for camp, he uses some to buy school supplies, and he uses what's left to buy a book.)

  • What is the author's main point in the text? 
    (People buy and sell goods and services.) 
    How does the author use details to support her main idea? (She gives examples of goods and services that people buy and sell. She shows pictures of people buying and selling.

NOTE: Pearson labels this 
Integration of Knowledge and ideas. 

Scaffolded instruction for small group 
Reading Analysis 
Turn to pp. 18--19 with children and guide them to understand what is happening in the photograph. Explain that Joe, the boy behind the table, is selling his old toys. He is the producer--he is providing goods for other people to buy. The other boy is buying some of Joe's toys. He is giving Joe money and taking some of Joe's goods, the toys. He is the consumer. 

Help children think of another scenario they could draw that shows one person selling goods and another person buying the goods. You might 
suggest a lemonade stand, a grocery store, a bake sale, a bookstore, etc. 

When children have drawn their picture, help them label the producer, the consumer, and the goods 

And on and on and on and on and on and on and on--about producers and consumers for six-year-olds. If you aren't offended by the very idea of teaching this crap to any 6-year-old, never mind 6-year-olds in New York City, then what would it take? 


  • Anyone who buys and uses goods and services is a consumer.

  • Consumers choose what goods and services they buy. Jenna is a consumer. She uses her money to buy a new bike.

Don't forget grammar. 

Teach and Model Explain to children that sometimes we use pronouns that do not take the place of a specific noun. Pronouns like anyone, everybody, some, or all are indefinite pronouns. 

Apply Ask children to use one of these indefinite pronouns in their independent writing everybody, anyone, all, some. 

For extra practice, have children do the Lesson 1 activity on p. 157 of their Reader's and Writer's Journal. 

For Independent (sic) Writing Practice children are directed to write sentences that tell what the text is about. Have children share their retellings. Ask them to point out the indefinite pronoun they used. 

There are 17 states in which at least half of public school students live in poverty. In many New York City schools this figure is over 95%. But, never mind, Consumers choose what goods and services they buy and Jenna uses her money to buy a new bike. 


I admit that the term scaffolding is one bit of educationese flotsam that I dislike, but with Pearson it seems to sink to a new low, offering fill-in-the blank instruction for students with special needs. 

Scaffolded Instruction 
Provide sentence frames for children to complete for their retelling: 
This text is about ___. Goods are ____. 
Services are ___. ___ uses goods and 
services. People who make and sell goods 
are ___. People who use goods are ___ 

I get it that this is Pearson delivering what Bill Gates and nations' governors want, but doesn't this seem over the top in preparing young children for the "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie?" 

What will it take for a Revolution? If you don't like Marx and Engels on the inevitability of the crash of the existing social order, then try Carlyle's doomsday message. 

Or for a lighter indictment of capitalism, try Charles Dickens. Not just Oliver saying, "Please, sir, I want some more," but the Ghost of Christmas past who appears to Scrooge perched on a "kind of throne" with heaps of 

turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, sucking-pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum-puddings, barrels of oysters, red-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfthcakes, and seething bowls of punch, that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam." 

Dickens uses "radiant" grocers, poulterers, and fruit and vegetable dealers inviting Londoners into their shops to inspect "luscious pageants" of food and drink as an indictment, not a celebration. 

My father, a Republican, read this tale aloud every Christmas Eve. 

First graders of the nation, unite! 

Michelle Jones writes (her links are live in her article online):


 Selling toys

 Thanks to Bill Gates and Pearson, failure can be measured and more money can be made. Together they have created the Common Core curriculum – a way to standardise and compare test results across the US, something that becomes even more necessary for employers when education is a free market of different providers. These standards also make it easier to employ teachers who are not professionally trained: the curriculum gives scripted lessons, allowing just about anyone to deliver the content. And the content is helpful too. Not only do children learn that Bill Gates is a great man, but they begin to learn about their role in the system, as well as becoming the targets of its advertising.

 In the first unit of the first grade, teachers must ‘have students learn’ the following vocabulary:

cash register
average [24]

 As part of ‘small group instruction’ teachers must then teach the six year olds the following:

 Explain that Joe, the boy behind the table, is selling his old toys. He is the producer—he is providing goods for other people to buy. The other boy is buying some of Joe's toys. He is giving Joe money and taking some of Joe's goods, the toys. He is the consumer.

Help children think of another scenario they could draw that shows one person selling goods and another person buying the goods. […]

 When children have drawn their picture, help them label the producer, the consumer, and the goods.[25]

 Not only are children encouraged to think of their toys as goods, but they are encouraged to consume more goods through product placement. Although the Common Core exams are not made public, an eighth grader who took the test describes his exam:

 The ‘busboy’ passage in the eighth grade test I took was fictional, written about a dishwasher at a pizza restaurant. In it, the busboy neglects to notice a large puddle of root beer under a table that he clears. His irate employer notifies him about the mess, and he cleans it up […] the root beer was referred to at one point as Mug™ Root Beer. It was followed by a footnote, which informed test-takers that Mug™ was a registered trademark of PepsiCo.[26]

 The same boy says that they were given less time and harder questions than on previous exams. Many students were not able to finish the exam in the time allocated. Teachers have complained about the high level of stress the children are put under, and assessors have asked for official guidance on what to do when students have vomited on their papers.[27]  

 Another money-making opportunity that schools offer is data collection. Technology company Knewton provides personalised learning software to the world’s biggest education corporations. But Knewton founder and CEO Jose Ferreira has no qualms about sharing the real advantages of personalised learning:

 We really have more data about our students than any company has about anybody else about anything, and it’s not even close.

 He can hardly contain his excitement when he says that Knewton has five orders of magnitude more data per user than Google.

 So the human race is about to enter a totally data-mined existence, and it’s going to be really fun to watch […] When Tom Cruise walks through the mall in Minority Report and the ad beams right into his eyes and says, ‘Hey Mr Cruise you should go on that Caribbean vacation you’ve been thinking about’, I know some entrepreneurs who’ve been working on that technology right now.[28]

 The more personalised learning that goes on, the more refined the data will become, until, Ferreira promises us, they will be able to tell what each learner had for breakfast. That’s the kind of information that would be very useful to the makers of Mug™ Root Beer.


Please read more about the terrible role that Bill Gates and his Common Core are playing in education here and here and here and here and here and here and here.

To understand the goal of "education reform," read this keynote speech to the Massachusetts superintendents of public schools, 1997. Inspired by this speech, many superintendents formed an organization to oppose the use of high stakes standardized testing in Massachusetts schools. The state's Commissioner of Education then threatened to fire these superintendents unless they disbanded their organization, which they did. Money rules, and Bill Gates has LOTS of it!

Bill Gates has been the major force in requiring children in public schools in most states to have to take so-called "high stakes" standardized tests, called "high stakes" because the student must pass the test in order to be promoted and to graduate with a high school diploma.

These tests are given in order to tell our children in public schools that unless they score high on some absurd "high stakes" standardized test (that is designed so that children from poorer families get lower scores) they don't deserve to have a decent-paying job or perhaps any job at all.

Read here about one big reason poor children get lower scores; it's because correct answers to test questions are marked wrong if they do not use virtually the same wording that is in the textbook that is linked to the test, and t schools with the poorest children don't provide many (or sometimes any) of their students with these textbooks! 

These tests are a form of child abuse. Working class children in public elementary and high schools are required to take these "high stakes" tests. State governments tell parents that the tests are like the written test to get a driver's license in that if everybody has learned the material satisfactorily then everybody will pass. But in truth the authorities can and often do keep making the tests harder to pass in order to ensure that a large number of poor children will get a "fail" score no matter how well they have learned the material. Thus in Florida the Orlando Sentinel, in an article headlined, "Lawmakers push tougher scoring for high-stakes tests," reports

"Florida’s key standardized tests, which already trip up more than 40 percent of those who take them, should be even tougher for students to pass in coming years, some House lawmakers say. Reviving a debate from last year, they want to require students to show 'proficiency' in order to pass Florida’s language arts and math exams, a move that could have far-reaching implications. The percentage of 10th graders who, on their first try, would pass the test needed to earn a diploma, for example, could fall from 51 percent to 36 percent, state data shows."

Be It in Health or Education, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the Enemy of Equality and Decency

Underneath all of the wonderful public relations praising the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is the brutal reality. The foundation is an instrument that a multi-billionaire uses to impose his will, totally anti-democratically, on the world. It is an instrument that Bill Gates uses to sterilize poor women in underdeveloped nations. It is an instrument that Bill Gates uses to make our public schools turn poor children into the kind of obedient workers that the corporate elite want. There is nothing benign or "philanthropic" about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Many people wonder, what does a person need $70 billion dollars (Gates's net worth at one time) for? It's impossible, they say, for somebody to buy luxuries that would cost even a tiny fraction of that amount. There's a limit, they say, to how much even a glutton can eat. This is true.

The value of money after the first, say, hundred million dollars, is not about buying stuff. It's about power, power over other people and institutions world wide. There's really no limit to how much power over others an individual may crave. Money is power, and these power-hungry people want as much money as possible. But to use money to control society requires a foundation such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation is the means by which Bill Gates can buy not commodities for personal enjoyment such as jewelry or yachts, but people: organizations, governments, scientists, field workers (to, for example, inject a sterilizing drug into poor women, or train children to believe that our capitalist class inequality is natural and normal and to accept their place at the bottom of it), etc. This, not benign philanthropy, is what the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is actually all about.

Read here how we can remove the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor.


* There is good reason to believe that this goal of population control has already been accomplished, as discussed in this video. Also, there is good reason to believe that this goal is not nearly as important to achieve as is commonly claimed, as discussed in Nature Rebounds: by Jesse H. Ausubel Director, Program for the Human Environment The Rockefeller University.

Billionaire alarmism regarding population control is illustrated by Ted Turner even saying, "There's too many people; that's why we have global warming." This absurd notion provides the rationale for horrible draconian measures to reduce the present world population.

The Wall Street Journal reports: "Mssrs. Gates, Buffett and Turner have been quietly worrying about Malthusian population problems for years. Mr. Gates in February outlined a plan to try to cap the world’s population at 8.3 billion people, rather than the projected 9.3 billion at which the population is expected to peak."




bottom of page