January 19, 2017 Dena Jensen
Tidbits have been surfacing about educational programs in our region that are being boostered by GPT and Cherry Point fossil fuel industry enthusiasts, The Whatcom Business Alliance (Tony Larson, President) and Liberty Road (affiliated with Kris Halterman of the Whatcom Tea Party, the board of Social Alliance for a Vibrant Economy and host of KGMI’s Saturday Morning Live radio show). In the pics are screen shots of a recent Liberty Road post about the “Growing the Economy with Raspberry Pi,” program in the Burlington-Edison school district and an excerpt from the Jan. 2017 WBA newsletter.
When you hear about “Growing the Economy with Raspberry Pi,” or any program/project with similar sounding features, please consider this excerpt from the book, Dark Money, The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, by Jayne Mayer:
The Kochs were also directing millions of dollars into online education, and into teaching high school students, through a non-profit that Charles devised called the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. The financially pressed Topeka school system, for instance, signed an agreement with the organization which taught students that, among other things, Franklin Roosevelt didn’t alleviate the Depression, minimum wage laws and public assistance hurt the poor, lower pay for women was not discriminatory, and the government, rather than business, caused the 2008 recession. The program, which was aimed at low-income areas, also paid students to take additional courses online.
At the June summit, [Ryan] Stowers [VP of the Charles Koch Foundation] stressed to the donors that this “investment” in education had created a valuable “talent pipeline.” Assuming the thousands of scholars on average taught hundreds of students per year, he said, they could influence the thinking of millions of young Americans annually. “This cycle constantly repeats itself,” he noted, “and you can see the multiplier effect it’s had on our network since 2008.”
In summation, [Kevin] Gentry [VP for special projects, Koch Industries] stressed to the donors, “So you can see, higher education is not just limited to an impact on higher education.” The students were “the next generation of the freedom movement,” he said. The students that graduate out of these higher-education programs populate the state-based think tanks and the national think tanks.” And, he said, they “become the major staffing for the state chapters” of the “grassroots” groups. Those with passion were encouraged to become part of what he called the Kochs’ “fully integrated network.” – Jayne Mayer
You can read an article about the Social Alliance for a Vibrant Economy organization that is promoting the “Growing the Economy with Raspberry Pi,” program in the September 2015 edition of the Whatcom Watch at this link: http://www.whatcomwatch.org/php/WW_open.php?id=1872
Here is the link to the Social Alliance for a Vibrant Economy “Meet the Board” web page: http://savenw.org/meet-the-board/