November 9, 2001

Editorial

Corporate Foundations Attempt Usurpation of Our Constitutional Rights!

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation have offered to give the San Diego City School District $22.5 million over a period of five years under one condition: Superintendent Alan Bersin and Chancellor of Instruction Anthony Alvarado must be employed during this period. This constitutes an assault upon our democratic institutions. It is the use of money to intimidate and coerce a political institution established lawfully by a vote of the electoral. The San Diego Unified School District Board of Trustees are responsible to the voters and the state for the operation of their school district. They and only they have the legal power to hire or fire the staff of this district.

The conditions, as set by the Gates& Hewlett Foundations, in order for the San Diego Unified School District to accept the $22.5 million, are coercive and reflect the blatant use of money to undermine our political institutions. It is a naked effort to control public schools and to impose our student's educational agenda.

Superintendent Alan Bersin and Chancellor Alvarado are under fire for their failures and their incompetence. They have incurred votes of "No Confidence" from teachers and the public. The data shows that they are failing to educate Hispanics, Blacks, and other minority students, as well as the majority of the students in the district, with their "Blueprint for Student Success." Yet, $22.5 million in foundation money will only be awarded to the district if Bersin and Alvarado are not fired for their incompetence.

That the majority of teachers have issued a vote of no confidence; that parents are appalled by the failures of the Bersin-Alvarado duo and want a change; that failure after failure has been demonstrated under the state and federal testing guidelines, apparently means nothing to the two funding corporations.

What this award proves is that the "Blueprint for Student Success" is a model that was devised in hopes of fulfilling the needs of corporate America to create robots for their factories and sweatshops. Alan Bersin was hired behind closed doors, and he brought Anthony Alvarado on board. It was Alvarado who implemented the "Blueprint" in New York. To insure compliance by the school board, the Chamber of Commerce bankrolled the campaigns of the board majority. This has been an agenda item for corporate America and the business community, who actually believe that they can trample over our rights as citizens of America.

La Prensa San Diego has documented their failures for the past six months. The community has expressed their disgust with the direction in which the San Diego Unified School District is headed. Teachers have voted their conscience with a resounding "No Confidence" vote! Bersin, Alvarado, and the "Blueprint" are teetering on the edge of total collapse.

That The Gates and Hewlett Foundations are willing to try and usurp our Constitutional rights is incredible. Just who do they think they are? Perhaps they should stick to their daytime jobs and keep their noses out of our business. Money can't buy everything. La Prensa San Diego believes that not only should the Board of Trustees reject this outrageous proposal but every citizen of this city, county and state should send a clear message to the likes of Bill Gates and William Hewlett THAT AMERICA IS NOT FOR SALE!

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