Monday, July 29, 2013

BATting at the Waltons

Today's Badass Teacher action involved telling the Waltons we want them to stop funding corporate education "reform" and spreading the word to boycott Walmart and Walton companies. Like snake oil salesmen, the creators of the "Walton family Foundation - Education Reform" Facebook page describe the foundation as a Non-Profit Organization, stating, "Having invested more than $1 billion in education reform, the Walton Family Foundation is the largest donor to initiatives that support parental choice and competition within education." Their mission statement is as follows:

                  Empowering parents to choose quality schools, regardless of type ‐
                  traditional public, private or public charter school ‐ will help spur the bold
                  transformation of our national K‐12 system of public education. Our nation’s
                  children will only reach  their potential in today’s global economy by having
                  access  to a high‐quality, publicly funded education.

So if I am reading this correctly, the Waltons believe that parents should have a choice between public, private or charter schools, but all of these should be publicly funded? It is not rocket science to see the agenda behind this, and the Waltons' role in financing and promoting "private" education and for-profit schools at taxpayer expense is revealed through their own messages on their foundation page.

As we tweeted and posted and worked to respond to the Walton's inappropriate intrusion into the educational lives of young, vulnerable children, one thing became quickly evident - just as these people use their money to control policy and regulations, they were going to try to control the message. Posts to their Facebook page began disappearing, and our ability to post or to "Like"  comments was halted.

My original post on their page was, "I am only liking your page in order to have a voice here, because there is nothing to LIKE about what you are doing to education! I have not shopped, and will not shop in a Walmart store, and I encourage my friends to do the same. No one in your organization is qualified to determine the future of public education and the policies you support are extremely harmful to children! Your only agenda is profit for yourselves and those who agree with your plan to privatize and profiteer at the expense of children, and the most vulnerable children suffer the most. America's teachers are joining together to put a stop to your agenda and we will prevail. And because I fully expect that you will delete posts that expose your 'philanthropy' for the self-serving profiteering that it really is, I am taking a screenshot of these comments so I can widely share and report any attempts to hide the truth. Shame on the Walton family - your greed knows no bounds, but we are not fooled!"

Throughout the day I returned to the page and took screenshots of the posts that later disappeared. It was only after I received a message from a fellow BAT requesting that I make these screenshots available that I decided that the Waltons will NOT control this message - these posts will be shared. Those of us who took the time to BAT at the Waltons should be heard.

Here is some of what was said:

Just as I took this last screenshot and saved it, I returned to the page and was about to "Like" a post, when I received a message that this was not possible. I am no longer able to comment or like anything on the Walton Family Foundation - Education Reform page, and all of the posts you see here have been deleted.

And since my business with them is finished, I have officially "unliked" their page! 


  1. Your comments indicate it would be an abomination for taxpayers money going towards anything but public schools. But whose children do you think attend private schools, illegal aliens or non US citizens? No, taxpayer's children go to private schools. As a single, middle class mom who worked hard, paid my share of taxes, and struggled to send my son to a private school for 12 years, a school made up of kids whose parents did the same, while our public schools had 10 times the money of our private school, I happen to support Walmart in their support of parental choice.

    1. Walmart's support of choice" is about nothing more than their agenda to dismantle and privatize our public education system so that public money can be used to create profit for privately owned schools. A free, well-funded public education is a right for every child, and that education is funded by ALL taxpayers, whether or not they use the system. That is the premise of public education. "Choice" is built on the false perception that the tax money you pay is "yours" and should follow wherever you choose to educate your child. But those who will never have children, those whose children are grown, or those who decide to not use public schools are all equally responsible for funding our schools. This is not your money to spend as you wish, just as those who don't "use" the system don't get a rebate because they didn't use the service. If you choose to educate your child in a private setting, the responsibility for tuition is yours. This has always been the case, and it has only been a subject of discussion since the privatization movement, under the guise of "reform" and "choice" began. The proliferation of for-profit schools while our public school system is systematically dismantled is creating a multi-tiered system of education in this country, and yes, I think it is an abomination!
      If you decided that your local police department was not providing services that met your demands or expectations, would you hire a private security firm and expect your local taxing authority to refund the portion of your taxes that pays for the police department because you opted for "private protection"? And how far do you think you'd get with that?

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