Teachers group protests Gates Foundation



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Posted on June 26, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 27 at 9:20 AM

SEATTLE -- A group called the Washington Badass Teachers Association marched through downtown Seattle to the Gates Foundation building Thursday, protesting its support of a variety of educational policies.

Chiefly, the protest decried Common Core Standards, part of an agenda touted by the Gates Foundation, but seen as the private invasion of public education.

"I think anytime there's private money that's coming into the situation, it always comes with strings," said parent Carolyn Leith.

The association of teachers believes the Gates Foundation is "influencing public policy in undemocratic ways" according to its press release.  In addition to increased testing, issues like charter schools, class sizes and class size increases were featured in song and sign throughout the march.

"I find the notion that educators are reluctant to be open to these crazy, untested, scientifically unproven ideas to be absolutely abhorrent," commented teacher Noam Gurdle.

The WA Badass Teachers Association said more protests and action was in the works.

The Gates Foundation issued a statement in response: 

"Teachers guide much of our education work at the foundation. We are engaged in a constant conversation with great teachers here in Washington State and all across the country about what they need to help all their students succeed and how we can best support them. While not all teachers agree on how best to make that happen, they are all dedicated and passionate about their students. We share that passion with the educators we work with every day."