The Department of Education has partnered with billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Institute to promote a global education initiative that seeks “a world where each and every person on Earth can access and contribute to the sum of all human knowledge.”
Education Secretary Arne Duncan kicked off a $25,000 “Why Open Education Matters” competition that will give a cash prize for the best short video explaining the benefits of what is known as Open Educational Resources, or O.E.R., for students, teachers and schools.
O.E.R. is a form of global teaching that uses digital materials made available free through open licenses, which allow uses of the materials that would not be easily permitted under copyright alone.
The O.E.R. model of teaching heavily utilizes social media. A 2007 O.E.R forum announced the education group’s mission of creating “a world where each and every person on earth can access and contribute to the sum of all human knowledge.”
O.E.R leaders expressed hopes of using the education initiative to balance what they referred to as the digital divide between the “global North” and the “global South.”
In his remarks to launch the “Why Open Education Matters” competition, Duncan said O.E.R. “can not only accelerate and enrich learning – they can also substantially reduce costs for schools, families and students.”
The “Why Open Education Matters” competition is sponsored and organized by three groups – the U.S. Department of Education, Soros’ Open Society and a group known as Creative Commons.
Creative Commons is a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share.
Creative Commons was founded in 2001 by Lawrence Lessig, a technology adviser to Obama. Lessig works closely with a Marxist activist who has argued for the dismantling of the U.S. capitalist system and whose George Soros-funded group petitions for more government control of the media.
Lessig has been mentioned as a future candidate to head the Federal Communications Commission, the FCC. He is an activist for reduced legal restrictions on copyright material and advised Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Lessig reportedly has known Obama since their days teaching law at the University of Chicago. Lessig now teaches at Harvard.
Lessig drew some controversy during the 2008 campaign after he circulated a video depicting Jesus lip-syncing to Gloria Gaynor’s late 1970s disco hit “I Will Survive.” In the video, a mock Jesus is seen stripping down to just a diaper while he effeminately struts along a city street and finally gets run over by a speeding bus.
Lessig is a close associate of Robert W. McChesney, an avowed Marxist who favors the dismantling of capitalism.
McChesney founded Free Press, a Soros-funded organization with close ties to the White House that petitions for more government control of the news media.
Lessig has penned numerous op-ed pieces with McChesney, and the duo have worked together on numerous media projects.
WND previously reported Free Press published a study advocating the development of a “world class” government-run media system in the U.S.
WND reported Free Press Policy Director Ben Scott was named in May 2012 as a policy adviser for innovation at the State Department.
McChesney is a professor at the University of Illinois and former editor of the Marxist journal Monthly Review.
“In the end, there is no real answer but to remove brick-by-brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles,” wrote McChesney in a column.
The board of Free Press has included a slew of radicals, such as Obama’s former “green jobs” czar Van Jones, who resigned after his founding of a communist organization was exposed.
Obama’s former “Internet czar,” Susan P. Crawford, spoke at a Free Press May 14, 2009, “Changing Media” summit in Washington, D.C.
Crawford’s pet project, OneWebNow, lists as “participating organizations” Free Press and the now disbanded Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.
Crawford and Kevin Werbach, who co-directed the Obama transition’s Federal Communications Commission review team, are advisory board members at Public Knowledge, a Soros-funded public-interest group.
A Public Knowledge advisory board member is Timothy Wu, who is also chairman of the board for Free Press.
Like Public Knowledge, Free Press also has received funds from Soros’ Open Society Institute.
With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott