Substantial and valid reasons exist for the increased suspicion surrounding the one-size-fits-all education reform called “Common Core.” This post relates to two: the insidious nature of its adoption, and the far-reaching tentacles of its developers…
Of course, both were necessary…
Yes “conspiracy theorists” (aka: anyone who dares question Common Core), much of this had to do with “Daddy Corebuck$” himself, Bill Gates. He and his millions began the quest to produce “human capital for a global workforce” with UNESCO in 2004, and in order to ensure support, he had to create or pay off organizations ever since. In fact large Gates Foundation grants are the opinions of Common Core supporters in that they all seem to have one. A quick search of “the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” and an organization that supports Common Core, will typically produce a money trail that in a cocoon may look innocuous, but in the larger web, reveals its surreptitious nature.
In fact, a 2011 piece from the NY Times did a relatively good job of [at least] recognizing the web’s perilous nature (emphasis mine):
…“It’s Orwellian in the sense that through this vast funding they start to control even how we tacitly think about the problems facing public education,” said Bruce Fuller, an education professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who said he received no financing from the foundation.
(Yes, a dude from UC Berkeley just connected the “Orwellian” dot. ~ed.)
Mr. Hess, a frequent blogger on education whose institute received $500,000 from the Gates foundation in 2009 “to influence the national education debates,” acknowledged that he and others sometimes felt constrained. “As researchers, we have a reasonable self-preservation instinct,” he said. “There can be an exquisite carefulness about how we’re going to say anything that could reflect badly on a foundation.”
“Everybody’s implicated,” he added.
…“It’s easier to name which groups Gates doesn’t support than to list all of those they do, because it’s just so overwhelming,” noted Ken Libby, a graduate student who has pored over the foundation’s tax filings as part of his academic work.
…The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, which developed the standards, and Achieve Inc., a nonprofit organization coordinating the writing of tests aligned with the standards, have each received millions of dollars.
The Alliance for Excellent Education, another nonprofit organization, was paid $551,000 in 2009 “to grow support for the common core standards initiative,” according to the tax filings. The Fordham Institute got $959,000 to “review common core materials and develop supportive materials.” Scores of newspapers quoted Fordham’s president, Chester E. Finn Jr., praising the standards after their March 2010 release; most, including The New York Times, did not note the Gates connection.
Huh. Funny that Fordham Institute’s Kathleen Porter-Magee, author of “The Truth About Common Core” didn’t reveal THAT truth about Common Core as she so smugly berated those who have valid concerns about it.
What a treat it would be at the Columbus venue of the three-city Ohio tour to discuss Common Core, if someone would ask Fordham’s Director of Ohio Policy and Research, two simple questions: “Did Fordham Foundation receive nearly $1 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to review Common Core? Is it fair to say that Fordham is heavily funded by the Gates Foundation in general? Then sit down and let the audience connect the dots…if people understand one thing in this crony-capitalist culture, it’s that nearly every organization in existence has or can be bought.
Of course Daddy Corebuck$ needed to create support here in the swing-state as well: KnowledgeWorks , its subsidiaries , & Ohio Business Roundtable spring to mind. Given that, it is no surprise that the Gates tentacles seeped into Governor Kasich’s budget . Big business hearts big government after all. If I’m reading it correctly, it looks like “Gates Foundation Grants” (ctrl f) are to be used by administrators and teachers to optimize the implementation of the creepy “cradle-to-career” data mining (scroll down) of Ohio’s students.
Why the State of Ohio is allowing this creepy data base collection to move forward (it just passed out of the Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 28th) simply because Daddy Corebuck$ is footing the bill, leaves no other logical explanation than it is part of a larger design. Moreover, why are we relying on anyone other than local districts, teachers and parents to direct education policy? Local control and competition breed the innovation necessary to create best practice models within the education realm. By ceding that control (which is what [copyrighted] Common Core does), we destroy the organic means by which high standards are set and attained.
Now in his defense, while Governor Kasich has done nothing to prevent this federal intrusion as is his duty, he was not the stinker who originally snuck language into a 2009 bill establishing the creepy database collection. That was an entirely different stinker…
Hint: He’s a career politician, and an establishment hack, but I repeat myself. Here’s another clue: He was for requiring a photo ID to vote before he was against it. More on him and others later, but you may find him, along with Ted Strickland and Daddy Corebuck$ in this otherwise benign post.
Until then, please try to attend one of our three Ohio panel discussions this weekend designed to provide balanced information on Common Core. Better yet, ask your state rep and senator to attend with you. Remember, state legislatures were largely ignored in the Common Core adoption process (see “Legality“). What subsequent components they may have voted upon, were sold under the auspices of ensuring accurate [student] funding, so many may have not yet heard enough to understand its inevitable outcomes.
That said, the window to claim ignorance is rapidly closing, so if your legislators are not able to attend, please direct them to the resrsources listed here or on the OhioansAgainstCommonCore site, and ask them to keep you posted on all discussions, policies, testimony and/or bill language regarding Common Core.
…and please report back any squishy behavior.