March 29, 2022

Nancy Bailey: The Future of Education? Who Decides How OUR Public Schools Run?

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Nancy Bailey casts a doubtful eye upon the panel that Secretary Cardona is promoting about the Future of Education. Reposted with permission.

Who determines how America’s democratic public schools are run? Is it the Americans, Democrats, and Republicans, who elect a school board to democratically represent their community?

Why do nonprofits working with corporations get to decide the future of our public schools? What gives them the right to determine what teachers should teach and how schools should run?

It may have gone unnoticed, but Education Secretary Miguel Cardona recently said to “tune in” to The Future of Education meeting. He claims that the future of education is bright, acknowledges those who do the heavy lifting surrounding public schools, but the sponsor of the meeting and the many speakers tell a different story.


Collaborative for Student Success

The Collaborative for Student Success, whose executive director is Jim Cowen, sponsored the program. Find Cowen’s profile on the Education Post. He has degrees in public policy and business.

With regional and national foundations, the Collaborative’s funders include:

  • Bloomberg Foundation
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
  • The Walton Family Foundation

According to Influence Watch, it’s a nonprofit that advances policies supporting Common Core State Standards, a project of the New Venture Fund, a dark money organization primarily funded by the left.

In 2020, the Gates Foundation gave the Collaborative $4 million.

Influence Watch notes that the Collaborative has been a strong force behind the Every Student Succeeds Act which replaced No Child Left Behind.

In 2019, responding to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results, the Collaborative for Student Success, signed a “Call to Action” supporting a standardized curriculum and focused on academic standards. Here are the signers.

  • Achieve
  • Alliance for Excellent Education
  • Education Trust
  • Fordham Institute
  • Learning Heroes
  • Literacy How
  • Military Child Education Coalition
  • Nation Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)
  • National Council on Teacher Quality
  • National Urban Alliance
  • National Urban League
  • Collaborative for Student Success

The Collaborative works with the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE), another anti-public-school nonprofit whose funders include:

  • Abt Associates
  • Barr Association
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Collaborative for Student Success
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  • Colorado Education Initiative
  • Colorado Succeeds
  • The Joyce Foundation
  • New Schools Venture Fund
  • Oak Foundation
  • St. Louis Community Foundation
  • TNTP
  • Walton Family Foundation
  • Washington State Charter Schools Association
  • Wend

They mention the Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University, another nonprofit claiming to identify innovative education using federal recovery funding.

Edunomics Lab Funders include:

  • Laura and John Arnold Foundation
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Building State Capacity & Productivity Center
  • Center on Reinventing Public Education
  • Comprehensive Center Network
  • Council of Chief State School Officers
  • Institute of Education Sciences
  • Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
  • New America Foundation
  • Raikes Foundation
  • Rural Opportunities Consortium of Idaho
  • Smith Richardson Foundation
  • Walton Family Foundation
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • TNTP
  • The Education Trust
  • National Parents Union
  • The Rural Alliance
  • John White, Former Louisiana State Superintendent and from Teach for America
  • EdAllies
  • The Data Quality Campaign
  • New America
  • The George W. Bush Presidential Center
  • New Leaders
  • K-12 Policy Expert and AssessmentHQ Author, DC Strategies
  • The Southern Regional Education Board

What do they have in store for America’s children and youth? 

High-Stakes Standardized Testing

The Collaborative for Student Success defends aligned assessments and high-stakes testingHere

They claim that opting out isn’t the answer and promote Common Core State Standards.

It’s unclear, easy to get lost in the wordiness, but they emphasize data collection and highlight Assessment HQ with data collected across the country with Assessment HQ.

The Future of Education Speakers 

Gov. Chris Sununu is for school vouchers.

Stephen L. Pruitt is the sixth president of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) for 16 states. This organization claims it knows what works for schools. 

It’s hard to identify funders for the SREB, but they received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (p. 10) Their goals?

  • Benchmarking State Implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
  • Educator Effectiveness
  • Literacy Design Collaborative and Math Design Collaborative

Rey Saldaña CEO of Communities In Schools. His accomplishments include acting as Chief Engagement Officer with KIPP San Antonio Public Schools.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis claims he’ll invest in education in Colorado. An entrepreneur businessman and former State Board of Education member, he’s the founder of a charter school network.

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