Former CMS Superintendent Lands In Cushy McGraw Hill Senior VP Position

Back in January of this year, Charlotte Mecklenburg’s Superintendent resigned his position after allegations of misconduct that included accusations Morrison created a ‘culture of fear’ for employees at CMS.

Dr. Morrison must be a cat, because he landed on his feet in a cushy McGraw Hill publishing job less than a month later.  I’m sure he’s making more than the over $288k base salary he made as CMS Superintendent.

From the Press release, emphasis added:

NEW YORK, Feb. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — McGraw-Hill Education today announced that Dr. Heath Morrison will be joining the company as senior vice president of government affairs.  In this role, he will be responsible for representing the company’s government-related opportunities before federal and state legislators and regulators and representatives of local school districts. Morrison’s team will also serve as advocates for McGraw-Hill Education on policy issues affecting the company and its industry.


So in other words, Morrison’s “Senior Vice President” position is basically being a lobbyist.

More at Charlotte Observer:

Peter Cohen, group president of U.S. education for the company, said in a statement that Morrison’s hiring reflects the importance of supporting policies “which improve student achievement.” He describes Morrison as a “leader who has personally carried this mission for multiple districts and will deepen our ability to drive further improvements in education.”

The career change is similar to that of Morrison’s predecessor, Peter Gorman, who left CMS in 2011 to take a job with the nascent News Corp. education division.

“I’m thrilled to join McGraw-Hill Education at such an important time for both the company and the industry,” Morrison said in a statement. “We want to be a strong voice in government affairs to improve the lives of students of all ages.”

Morrison will be a “strong voice” alright —  for Common Core.

McGraw Hill is one of the only two companies named in the Common Core State Standards Public License:

Material Beyond the Scope of the Public License

This License extends to the Common Core State Standards only and not to the examples. A number of the examples are comprised of materials that are not subject to copyright, such as due to being in the public domain, and others required NGA Center and CCSSO to obtain permission for their use from a third party copyright holder.

With respect to copyrighted works provided by the Penguin Group (USA) Inc., duplication, distribution, emailing, copying, or printing is allowed only of the work as a whole.

McGraw-Hill makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy of any information contained in the McGraw-Hill Material, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall McGraw-Hill have any liability to any party for special, incidental, tort, or consequential damages arising out of or in connection with the McGraw-Hill Material, even if McGraw-Hill has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

It seems McGraw Hill and Morrison waste no time jumping into the Digital Learning ‘ecosystem':

(Hat Tip – Common Core Diva)


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Common Core Potemkin Village: Hope Street Group – Money and History

Yesterday, I started writing about a Common Core non-profit focused currently on teachers and training.  That non-profit is called Hope Street Group.

I realized right out of the gate that Hope Street Group was going to be a multi-article project I’d have to break into chunks. So, today we’re going to take a look at the history, the players involved and follow the money

Hope History
According to their website, they were founded in 2003. Hope Street Group takes its name literally — South Hope Street, Los Angeles.

The group claims their objectives are as follows:

This group believed that by infusing diverse understanding and expertise into economic challenges, we could dramatically improve access to opportunity. Since our founding, we have worked diligently to apply this model and incorporate the application of innovation and technology to the education, health, and jobs sectors.

Check out their “impact” in education, health and jobs. At the bottom of each page of those three topics is a link to see ‘previous projects’. GO LOOK.

According to the Hope Street Group’s 2003 IRS 990 filing their objective was, “To expand economic opportunity to all people”.

The original board of directors in 2003 as listed in the 990 filing:

I recommend readers Google some of these original board names.

For example, the Chairman and co-founder, Mr. Auguste has a bio that was archived at the US Dept. of Education which gave some history on his long career with McKinsey and Company.

Auguste’s LinkedIn profile tells how long and includes an almost two year position with the White House. The LinkedIn profile skips a related White House council membership bio, which includes two big Common Core players:

Mr. Auguste also serves on the Board of Directors of the Pacific Council on International Policy, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Board of Trustees of the Center for American Progress, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Auguste is also involved with “New America“, or the New America Foundation (NAF). NAF is a non-profit composed of a who’s who of big money, big business and big politicians. While claiming to be non-partisan, it’s clearly not. See the second half of the article, The Clinton Core Standards for more on NAF.

History Of Big Data Love
Some of the legwork on the history and who’s who of Hope Street Group has been done already by another blog site, ‘Educational Alchemy’, in a 2013 blog post titled, The Road to Hell Is Paved by Hope Street.

Clearly, by that title, Educational Alchemy is not a fan of Hope Street Group. After reading their article, it is easy to see why.

Educational Alchemy saw one of the same warning signs I did – the love of data, data and more data. In particular, the blog post makes a series of connections all tied to McKinsey. Remember the original Chairman of Hope Street was a McKinsey man:

David Coleman, President of College Board and chief architect for Common Core was formerly an Associate as McKinsey.Sir Michael Barber now Chief Education Advisor at Pearson is former partner and head of McKinsey global education (in 2005) practice for McKinsey,and its unofficial motto could be his own: “Everything can be measured, and what is measured can be managed.”

If you think this all a coincidence I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

Please read the whole thing and pay attention to the ‘network’ section. Note two of the names, Jon Schnur and Bob Wise.

Schnur has direct North Carolina ties.  Schnur and a fellow named John Lassiter were instrumental in getting Teach for America alum Eric Guckian into the North Carolina Governor’s mansion as McCrory’s education adviser.

Schnur then took off for Washington, D.C. to be a “a senior advisor to President Obama’s presidential transition team and to U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan.”  [Read More About Schnur’s NC Ties]

Bob Wise is the man behind Alliance for Excellent Education, is a pal of Jeb Bush’s and also gets buckets of Gates grants. I just wrapped up a series on the Common Core tied Digital Learning push going on in North Carolina — which tracks back to Mr. Wise.
[Read More about Bob Wise: Down the Digital Rabbit Hole part one, part two, part three]

By the way, Martin Scaglione, the current President and CEO of Hope Street was the President, COO Workforce Development at ACT.  The Director of education engagement and training has 3 years of classroom experience… in Kindergarten.

Hope Money
Office Space NGOThis 2003 filing also showed they had about $65k in revenue in the form of gifts, grants and contributions.

The group’s revenue stream didn’t do well for the first four years, but then took a big leap between 2005 and 2006.

Via the available Hope Street Group’s IRS 990 filings, I’ve managed to timeline their revenue history.  Note that in parentheses next to each year/amount is the grant amount total the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave them that calendar year.

2003 – $65,102
2004 – $28,083
2005 – $55,169
2006 – $269,607
2007 – $877,573
2008 – $971,020  ($225,000)
2009 – $1,184,509  ($925,111)
2010 – $653,213
2011 – $912,169  ($975,000)
2012 – $2,046,598
2013 – $2,187,746  ($950,548 and $100,000)

Hope Street Group’s IRS filings from a ten-year period starting in 2003  and running through 2013 show an overall revenue stream total of $4,988,362.

In seven years, starting in 2008 and running through 2015, Hope Street has received $6,440,864 from Bill Gates.

Beyond 2013, Hope Street received three grants in 2014 and one in 2015 so far.  The total for these four grants is $3,265,205.   View all of the grants.

Given these totals matched with the revenue reported by Hope Street Group, it might be safe to say that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is Hope Street’s biggest donor in the group’s  “Funders” list — by far.

Funders with Common Core histories that stand out in that list are Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education, William and Flora Hewlitt Foundation, WalMart, New Venture Fund and The Joyce Foundation.

There’s still more to get into with Hope Street.  I’ll be revisiting the Teacher Voice Network and the “Common Core Teacher Playbook” in the next article.


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Hey, Associated Press? @WRAL? You Missed A Mug Shot

WRAL has an article via the Associated Press about the recent changes to the North Carolina voter ID law.  The star of their story is one Charise Dill who claims to be ‘disenfranchised':

Charise Dill, 25, of Henderson County said in a sworn statement she was twice refused photo IDs at DMV offices. She said she was working two jobs and going to community college and couldn’t afford a photo ID. DMV workers told her she couldn’t get a free ID, she said.

“It was an embarrassing experience and I do not want to experience that again; no one should have to go through this to get an ID to vote,” Dill said. Press Millen, an attorney representing individuals suing in state court, said the “landscape has changed tremendously” with the changes.

I’m sure that was embarrassing. Almost as embarrassing as missing some details about Charise Dill, including Ms. Dill’s arrest record in South Carolina for shoplifting.


Kind of ironic to be arrested for shoplifting when at the time she worked in retail according to her LinkedIn profile. That same profile says she is studying to be a teacher.

According to her Facebook page, Dill still works in retail as an, “Independent Distributor at Independent Distributor for It Works! Global and Cashierat Walmart Past: Dollar General”.

One can’t totally fault the reporter for missing that arrest – their Google was probably broken?

Southern Coalition for Social Justice left Dill’s arrest tidbit out of their article on too. However, there is another interesting claim from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice article on Ms. Dill:

Charise wasn’t able to get her driver’s license that day, but she asked if she could register to vote.  The DMV employee told Charise that she would not be able to register to vote because she did not have a North Carolina photo ID. 

Unfortunately, this DMV employee was incorrect as North Carolina photo identification is not required when completing a North Carolina Voter Registration Application.  Relying on this state official’s advice, Charise left the NC DMV without registering to vote.

Really? She didn’t get registered to vote?

That’s funny, because the NC State Board of Elections has a voter registration record for Ms. Charise Rashaun Dill of Hendersonville.

Posted in BlueprintNC, LadyLiberty1885, NC NAACP, NCGA, Reverend Barber, The Articles, Voter ID, Voting, WRAL | Tagged , , | 12 Comments