UPDATE: Welcome Carolina Plott Hound Readers.
In the last half-year or more, Governor McCrory has dodged giving a definitive statement in public on whether or not he supports Common Core. He doesn’t really need to, his staff is speaking for him and it’s clear the Governor backs Common Core. Clearly, our Governor hasn’t been paying attention to the siege being made on Governors in other states like Indiana, South Carolina and Wisconsin who have flip-flopped or are choosing to side with the fundamentally flawed and experimental standards.
The Governor probably hasn’t paid attention to the all out assault by moms in NY on Cuomo either or the campaign to get Oklahoma’s Mary Fallin to drop the Core. Either he’s ignoring all of that or he recklessly thinks he is somehow immune. If it’s the latter, the NC mom brigade will gladly visit the mansion with bullhorns.
Back to McCrory’s Common Core pushing staffers. This is an excerpt of the interview McCrory’s Education Advisor, Eric Guckian, gave to the News and Record:
Guckian told me the governor supports high academic standards. He noted that many superintendents support Common Core and that school districts and teachers have put “a lot of money, time and effort” into preparing for them and translating the standards into curricula that help students. He said it would be ill-advised to move backward in North Carolina.
He made a very strong statement:
“I want to assure you that will not happen on Gov. McCrory’s watch.”
As the conversation ended, I thought Guckian meant the governor would not let the legislature abandon the Common Core State Standards.
The callback was to clarify.
High academic standards will not be compromised on this governor’s watch, Guckian said.
Bold words from Mr. Guckian, however who is he? For one thing, he’s a Democrat hiding his party registration. He had it removed. [Screenshot] Gee, now why would he do that?
Someone has already done that bit of homework on the hiding Democrat Guckian. Via StopCommonCoreNC:
Guckian served previously as Executive Director for New Leaders Inc and Teach For America-North Carolina. Note the connection to Strategic Partnerships Inc. Via ZoomInfo, we learn more about his background:Eric Guckian Executive Director, Charlotte Eric Guckian has spent his entire professional career working to narrow the achievement gap in our nation’s public schools. While serving as Executive Director of Teach for America-North Carolina, Eric worked in partnership with 10 urban and rural school districts, and led the expansion of TFA into Charlotte. Over the course of his tenure with TFA (2000 – 2005), the size of teaching corps quadrupled and the annual fundraising base tripled. Most importantly, student achievement dramatically increased; students taught by TFA teachers in North Carolina had the highest student achievement outcomes in the country among their TFA peers according to ABC Accountability results. A recent national study by the Urban Institute found that TFA North Carolina teachers’ effect on student achievement in core classroom subjects was nearly three times the effect of their more experienced peers. The group analyzed exclusively North Carolina high school data produced between 2000 and 2006, including test scores, teacher characteristics, and student demographics. Eric has continued to play a leading role in North Carolina’s public school reform efforts, serving as the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the North Carolina New Schools Project, a consultant to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and leading a strategic planning effort for KIPP. Eric began his professional career as an elementary science teacher and TFA corps member in the South Bronx. He has also taught in public schools in North Carolina and Massachusetts. Eric is a proud product of the public school system and a first generation college student. He earned his BA in English at Colgate University in 1993 and later received a Masters in Education from Harvard University in 1998. Eric lives with his wife Lisa and his daughter Scarlett in North Carolina.*SNIP*
So, in a nutshell, our Governor is listening to a Gates reared Common Core shill. Great! Go read the whole article.
More On Guckian
He was also involved with Scholastic. The same Scholastic who did the ridiculous survey claiming 80% of teachers in NC liked Common Core based on 662 teachers surveyed. I did a full take down of that survey.
Just so we’re clear, The NC New Schools Project received the following from Gates to push “Career and College Ready”, which is the term used to label Common Core for their grants:
|North Carolina New Schools Project, Inc.||2009 and earlier||College-Ready||US Program||$1,612,877|
|North Carolina New Schools Project, Inc.||2009 and earlier||College-Ready||US Program||$385,801|
|North Carolina New Schools Project, Inc.||2009 and earlier||College-Ready||US Program||$14,518,052|
|North Carolina New Schools Project, Inc.||2009 and earlier||College-Ready||US Program||$1,463,346|
That’s $17,980,076 million. KIPP and it’s foundation have received a lot more. Click here to view the three pages of related grants for KIPP.
Now, about Teach for America — they are less about teaching and more about politics. In fact, Teach For America is not really looked upon in a positive light – at all. They’re kid of looked at as the well-meaning quacks of the education industry bent on destroying public schools. Check out the scathing reviews on Diane Ravitch’s blog. There’s more at Mercedes Schneider’s blog. Let’s follow the money next.
The NCGA gave Teach for America $5.1 million in 2013. Where did that money go? Anyone seen an accounting of how it was spent? If you search Teach For America, Inc. on the Gates grant site, it pulls up all kinds of groups from the Jim Hunt Foundation to The Center For Teaching Quality. If you break out just the Teach For America grants solo, you get a total of $12,405, 267 million. Fun fact: Center for Teaching Quality sent several Common Core pushing teachers to the public comments section of the NCGA’s Common Core Study Committee.
So, the next time someone tells you it will be too costly to drop Common Core. Ask them for WHO exactly? The big education business or our children?
Teach For America Alums Flock Together
Guckian isn’t flying solo in McCrory’s office. He’s got LeKisha Jordan helping out. So who is LeKisha Jordan you ask? Another Teach for America alum. While Guckian is hiding his voter affiliation, it appears Ms. Jordan isn’t even registered in NC according to the NC Board of Elections. Perhaps that’s because before coming to NC she worked for Democrat Alisha Morgan, a Georgia state representative. I found no press release about her hire in August 2013. Guckian only got there a few months before her, in May of 2013. By the way, what’s the going salary for not one, but two “education advisors” these days?