Common Core Aligned: The Achievement Network

CommonCoreAligned“…to create just these kinds of tests—next-generation assessments aligned to the common core. When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well—and that will unleash powerful market forces in the service of better teaching.” – Bill Gates, 2009 Speech To Natl. Conference of State Legislatures

The goal is to align everything so that students and the money have nowhere to go but Common Core.

Last time, we explored the ‘Common Core Quest‘ app. Today we’re taking a look at what the ‘data driven’ outfit  The Achievement Network  (Anet) does.

Anet is the brainchild of two Harvard Education Grad school students that received their degrees just 10 years ago. Two big brains who have never taught mining data to point the way in the classroom – sounds familiar.

From what it looks like, they use assessments to create data pools from which they set goals based on the Common Core standards. There’s a lot of data, data, data this company relies on using their ‘integrated online platform‘.
From their about page – it’s all about data and standards:

“We believe the next decade can be about using data and standards to give educators the tools they need as professionals to meet the needs of all students throughout the school year.”

Their mission statement is nearly identical to their about page:

The Achievement Network works alongside school leadership teams to strengthen their school-wide practice and culture of using learning standards and achievement data to get breakthrough results for students in underserved communities.

Common Core is so great, so simple and so clear that teachers need an outside group picking through our kids assessments to make sense of it and direct our teachers:

ANet provides you with practical guidance, user-friendly data tools, and resources screened for quality and Common Core alignment.

To partner with them, be prepared to share your data with the rest of the hive network:

A willingness to share assessment data with other network schools (although not student-level data).


Follow the Money
Check out Anet’s IRS 990 forms.

In 2013, Anet received a lot of money from all the Common Core usual suspects including Carnegie ($600k) and the New Schools Venture fund (over $241k).  Remember, New Schools Venture Fund gets piles of money from Bill Gates; we’ve got some non-profit money swapping going on here.

On their 2013 990, they also received over a million from the Dell Foundation and the US Department of Education.

The biggest donor, according to the Anet 990 form in 2013, was Bill Gates with $2,139,645.

What is funny about Gates being listed as over $2 million dollars on Anet’s 990 form is that the Gates Foundation grant look up of Anet doesn’t reflect that amount. Not even close. Gates reported one grant in 2013 and this is the grant they list for The Achievement Network:

The Achievement Network

Date: August 2013
Purpose: to support implementation of the Common Core State Standards
Amount: $250,249
Term: 23
Topic: College-Ready
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Grantee Website:


Overall, Anet has received just over $14.5 million from the Bill Gates Foundation:

The Achievement Network 2013 College-Ready US Program $250,249
The Achievement Network 2012 College-Ready US Program $3,002,252
The Achievement Network 2011 College-Ready US Program $1,500,596
The Achievement Network 2010 College-Ready US Program $500,000



About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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1 Response to Common Core Aligned: The Achievement Network

  1. Common Core is the friggin’ Borg.
    “Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.”


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