“…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.
Trick or Treat?!
With Common Core, it’s almost non-stop tricks.
Those fighting Common Core know how age and developmentally inappropriate the K-3 standards are. Kids are melting down trying to do tasks that are beyond what is cognitively possible for the vast majority of them. This is especially true in the reading and writing demands placed on our youngest learners under Common Core. I know. I’ve seen it first-hand with my own child.
Proponents know this. They know the flaws of the ELA standards and the overwhelming criticism of the K-3 portion. What are the proponents doing about it? Are they altering them? Are they listening to the feedback?
They’re forging ahead with methods to try to force kids to accomplish what they cannot.
Enter Benchmark Education Company, which is attempting to do just that. Why? Because the thinking seems to be that if we just train more, provide more materials that somehow the brains in our kids will magically align to Common Core.
Yes. Benchmark Education Company is a Gates grant recipient:
Date: July 2013
Purpose: to fund development of Common Core-aligned units foucsed in argumentative writing
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Pelham, New York
Grantee Website: http://www.benchmarkeducation.com
Read more about this grant and what it’s for in this article: Benchmark Education Receives Grant for New Online ACE© Research Project Organizer K-12 Publisher Benefits from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grant
Note this bit from the article above: “Headquartered in Pelham, NY, Benchmark Education Company is a leading publisher of K–12 core, supplemental, and intervention literacy resources in English and Spanish.”
More about Benchmark Ed
I wondered about the light load of info on the “ABOUT US” page on the Benchmark Ed site. I decided to do a WHOIS for the website, it yielded that “Merck and Co.” owns it? What? See below.
|Location||US, United States|
|City||Woodbridge, NJ 07095|
|Organization||Merck and Co.|
|ISP||Merck and Co.|
Of note, the employees at Benchmark Education don’t think highly of working there.
Also note, “Revenue$10 to $25 million (USD) per year”.” Common Core is a cash cow.