That Koch Smear Campaign Worked!

Remember the smear campaign story News and Observer ran on North Carolina’s history curriculum? It was the bruhahah over the eeeeevil Koch brothers funded a think tank that delivered some history materials to NC DPI (who paid them 100k for it)  that somehow became a big deal.

This story was hyped up at a time when the new and controversial framework for Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) was going on. Go figure.

Well, that smear-fest appeared to have worked.

From the N&O article, emphasis added:

The state Department of Public Instruction has pulled back its recommendation that the preferred curriculum for a required American history course be one produced by an institute backed by the conservative and politically active Koch family.

DPI paid the Bill of Rights Institute of Virginia $100,000 to provide the materials, and last month wanted to “highly recommend” school districts use them to teach a course on the founding principles. The institute receives grants from David H. Koch, the Charles Koch Foundation and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation, according to a website on Koch family philanthropies.

June Atkinson, state schools superintendent, said last month that state educators worked with the institute on the materials, and that they were free of bias. Still, the plan drew public criticism. History professors combed through the curriculum.

DPI will continue to make the institute’s curriculum available, but it is now listed among about a dozen other resources that the department is recommending local school districts use for the course. Those resources include the Library of Congress, the N.C. Civics Consortium, LEARN NC, and the National Humanities Center.


So, the materials were just fine but because they came from an outfit the Koch brothers give money to they get shoved in a file cabinet. NC DPI and Dr. Atkinson seem just fine accepting money, direction and materials from other groups via public-private partnerships and non-profits though.

Let’s look at those ‘other’ resources.

National Humanities Center is a 501(c)3 located in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. Read their latest annual report and see how flush with cash they are and an endowment valued at over $80 million.

There is an ‘annual giving’ summary starting on page 39 of that report. Will News and Observer be looking into the very long list of individuals, foundations, non-profits and corporations who donated there too?  Some big names who have dumped millions into Common Core like Pfizer and Rockefeller are in there.

Here’s a starter list:
Henry Luce Foundation
Arthur Vining Davis
Teagal Foundation
Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation

LEARN NC is really “a program of the UNC School of Education, finds the most innovative and successful practices in K-12 education and makes them available to the teachers and students of North Carolina – and the world.”  LEARN NC is vested in the Paideia model and on the NC LEARN website, they reference the National Paideia Center Inc.  National Paideia Center received $659,788  to design and pilot humanities courses aligned to the Common Core State Standards” from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

N.C. Civics Consortium is also out of UNC. It appears to be funded by the The Arts and Sciences Foundation (ASF), which also run by UNC.  ASF is a 501(c)3 and their most recent 990 filing shows top positions pay well there. According to the ASF site, they are well funded:

As of May 31, 2014, the Foundation managed more than $182 million in endowed funds, compared with $37.6 million in June 1998. The College of Arts and Sciences benefits from an additional $397 million in endowed funds from the UNC-Chapel Hill Endowment and the UNC-CH Foundation.


Ready for the punchline? The Koch Foundation gives grants to UNC Chapel Hill, among other North Carolina schools including other UNC locations, Duke, Wake Forest and NC State.  In 2013, the Koch Foundation gave UNC Chapel Hill $115,000; the UNC System overall received $126,800.  In 2012, UNC received $116,000.

Now compare this with the $92 million being dumped into education in 2014 alone for ‘College Ready’ by Bill Gates’s foundation. Where’s the outrage?

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_
This entry was posted in EDUCATION, June Atkinson, LL1885, Media Bias, NC DPI, News and Observer, The Articles and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to That Koch Smear Campaign Worked!

  1. Pingback: The Common Core Weekend Reads – 1-11-15 | Lady Liberty 1885

Comments are closed.