Gates Funded Start Up’s Director Is Tarheel Of The Week

The News and Observer’s Tarheel of the Week is Tony Habit of NC New Schools. Anyone fighting Common Core in the state has heard both of those names at least a few times. Funnily enough, the N&O article doesn’t mention Common Core — at all.

bill-gatesMr. Habit has  more than dabbled in supporting the fundamentally flawed and experimental Common Core, of which his former benefactor Bill Gates says about it that, “It would be great if our education stuff worked, but that we won’t know for probably a decade.

New Schools Project is a great friend of the Chamber and their “Hire Standards” program. NC New Schools has many friends, including the office of the Governor and the NCBCE.

According to emails I obtained in a Freedom of Information request, Habit has been in communications helping direct the “NC Large Districts Superintendent Consortium” NCLDSC recommended a “7 year lock in of Common Core”.

Why are “non-profits”, business people from NC, The Chamber of Commerce and Jeb Bush’s foundation in Florida driving education in this state?

The big question that keeps coming up and no news outlet is asking is, who is in charge of education in this state? Businesses or the state?  What does the Department of Public Instruction do, exactly?

The N&O article does mention where NC New Schools received its start-up money, but it couches it with state money too:

 “Its initial funding was from the state and $24 million in grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”

See the grants from Gates Mr. Habit and his NC New Schools received and then one might understand why the N&O didn’t break out the numbers in the sentence above.

Read about the big $2o million dollar federal grant the NC New Schools won thanks to $500,000 from Golden LEAF Foundation, SAS, Goodnight Educational Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and Wells Fargo Foundation.  This was the largest grant in the Dept. of Education’s i3 project.

From the NC New Schools downloadable application information:

North Carolina New Schools (NCNS) proposes to implement Early College Strategies for All in order to: (1) scale up and expand North Carolina’s early college work to include one District Reach Model and six new early college schools? (2) develop seven Model Schools within N.C. that can be used as national study schools? (3) work with two additional states to build the capacity to open six early colleges based on the NCNS model? and, (4) provide state and regional level capacity building to two additional states to set the foundation for those states to open early colleges in the future.

The project has to do with”transforming education in rural high schools”. The project involved setting up six more early college high schools. Habit has been promoting this idea all over North Carolina and in Maine.  

Is early college promotion necessarily a bad thing? No. However, how far, wide and deep does NC New Schools wish to take this? Consider the current higher education bubble when thinking about this.

Again, who is driving education in our state? Where are they taking it?



About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips:
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1 Response to Gates Funded Start Up’s Director Is Tarheel Of The Week

  1. Pingback: The Common Core Weekend Reads – 1-18-15 | Lady Liberty 1885

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