Apparently BEST NC’s PR firm, EducationNC, isn’t high-profile enough to get the right amount of spin out.
The News and Observer had to be called in to do a cloying op-ed praising them. It starts out slapping around Republicans and then offers BEST NC as the solution.
At the top of the article, emphasis added:
“The alliance of businesses, educators, government officials and foundations is helping to raise the goals for North Carolina’s education system.”
Read it here and be sure to check out the comments.
This op-ed, of course, is setting the stage for when Rep. Graig Meyer rolls out his ‘big bill’. It is more narrative driving of education by a non-governmental organization or NGO.
BEST NC is an NGO; An unelected and publicly unaccountable entity. NGO’s give their work validity by pulling in elected officials and getting news outlets to give them credibility. At the end of the day, it is still the Chamber of Commerce getting what they want of education; just like Common Core.
I was surprised this section was included in the News and Observer PR piece:
The Best NC push is based on an effort that worked well in Massachusetts. Starting 26 years ago, the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education set a reform vision it summarizes as: “All students can, and must, be better educated; schools must meet higher standards and be held accountable for performance.” The group helped pass Massachusetts’ 1993 Education Reform Act and the results have been impressive. The Bay State’s education system is ranked as the best in the nation.
Tennessee has launched a similar effort – State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) – and is now credited with having the nation’s fastest improving schools.
Both the Mass. Business Alliance for Ed (MBAE) and SCORE have been identified as being arms of the Chambers of Commerce there; both drove Common Core in their areas.
I’d like to know where N&O got the idea that SCORE was responsible for the ‘nations fastest improving schools’. There is no proof of such other than on the SCORE website.
The MBAE is also a Bill Gates grant recipient, but for far less.
The largest grant for MBAE was in 2013 for $250k to, “to fund a study of Massachusetts’ current K-12 system and how it compares to public education systems in other states and nations that consistently achieve high levels of student performance“.
That grant description kind of sounds JUST like what BEST NC is doing.
I looked for a Gates grant for BEST NC, but didn’t find one.
So who is funding their ‘vision’ and/or study? Ask them.
Also, ask yourself: What does the Dept. of Public Instruction do in our state other than farm out most of their jobs to NGO’s?