Educrats, Ed Reformers and their well-funded Potemkin Villages

Common Core supporters are ginning up their own love of Common Core – again.
The echo-chamber of Common Core support is swinging into action via an ever-increasing proliferation of ‘education non-profits’.

CCSS Equals MoneyThese ‘education non-profits’ receive grants and contributions from other ‘education non-profits’, who receive money from other ‘education non-profits’ and so on.

The idea is to create a web or network of Common Core supporting groups to give the appearance that support for the standards is bigger than it actually is.

This creation and funding of multiple supporting groups are much like a Potemkin village. They are used, in essence, to carpet bomb opposition. This is a common political tactic used during election cycles to sway public opinion.

If one really looks closely at the web, one will find central donors such as the Lumina Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Hewlitt Foundation and Carnegie Foundation. To trace all of the connections takes time and patience.

To trace these connection one must employ what I call the W&B model — or Woodward and Bernstein model. Most people might refer to my W&B model this model as ‘follow the money’.

I’ve been following the money for almost 4 years now and have amassed files on over 220 ‘education non-profits’. The vast majority of them track back to Bill Gates.

The Washington Post has an article up titled, Gates Foundation pours millions more into Common Core.  This article is an excellent example of following the money.

The article notes that Gates has just dumped more than $10 million more into Common Core support; that is on top of the over $3 billion dollars already invested since 2009.

The article also connects a dot and follows the money. Emphasis added is mine:

Opposition to the Core has grown stronger this year with the rise of the opt-out movement, in which hundreds of thousands of parents around the country are opting their children out of Core-aligned standardized testing.  The attacks on the Core — which include moves by some states to repeal them and create new standards — have alarmed supporters, some of whom have been pushing back against the criticism. That explains a letter that a nonprofit group called Children Now just released,  disseminated via e-mail that had a subject line that says, “At critical juncture 500 California organizations affirm support for Common Core.Not so incidentally, Children Now has received at least $2  million from the Gates Foundation since 2011.

The Washington Post article continues and lists the recent grants from Bill Gates’s Foundation. North Carolinians who have been paying attention to the NC Academic Standards Review Commission (ASRC) will see a familiar name: WestED.

Date: April 2015
Purpose: RFP for teacher networks, designed to deepen the implementation of the Common Core by leveraging effective tools and strategies; teacher leaders capable of scaling them to teachers in national and local networks; and network/system partnerships
Amount: $3,510,000
Term: 21
Topic: College-Ready
Program: United States
Grantee Location: San Francisco, California
Grantee Website:

At the March ASRC meeting, Co-Chair Covil asked Dr. Kevin Perks of WestEd about his company’s ties to Common Core and funding by the Gates Foundation. It looks like her raising that question with Perks was spot on.

WestEd is also tied to another ‘education non-profit’ funded by Gates’s Foundation. Remember Mission: Readiness? The retired military leaders pushing Common Core in a series of op-ed’s in various states, including North Carolina?   Mission Readiness’s op-eds were informed by research provided by WestEd.

Mission: Readiness is part of a multi-pronged collection of ‘education non-profit’ groups who have been promoting Common Core. At the center of these groups is Council For a Strong America, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Since Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE) is a major broker in the Common Core Potemkin Villages, it is worth noting that Jeb Bush is still flailing about.

Related Reading

Pearson Is Everywhere: The ‘Turn Around’ Schools Program (More WestEd ties)

Is the Urgent Need for CCSS Based STEM Education & H-1B Visa Expansion a Lie and Another Debunked PR Talking Point?

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 Educrats, Ed Reformers and their well-funded Potemkin Villages

  1. Pingback: DOJ ‘Lord of The Flies’ Style ‘Courts’ and Common Core Tied WestEd | Lady Liberty 1885

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