Common Core Potemkin Village: Hope Street Group – Money and History

Yesterday, I started writing about a Common Core non-profit focused currently on teachers and training.  That non-profit is called Hope Street Group.

I realized right out of the gate that Hope Street Group was going to be a multi-article project I’d have to break into chunks. So, today we’re going to take a look at the history, the players involved and follow the money

Hope History
According to their website, they were founded in 2003. Hope Street Group takes its name literally — South Hope Street, Los Angeles.

The group claims their objectives are as follows:

This group believed that by infusing diverse understanding and expertise into economic challenges, we could dramatically improve access to opportunity. Since our founding, we have worked diligently to apply this model and incorporate the application of innovation and technology to the education, health, and jobs sectors.

Check out their “impact” in education, health and jobs. At the bottom of each page of those three topics is a link to see ‘previous projects’. GO LOOK.

According to the Hope Street Group’s 2003 IRS 990 filing their objective was, “To expand economic opportunity to all people”.

The original board of directors in 2003 as listed in the 990 filing:

I recommend readers Google some of these original board names.

For example, the Chairman and co-founder, Mr. Auguste has a bio that was archived at the US Dept. of Education which gave some history on his long career with McKinsey and Company.

Auguste’s LinkedIn profile tells how long and includes an almost two year position with the White House. The LinkedIn profile skips a related White House council membership bio, which includes two big Common Core players:

Mr. Auguste also serves on the Board of Directors of the Pacific Council on International Policy, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Board of Trustees of the Center for American Progress, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Auguste is also involved with “New America“, or the New America Foundation (NAF). NAF is a non-profit composed of a who’s who of big money, big business and big politicians. While claiming to be non-partisan, it’s clearly not. See the second half of the article, The Clinton Core Standards for more on NAF.

History Of Big Data Love
Some of the legwork on the history and who’s who of Hope Street Group has been done already by another blog site, ‘Educational Alchemy’, in a 2013 blog post titled, The Road to Hell Is Paved by Hope Street.

Clearly, by that title, Educational Alchemy is not a fan of Hope Street Group. After reading their article, it is easy to see why.

Educational Alchemy saw one of the same warning signs I did – the love of data, data and more data. In particular, the blog post makes a series of connections all tied to McKinsey. Remember the original Chairman of Hope Street was a McKinsey man:

David Coleman, President of College Board and chief architect for Common Core was formerly an Associate as McKinsey.Sir Michael Barber now Chief Education Advisor at Pearson is former partner and head of McKinsey global education (in 2005) practice for McKinsey,and its unofficial motto could be his own: “Everything can be measured, and what is measured can be managed.”

If you think this all a coincidence I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

Please read the whole thing and pay attention to the ‘network’ section. Note two of the names, Jon Schnur and Bob Wise.

Schnur has direct North Carolina ties.  Schnur and a fellow named John Lassiter were instrumental in getting Teach for America alum Eric Guckian into the North Carolina Governor’s mansion as McCrory’s education adviser.

Schnur then took off for Washington, D.C. to be a “a senior advisor to President Obama’s presidential transition team and to U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan.”  [Read More About Schnur’s NC Ties]

Bob Wise is the man behind Alliance for Excellent Education, is a pal of Jeb Bush’s and also gets buckets of Gates grants. I just wrapped up a series on the Common Core tied Digital Learning push going on in North Carolina — which tracks back to Mr. Wise.
[Read More about Bob Wise: Down the Digital Rabbit Hole part one, part two, part three]

By the way, Martin Scaglione, the current President and CEO of Hope Street was the President, COO Workforce Development at ACT.  The Director of education engagement and training has 3 years of classroom experience… in Kindergarten.

Hope Money
Office Space NGOThis 2003 filing also showed they had about $65k in revenue in the form of gifts, grants and contributions.

The group’s revenue stream didn’t do well for the first four years, but then took a big leap between 2005 and 2006.

Via the available Hope Street Group’s IRS 990 filings, I’ve managed to timeline their revenue history.  Note that in parentheses next to each year/amount is the grant amount total the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave them that calendar year.

2003 – $65,102
2004 – $28,083
2005 – $55,169
2006 – $269,607
2007 – $877,573
2008 – $971,020  ($225,000)
2009 – $1,184,509  ($925,111)
2010 – $653,213
2011 – $912,169  ($975,000)
2012 – $2,046,598
2013 – $2,187,746  ($950,548 and $100,000)

Hope Street Group’s IRS filings from a ten-year period starting in 2003  and running through 2013 show an overall revenue stream total of $4,988,362.

In seven years, starting in 2008 and running through 2015, Hope Street has received $6,440,864 from Bill Gates.

Beyond 2013, Hope Street received three grants in 2014 and one in 2015 so far.  The total for these four grants is $3,265,205.   View all of the grants.

Given these totals matched with the revenue reported by Hope Street Group, it might be safe to say that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is Hope Street’s biggest donor in the group’s  “Funders” list — by far.

Funders with Common Core histories that stand out in that list are Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education, William and Flora Hewlitt Foundation, WalMart, New Venture Fund and The Joyce Foundation.

There’s still more to get into with Hope Street.  I’ll be revisiting the Teacher Voice Network and the “Common Core Teacher Playbook” in the next article.


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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