An Update On #CommonCore Potemkin Village Resident: Hope Street Group

CCSS Equals MoneyThis past June, I wrote a two-part series on the latest resident of the Common Core Potemkin Village: Hope Street Group.

The flavor of Hope Street Group is similar to that of Teach for America and their offshoot, Leadership for Educational Equity.

Quick recap:

  • Founding members have direct ties to the Dept. of Education and McKinsey.
  • Majority of their funding has come from all the big businesses pushing Common Core, namely the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Also, see the The Teacher Common Core Playbook.
  • Creation of a ‘Teacher Voice Networks’ – Main purpose seems to be pro-Common Core/pro-testing/pro-data sound bite machines which will utilize social media to leverage their narratives. Watch out for the buzzword, ‘equity’.
  • NC Dept. of Public Instruction entered into a partnership with Hope Street Group in March, 2015.
  • We’ve already seen the ‘Teacher Voice Network’ in action in NC with ‘just a math teacher’ Kim Arwood and her pal, Trey Ferguson?  Ferguson is one of the new “NC Teacher Voice Network Fellows“.

See my prior articles for more details:

Also see:  The Road to Hell Is Paved by Hope Street

Time for an update
Hope Street Group’s main website currently has an article up that consists of an interview with NC’s Superintendent and the current Council of Chief State School Officers president, Dr. June Atkinson.

The interview centers around the idea of “the role educators have in preparing the next generation of America’s workforce.”  Silly me, I thought educators were supposed to be giving students an education.

Some highlights from the article with some commentary from me below each one:

“Now as state superintendent, I find it very important to have a connection with businesses in North Carolina through the North Carolina Business Committee for Education, through BestNC, and through the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce. It’s important for public education to have business support because business people are also parents. Working with businesses is a way to get a double impact.”

Dr. Atkinson has been singularly minded in regard to ‘connections’ by listening to businesses and think tanks above the parental concerns of the general public.
BEST NC mention is unsurprising.

In fact, after the latest Common Core Academic Standards Review Commission meeting, she had this to say in a video clip embedded at WNCNIt’s very difficult to move away from a standard for which we hear business and industry and our universities and community college say, ‘these are standards that our children need in order to be successful’.” 


“There are many ways that teachers and teacher voice can be used to address educational equity. I believe teachers need to share their voice in their own communities, with their own friends, and with their own sphere of social interaction.”

Define equity.  Define ‘voice’.
It seems to me equity is a buzzword of convenience and voice is any voice that lines up with Dr. Atkinson’s desired narratives – particularly when it comes to Common Core.


“Another way teacher voice can help is by using social media in a very professional way. I like Twitter a lot. If we had out 96,000 teachers in North Carolina putting on Twitter at least one success every single week, can you imagine the impact we would have?”

Atkinson likes Twitter a lot?
She must be a glutton for punishment then, since she’s been taking heat from citizens on it and has resorted to condescension in her responses.

Imagine the impact?
Here she is promoting getting teachers on Twitter, yet most of them are afraid to even have a Facebook page for fear they might get fired over a status message? Oh but wait, they’d be tweeting things she approves of, right? That’s not having an impact, that’s propaganda.


“The other way is as follows: teachers need to vote. It matters greatly who is elected as local Boards of Education, County Commissioners, General Assembly members, State Supreme Court members, and to the Court of Appeals.”

Is Dr. Atkinson saying teachers don’t vote? Oh no wait, she’s saying it matters that people are elected that will support her agenda items. Never mind.


“I see Hope Street’s partnership with NCDPI as an excellent example of pollination. There aren’t enough people in the Department of Public Instruction to pollinate across NC all of the great ideas and great work. I see Hope Street as a being a part of the ‘family of bees.’”

Pollination.  Bees.
Dr. Atkinson looks at Hope Street Group as her pet hive?  Oh dear.



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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