On March 6, the Oakland Tribune’s education reporter wrote about a performance pay award which had just been given to two
The article reminded readers that the
Being wary about how things are being manipulated these days, my antennae perked up when I read the words “Effective Practice Incentive Community.” This is just the type of lingo which today's public education destroyers tend to use for their initiatives.
In a press release from New Leaders for New Schools (NLNS), I learned that EPIC (Effective Practice Incentive Community) is “funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF), school district and charter school partners, AND private philanthropic funders.” The Oakland Tribune reporter left out an important detail.
I haven’t yet researched who exactly those “private philanthropic funders” might be, but looking at the NLNS Board of Director members list reveals the usual edu-philanthro-manipulate-preneur billionaires and company:
- Josh Bekenstein, Managing Director, Bain Capital, LLC
- James A. Bell, Corporate President & Chief Financial Officer, The Boeing Company
- John E. Deasy,
Program, Education, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Deputy Director, US
- Domenic Ferrante, Managing Director, Bain Capital, LLC
- Libia Gil, Senior Fellow, American Institutes for Research
- Kevin Hall (Board Observer), Chief Operating Officer, The Broad Foundation
- Barbara Hyde, President, J.R. Hyde III Family Foundation
- John King, Managing Director of Excellence & Preparatory Networks, Uncommon Schools; Founding Co-director, Roxbury Preparatory
- Vanessa Kirsch, President and Founder, New Profit Inc.
- S. Joshua Lewis (Board Chair), Founder & Managing Partner,
- Sandra Licón (Board Observer), Policy Officer, US Program Advocacy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- Lory Pilchik (Board Observer), Portfolio Director, US Education, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
- Jonathan Schnur, CEO & Co-Founder, New Leaders for New Schools
- Naomi O. Seligman, Senior Partner, Ostriker von Simson, Inc.
- James Shelton, Program Director, Education, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- Joanne Weiss, Partner and Chief Operating Officer, New Schools Venture Fund
The paths of these ultra-powerful people and their friends crisscross before the future of our nation's public education, again, and again, and again.
“New Leaders for New Schools today announced they have formally selected the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) as a partner district, and have also entered into a new partnership with the statewide California Charter Schools Association. These two major initiatives will have a great impact on education in the Bay Area and, over time, throughout
. This is first in a series of national New Leaders’ announcements throughout the country this month. California
New Leaders also announced a major grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which will support this work along with $200,000 from local funders, and $75,000 from the CA Charter Schools Association.”
It's been relatively recently that the billionaires, investors and businessmen have become so interested in getting involved with public education, and the "Why Now?" intrigues me. Their care and attention to the welfare of urban public school children could have been used many decades ago.
I posted my findings above in the article’s comments section of Katy Murphy’s blog. Today, I noticed that Jose, a regular comment-submitter to the online Education Report and a sharp, recent high school grad, had posted this simple question:
Why is Lighthouse Charter school getting money with such low academic scores on the state test?
So I thought I’d poke around some more. Here’s what I discovered in about three hours. (Remember the old days when news agencies were healthy and were likely to have a staff of investigative journalists who would try to get to the truth?)
If one goes to the
Now, if one goes to the website of the
In 2006, this foundation gave $50,000 to the California Charter Schools Association and $30,000 to New Leaders for New Schools. Remember the connections these organizations have to the EPIC award? The foundation also gave $25,000 to the
The T. Gary & Kathleen Rogers Family Foundation (Dreyer’s Ice Cream, etc.) has regularly given money to Aspire Public Schools, the charter management organization which sponsors
By the way, the Aspire Public Schools organization has a very strong charter school presence in
In 2006, the Rogers Foundation gave Aspire $65,000 for Millsmont. It also gave them $30,000 in 2005 (for L. Wilson and Millsmont), and $25,000 in 2004 (for Monarch).
The Rogers Foundation gives a lot of money away to a variety of schools, but not directly to many of the standard OUSD type, most certainly because few (or zero) people at the regular school sites have the gobs of time or know-how to write grants, nor are they correctly “connected.” That year the foundation, however, did give the Oakland Small Schools Foundation money for literacy programs at four sites: $10,000 for BIT/Castlemont, $20,000 for Think College Now Elementary, $10,000 for ASCEND, and $10,000 for EXCEL). They also gave $10,000 to Oakland Tech’s PTSA, $10,000 to
The foundation also gives to organizations that connect with OUSD. In 2006, the Oakland Small Schools Foundation received $30,000 for “general support,” HEROES (OUSD’s now defunct volunteer office) got $10,000, and the Marcus A. Foster Educational Institute got $40,000 (for something listed as the "OUSD Board of Education project").
By the way, Brian Rogers was quite involved with "Expect Success!" when it was going strong. That’s the
Now just expand the scale of what’s going on in
I hope it's clear to you by now that the charter school pushers are a wealthy force with millions, I daresay billions, to spend on propaganda and their charter schools. Shiny baubles of “new and improved” are dangled before parents eyes, which makes the schools very tempting to them. Without having even yet opened their doors, the charter schools are made to appear to outshine the regular public schools.
These pushers have been planting charter schools for years now, targeting low-income communities of color and extracting the most educationally-engaged parents who live in them. Some people still think their only motive is to "help" the families in those communities, but if that was the case, why didn't these supposed do-gooders use their massive amounts of money and know-how to help the traditional public schools before now? Think of how many beneficial things they could have accomplished.
No, the primary purpose of this movement was never to "help" families and children; it was to gain control over a huge piece of the public pie. And if you're wondering about who will be running the schools of those communities in the future, sometime just take a look at the members on the boards of directors of both the charter schools – and of the extensive network of foundations which support them. It will give you the general idea.
Ultimately, elected school boards will no longer need to exist in cities like