Excellent Blog by Sandra Stotsky on HR 5 - Student Success Act

We are grateful to Sandra Stotsky for her very cogent analysis and for cutting through the doubletalk in this memo from the US House leadership on HR 5, The Student Success Act.  This kind of work as well as analysis by many groups across the nation  helped to put the bill on hold temporarily. 

10 Things NCLB/ESEA Supporters Want You to Think About the Student Success Act: A Modification of What Was Issued by House Speaker John Boehner's Office

Prepared by Sandra Stotsky

February 23, 2015 | View Online

Fictional Purposes: This week, the House is set to vote on the Student Success Act, legislation to replace No Child Left Behind and expand opportunity in education so that every student can get ahead  no matter where they're from.  Read the text here, and a fact sheet from the Education & the Workforce Committee here. This measure contains a number of conservative reforms to reduce the federal footprint, restore local control, and empower parents and local leaders to hold schools accountable. 
Actual Purposes: HR 5 deliberately takes away most authority by parents and locally elected school boards, makes departments of education the conduits for federal policy, and does not require states to seek standards that prepare students for a STEM career.
FICTION 1. The bill replaces No Child Left Behind with conservative reforms to restore local control and stop top-down education mandates.  In the absence of congressional action, the Secretary of Education has been using waivers and pet programs to dictate national education policies and increase the federal foothold in the classroom.  The Student Success Act will put a stop to this. 
FACT: The bill removes almost all acts of local control, including what is on the report card local schools give local parents. It doesn't empower parents or local school boards at all. It doesn't allow any school district to opt out of a state's assessment system.
FICTION 2. The bill replaces the current national accountability testing scheme The Student Success Act will establish a state-led accountability system, returning responsibility for measuring performance to states and school districts.
FACT: This state-led system will be identical from state to state and determined by the US ED, because states have to use US ED-approved standards, tests, and other tools IF THEY WANT TITLE I MONEY. It doesn't give states or local school districts any options in the grades and subjects they want tested, even though there is no clear case to be made for the benefits of annual testing in all major subjects, for any students but especially for low-income students.
FICTION 3. The bill eliminates dozens of federal programs and downsizes the education bureaucracy.  All told, the Student Success Act will eliminate more than 65 existing federal programs that have been declared duplicative, ineffective, or were never funded.  It also requires the Secretary of Education to take steps to reduce the department's workforce.

FACT: It may well eliminate 65 existing programs, but it won't give a block grant to the states to let them decide how to use their own Title I money.

FICTION 4. The bill establishes funding flexibility for local school districts The Student Success Act replaces the current maze of programs with a Local Academic Flexible Grant, which allows school leaders to dedicate funding where it's needed most rather than having these decisions dictated by federal bureaucrats. 
FACT: The bill does not specify one single kind of activity or program that local schools can use Title I money for if they so choose. They can't even design their own report cards.
FICTION 5. The bill expands school choice and empowers parents The Student Success Act supports magnet schools, expands high-quality charter schools, and allows Title I funds to follow low-income children to the public or charter school of the parent's choosing.
FACT: Federal mandates attached to Title I also follow the child--and probably by extension the rest of the students in the destination school--so that the child ends up with NO choice in curriculum, instruction, or standards. Whatever the state DoE has been approved for by the US ED is what the vouchered child will have in the new school, no matter what else the parent wants.
FICTION 6. The bill prevents the feds from imposing common standards.   The Student Success Act protects state and local autonomy over decisions by preventing the Secretary of Education from coercing states into adopting Common Core or any other common standards or assessments.
FACT: The bill mandates that state DoE's submit their plans for standards to the US ED, where they will be approved BY US ED-APPOINTED REVIEWERS. The PLANS FOR STATE STANDARDS will all look suspiciously like Common Core because the Common Core-based tests are ready to use and are being used. The bill also mandates who will review these state "plans" and not one academic expert from higher education in the state is to be used.
FICTION 7. The bill repeals federal requirements for teacher quality.  The Student Success Act supports local and state efforts to recruit and retain the best teachers.
FACT: In one of the most blatant acts of dishonesty, the bill eliminates the NCLB stress on teachers demonstrating mastery of the subject content they teach (the only research evidence we have for teacher effectiveness), and simply says they must be "licensed." Most licensure tests for K-8 are at the middle school level and demonstrate no mastery of subject content at all. This is a huge disaster for low-income kids. They will be taught by minimally competent teachers, as will other children. But they will not have parents who can compensate for minimally-knowledgeable teachers. Removal of "licensed" would be consistent with the belief that the federal government should not dictate anything with respect to teacher qualifications.
8. FICTION: The bill supports private sector initiatives The Student Success Act puts aside resources to support state and local programs that operate outside of traditional public school systems, providing a much-needed infusion of private sector innovation.
FACT. Private schools must admit vouchered children who apply and provide them with the "services" they would get in public schools. Private schools are to lose their autonomy, deliberately. There is no language preventing federal mandates from following Title I money.
9. FICTION: The bill boosts transparency and accountability for the Department of Education.  The Student Success Act prevents the Secretary of Education from creating additional burdens on states and districts, and outlines the specific steps the Secretary must take when issuing new regulations so as to maximize public scrutiny.
FACT: There will be no accountability by the states or the federal government for the academic competence of Title I teachers and aides. That is how 90% of Title I money is used.
FICTION 10. The bill empowers parents and taxpayers with meaningful information they can use to hold their schools accountable and ensure that every dollar spent makes a direct and lasting impact for students.
FACT: The bill dictates what local report cards must look like and contain. In no way can parents and their local schools negotiate about the kind of information parents want on their schools' report cards. Nor can parents/local school boards require teacher-made tests of what they teach, to be graded and sent home regularly to parents.  

Posted in Federal Education. Tagged as ESEA, HR 5, SAndra Stotsky, Student Cussess Act.

Ocala Math Teacher Confirms Grave Harm of Common Core Math

Jeanelle Wellhoner, a fifth-grade teacher at College Park Elementary School in Ocala, wrote a an op-ed in the Ocala Star Banner that confirms the experience of parents and students all over the state: Common Core math is destroying the understanding of math and the students and teachers are being set up to fail the upcoming computer adaptive Florida Standards Assessment by the controversial American Institutes for Research (AIR). Here are some heartbreaking and chilling excerpts:

She confirmed that the Florida Standards are just another name for Common Core:

We were told this new way of teaching was going to make you better in math. We were all deceived.This year, I was told to forget everything I have ever learned about teaching. The past eight years of my career and my four years getting my bachelor's degree in elementary education were apparently a waste of time, because this year, the state of Florida told me to do something totally different. It's called Common Core. Parents, you were probably told that Florida has its own standards. That was a lie. We just gave Common Core a different name.

She confirmed that standard teaching methods(algorithms) using the methods that she and most parents had learned were being thrown out:

Here's what I did to you: I taught you three different ways to divide multidigit numbers except the one way everyone else in the world was taught. I tried my best to teach it to you, but since I was never taught this way, I know I confused you quite a bit. When you went home to your mom and dad confused as to how to solve a division problem with pictures and partial quotients, your parents -- out of desperation -- showed you how they were taught. We call that the standard algorithm, which in Common Core is a dirty word in fifth grade.

Among the worst of all, she confirmed that process  is far more important thatn accuracy and that the right answers are marked wrong if not done the Common Core way:
The next day, you came back to school so excited because you got it! You weren't confused anymore. All your answers were correct because you checked them using multiplication.

And then, I did the unthinkable. I gave you a zero because you didn't do it my way, the Common Core way. I told you to use partial quotients, and you didn't. I told you to draw a model, and you didn't. I didn't care that you got them all right. You got your correct answer the wrong way. I watched your face fall and tears well up in your eyes. I felt terrible, but I had to do it because that's how you're going to be tested on division. (Emphasis added).

And then, I expected you to turn improper fractions into mixed numerators, but I didn't teach you the standard algorithm for division, which made it that much more difficult for you. How could I have expected you to do that when I didn't teach you how to divide easily in the first place?

I did this to you with every single math skill I taught. No, you can't do it your parent's way. You must do it my way. My way is the right way; your way is the wrong way. I don't care if your answer is right. I don't care if it doesn't make any sense. I don't care if it takes you 20 minutes per problem instead of one. I watched your self-esteem plummet. (Emphasis added).

Jeb Bush has mocked self-esteem in his various speeches.  Obviously, he doesn't have children or grandchildren who are have to live through Common Core math.

And finally, she explains how developmentally inappropriate the testing will be and that the students will have no chance to practice on the computer to understand how to take the test that they will not be able to completel in the allotted time:

And then, to make matters worse, I'm now going to test you using question-and-answer styles you've never seen before. Instead of multiple choice, you are now going to have to check all that apply. If there are three correct answers and you only pick two of them, you're entire answer is wrong. I'm going to make you draw diagrams and pictures of how you got your answer instead of letting you show your work using the standard algorithm. And they better be done my way. I'm going to make you answer questions that should only take one minute and make sure it takes you 10 minutes. You'll never finish the test in the 80 minutes I'm going to give you. I'm going to make you "drag and drop" and explain your work using words, but I'm not going to give you any practice tests on the computer in this style. Only on paper. I'm saving the computer for the day of testing.
Child psychiatrist, Dr. Gary Thompson gave a fabulous pesentation on the problems with Common Core and the AIR/FSA/SBAC tests: 

Particularly relevent to the math discussion is this slide on the alarming effects of the rambling, incoherent word problems on brain function and learning:


Common Core must be stopped!

URGE A NO VOTE ON HR 5 - NCLB Replacement Continues Federal Control

Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director

The US House Education and Workforce Committee amended and passed its Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind six hundred plus page reauthorization bill on February 11th. (Video, Bill and amendment language are available here). It passed on a straight party line vote and is scheduled to be debated on the House floor on February 24th. The Obama White has already issued a paper criticizing the bill, as well as a veto threat.

Ideally this massive, unconstitutional, ineffective and expensive law would be repealed and the Department of Education would be closed.  Sadly, that is unlikely to happen anytime soon.  Dr. Sandra Stotsky and other friends and experts in the movement issued a statement calling for a major elimination of mandates.

The bill, called The Student Success Act (HR5) was described by committee member and former Alabama State School Board member Bradley Byrne as "a step in the right direction, but still has far to go," because the federal government "needs a large dose of humility" when it comes to education.  We agree!

However, while we oppose this bill as a whole, before discussing the significant issues of concern, it is important to congratulate and thank Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and the committee members that supported good language and fought off bad amendments.  Here are the highlights:
  • The bill contains language found in an anti-Common Core, anti-Federal interference bill call the Local Control of Education Act, HR 524 by committee member Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) and co-sponsored by Florida Republican Reps. Curt Clawson, Tom Rooney, Ron DeSantis, and Ted Yoho,  as well as 43 others.  This language prevents the Secretary of Education from "incentivizing" or "coercing" national standards like Common Core or and national test like SBAC  or PARCC in any federal law or program like waivers.  It is important for preventing future disasters like Common Core.
  • Rep. Steve Russell's amendment to prevent the transfer of individually identifiable student data to the federal government passed and was added to the bill.  That amendment states that "All personal, private student data shall be prohibited from use beyond assessing student performance as provided for in subparagraph (C). The State's annual report shall only use such data as sufficient to yield statistically reliable information, and does not reveal personally identifiable information about individual students."
  • The Committee fought off efforts to amend in a requirement for "college and career ready standards for all students," i.e. Common Core.  Although the Student Success Act does not go far enough, at least the national standards would not imposed for everyone by the law.
  • All of Title IV of NCLB was repealed.  This includes many invasive, ineffective, and expensive education programs   that EdWatch/Education Liberty Watch have been warning about since NCLB passed in 2001.  These include early childhood mental health programs; federally run civic and community service programs; Ready to Learn Television, which basically contains money for propaganda in PBS children's programs like Sesame Street; and the full service schools idea of Arne Duncan and Lamar Alexander.   An effort to put a lot of these back in the bill was defeated.
  •  The majority also defeated an effort to put in universal preschool language.  Education Liberty Watch has chronicled the lack of effectiveness; academic and emotional harm; and high cost of these programs for a very long time, including Head Start and the Race to the Top Early learning Challenge.  We are appreciative to the committee for their work on this.
  • Eliminates unworkable Adequate Yearly Progress provisions These requirements would have made nearly 100% of schools failures. These provisions were the impetus behind the federal waivers that coerced Common Core.
Now, here are the major concerns with the Student Success Act and why we urge a NO votet:
  • Continues the federal mandate that standards "include the same knowledge, skills, and levels of achievement expected of all public school students in the state." This use of cookie cutter standards for every unique child is unacceptable.  Local and duly elected school boards in concert with parents and teachers should set their standards the way it was done prior to 1994 the beginning of federal interference in standards and assessments by the George HW Bush and Bill Clinton administrations.
  • Continues the annual testing requirement  -  HR 5 continues the federal mandate that states test students every year in reading/English and math from grades 3-8 and once in high school require using "the same academic assessments...to measure the academic achievement of all public school students in the state." According to likely pro-Common Core presidential candidate, Jeb Bush, that is the proper role of the federal government in education, continuing the policies of his father and brother.  This denies proper autonomy to local districts and has been ineffective according to much research including a statement signed by over 500 university professors.
  • Portability provision risks inserting federal and Common Core control in private schools The Student Success Act currently has federal Title I funds follow students to the public or charter (also public schools but with less publicly accountable governance) of the family's choice.  An amendment that was offered and withdrawn by Rep. Messer (R-IN) would have allowed that portability to apply to private schools as well.  This should be vehemently opposed because it will likely end up requiring the state public school Common Core tests and therefore the standards on private schools as Indiana's voucher plan already has.  This idea was pushed in Mitt Romney's education plan authored by Jeb Bush during the 2012 campaign which said:
The Romney Administration will work with Congress to overhaul Title I and IDEA so that low-income and special-needs students can choose which school to attend and bring their funding with them. The choices offered to students under this policy will include any district or public charter school in the state, as well as private schools if permitted by state law... To ensure accountability, students using federal funds to attend private schools will be required to participate in the state's testing system. (Emphasis added.)
  • This bill does nothing to deal with psychological manipulation, profiling, and data collection rampant in Common Core and numerous other federal education programs These efforts by the US Department of Education, those behind the Common Core standards and tests, preschool socioemotional teaching and testing by the Head Start program, and admissions by major national organizations are extensively documented in our major research paper and discussion of the issues with the major federal data and research legislation.   It is bad enough that the federal government is involved in education at all, but to then have them involved in the "social and emotional" needs of any citizen as on pages 426 and 508, much less children is not acceptable.
  • The data protection statutes and those involved with student surveys are not yet updated The massive amount and frightening extent of student data collection with no real privacy protection due to the Obama administration's regulatory weakening of the Family Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) passed in 1974 and the large loophole in the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) allowing invasive and psychological profiling through academic curriculum assessments need to be remedied first before any reauthorization.
  • There is potentially dangerous federal involvement in the parental relationship with schools Although well intended and with efforts to prevent coercion, the parental involvement language in Section 118 is yet another area in which the federal government has no authority to be involved.  After all, we have seen how effective federal prohibitions on interference in standards and assessments have been in preventing the whole Common Core debacle. 
  • Students and families need protection against coercion to be labeled and placed on psychotropic medication There has been a tragic trend of labeling children, particularly minority children with behavioral and emotional disorders to improve test scores to make Adequate Yearly Progress and not because of the pressure of high stakes tests for performance pay.   This story of a Florida father's loss of his son due to medication induced side effects after being coerced, which a teacher admits as all too frequent, is heart breaking. Rep. John Kline, chairman of this committee actually sponsored the Child Medication Safety Act in 2005-2006 to try to prevent this coercion and it passed the House 407-12, but was blocked in the Senate. Extensive references and testimony are available from EdWatch/Education Liberty Watch.
  1. Cut Federal Financial Strings with the LEARN Act, HR 121, by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) - Although clearly better than No Child Left Behind, the Student Success Act  still keeps the federal government too much in control of education for which it has no constitutional authority. Rep. Garrett's bill does the following:
"The LEARN Act would give states the option to opt out of No Child Left Behind.  In return, the federal government would provide taxpayers of the opt-out state a tax credit, thereby keeping money in the pockets of taxpayers instead of sending it to Washington, D.C.  This method immediately cuts the authoritative and financial strings of the federal government so that state and local governments can set their own educational standards while ensuring maximum parental involvement."
This legislation was co-sponsored by twenty members in the last Congress, including Florida Reps. Posey and Southerland, who clearly understand that the role of the federal government has to be eliminated or at least greatly reduced.  This legislation should be amended into HR 5 or substituted for it.
  1. Do NOT reauthorize the ESEA until the massive breaches in student and teacher privacy and data security are fixed.
  2. Eliminate the yearly statewide testing requirement and use the NAEP/TIMMS test on a sample of students or at the very least, decrease the statewide testing  requirement in math and reading  to once in elementary, once in middle school and once in high school as is done for science currently .
  3. Refuse to fund any program that psychologically teaches, assesses, or collects data on children under the guise of academics.
  4. Amend in an updated version of the Child Medication Safety Act that prohibits federal funds from going to states or schools that allow parents to be coerced via threat of not receiving academic teaching or a child protection referral if they refuse to put their children on any psychotropic medication The language needs updating from the 2005 version so that children are protected from coercion by ALL psychiatric medications, not just Ritalin and Adderall and any others that are on the DEA's controlled substances lists.  There has been much research and evidence that all of the psychiatric medications have potentially great, if not fatal dangers for children, including suicide and homicide, strokes and heart attacks.
  5. Remove the parental involvement language in Section 118 Parental involvement is a good thing.  Having the federal government anywhere near it is not.  The only exception would be the language that prohibits coercion of parents to have their children developmentally screened or to participate in any preschool program.  This language should be applied to programs for Alaskans, Native Hawaiians, and Native Americans as well.

Posted in Federal Education, Testing. Tagged as AYP, data, Elementary & Secondary Education Act, FERPA, No Child Left Behind, PPRA, privacy, Rep. Bradley Byrne, Rep. Curt Clawson, Rep. John Kline, Rep. Ron DeSantis, Rep. Steve Russell, Rep. Ted Yoho, Rep. Tom Rooney, testing.

Chris Christie Now Has "Grave Concerns" About Common Core

Apparently seeing his poll numbers tank in what is probably a significant part due to his support of Common Core, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has changed his position on the standards. Here is a set of his contrasting statements on Common Core courtesy of the New Jersey Star Ledger:

Here is what he said in 2013 at a charter school
"We are doing Common Core in New Jersey and we're going to continue. And this is one of those areas where I have agreed more with the President than not. And with Secretary Duncan. I think part of the Republican opposition you see in some corners in Congress is a reaction, that knee-jerk reaction that is happening in Washington right now, that if the president likes something the Republicans in Congress don't. If the Republicans in Congress like something, the president doesn't."
And here's what he said Tuesday in Iowa:
"I have grave concerns about the way this has been done, especially the way the Obama administration has tried to implement it through tying federal funding to these things. And that changes the entire nature of it, from what was initially supposed to be voluntary type system and states could decide on their own to now having federal money tied to it in ways that really, really give me grave concerns. So we're in the midst of re-examination of it in New Jersey. I appointed a commission a few months ago to look at it in in light of these new developments from the Obama administration and they're going to come back to me with a report in the next, I think, six or eight weeks, then we're going to take some action. It is something I'm very concerned about, because in the end education needs to be a local issue."

Governors Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee have also changed their positions.  Star-Ledger columnist Tom Moran calls this position change a "flip-flop. Regardless, this now leaves Jeb Bush as the only major potential Republican 2016 presidential candidate who is openly supporting Common Core.  Yet, even Jeb Bush is now studiously avoiding the term Common Core as he and his willing accomplices in the media almost beg people to support him despite his toxic and dangerous support for these academically inferior, developmentally inappropriate and psychologically manipulative standards, ineffective high stakes testing, and invasive data collection system. Time will tell if  Republicans will do that or if they will reject his and his family's long history of top-down, big government fed ed and corporate cronyism.

Posted in Political Aspects of Common Core. Tagged as 2016, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush.

Common Core and Financial Dealings Hurting Jeb Bush in 2016 Polls

Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director

Former governor and potential presidential candidate Jeb Bush will be holding a closed fundraiser and an open education forum tomorrow in Tallahassee.  Many on both sides of the aisle have concerns about that candidacy. He has been protested by anti-Common Core groups and Republican activists. The Florida Bad Ass Teachers (BATs) and the Democrat Party will be protesting the event tomorrow. 

Other potential Repbulican presidential candidates are criticizing Bush's support for Common Core:
  • Ted Cruz was on ABC's This Week and said:
"If he [Bush] chooses to run, it certainly looks like he's going to, he's going to have to make the case to Republican primary voters concerning his record, concerning certainly his support for Common Core, concerning his policies on immigration. And I think we'll have a debate on that," Cruz added. "But at the end of the day, I think Republicans are looking for a leader. What I would urge every Republican thinking about running to do, and this is true of senators, of governors stand up and lead. I'd be thrilled if six months from now we have a half-dozen Republicans standing and leading and making the case that there is a better way we can get back to the free-market principles and constitutional liberties that built this country and made this country a shining city on a hill."
"Local parents, local teachers, local leaders need to make these decisions," Jindal said at a luncheon sponsored by the American Principles Project, a conservative group that has rallied opposition to the Common Core nationwide. "In our entire history as a country, we've never allowed the federal government to make these decisions for us. Now is not the time to start...."

..."Trust these moms," Jindal said. "I have more confidence in the moms in this room than I do in any collection of bureaucrats."

Multiple exposes have been published in recent weeks discussing his questionable education and business dealings.  During that time, Bush dismissed the conservatives in Iowa, the first caucus state in the nation skipping a major gathering of potential presidential candidates.  Several 2016 polls have come out in in the last few weeks since that Iowa Freedom Summit showing that Jeb Bush is having major problems.  Here are some examples:
  • Bloomberg - 2/3 of likely Iowa Caucus goers think Common Core and immigration are deal breakers or would have to think about about those issues when considering Jeb Bush

  • Drudge Among over 440,000 online votes on the Drudge Report website, Bush only managed to garner 4% of the vote, with anti-Common Core potential candidates Governor Scott Walker with 44%, Senator Ted Cruz at 13%, and Senator Rand Paul at 12% dominating the field. Governor Chris Christie, also pro-Common Core only received 1% of that vote.
  • Public Policy Polling -  Jeb Bush is tied for the lead in North Carolina with Scott Walker and Ben Carson, but the polling firm notes a strong rise in Bush negatives since his announcement in December:
This new poll also provides evidence that Jeb Bush has stumbled out of the gate a little bit since announcing in December that he would likely run for President. Before Bush's announcement he had a +44 net favorability rating with North Carolina Republicans at 61/17. In the last 8 weeks that's dropped to just a +13 spread at 45/32. Although Bush has dropped across the board his most pronounced decline has been with 'very conservative' voters, among whom he's gone from 63/19 to 40/37. That may not bode well for how things will go for Bush as his record is further scrutinized. (Emphasis added).
The Washington Post again reviewed the all too cozy connections between Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education and major textbook, testing, and software companies who are reaping or will reap hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars from the Common Core standards, tests, curriculum, and data collection system. Here are some example quotes:
But the foundation, from which Bush resigned as chairman last week as part of his preparations for a possible White House bid, has been criticized as a backdoor vehicle for major corporations to urge state officials to adopt policies that would enrich the companies.

The foundation has, for instance, pushed states to embrace digital learning in public schools, a costly transition that often requires new software and hardware. Many of those digital products are made by donors to Bush's foundation, including Microsoft, Intel, News Corporation, Pearson PLC and K12 Inc.

The foundation has helped its corporate donors gain access to state education officials through a committee called Chiefs for Change, composed of as many as 10 officials from mostly Republican-led states who convene at the foundation's annual meeting. The meetings include private two-hour gatherings with the chiefs and company executives.
The article also covered the foundation's close ties to Pearson, the textbook and testing giant with ties to Libya and publisher of extremely biased pro-Islamic textbooks, and other education corporations. Pearson's World History textbook has been the subject of much controversy in Marion, Volusia, Palm Beach, and Charlotte counties. The Pearson text is the most conservative of the three and yet it has 36 pages of Islam and only a paragraph or two each about Christianity and Judaism.
The foundation has, for instance, pushed states to embrace digital learning in public schools, a costly transition that often requires new software and hardware. Many of those digital products are made by donors to Bush's foundation, including Microsoft, Intel, News Corp., Pearson PLC and K12 Inc...

...In most of the states where the education chiefs have worked closely with the foundation, K12 Inc. and Pearson have established virtual charter schools, in which students take their courses online and tax money flows to the companies.

Jeff Kwitowski, a spokesman for K12 Inc., wrote in an e-mail that the company, based in Herndon, Va., donates to Bush's foundation because it shares a goal of "expanding opportunities for children and choices for parents."

Brandon Pinette, a spokesman for Pearson, declined to answer questions about whether the company has benefited from its relationship with Bush's foundation. He said the company has a "long, proud history of investing in and across the U.S., and this work includes a sponsorship of a variety of education organizations focused on improving learning."

Bowen, who resigned as Maine's education commissioner in 2013, said in an interview that donors to Bush's foundation did not have "unusual" access to state decision-makers. But he acknowledged that the intertwining of policy and corporate interests is a reality of how education policy is crafted.

The article also discusses various other large education corporations that donated to Bush's foundation that included:
Bush is a rare remaining GOP champion of the Common Core, and his foundation has secured $5.2 million since 2010 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the primary funder of the campaign to promote the standards...

... Among the top donors in 2014, giving $500,000 to $1 million, was News Corporation, which owns a firm called Amplify that markets tablets, software and data analysis to school districts. News Corp. chief executive Rupert Murdoch delivered a keynote speech to the Bush foundation's annual meeting in 2011, when Amplify rolled out its tablet, saying it was time to "tear down an education system designed for the 19th century and replace it with one suited for the 21st."

The donor lists show that the foundation has drawn funding from a wide range of sources, including Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charity arm of former New York mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I), and the Walton Family Foundation, a major backer of charter schools.

The Leona M. & Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust gave the foundation $2.3 million in 2013, primarily because of its advocacy for digital education and the Common Core, said Rich McKeon, its education program director...

...Corporate donors also include Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a large testing company, [Note: This company is the publisher of Go Math which is used extensively for Common Core math teaching and PARCC test prep in Florida even though Florida has switched to the Florida Standards Assessment by the American Institutes for Research] and the Educational Testing Service, which administers advanced-placement tests and English proficiency tests and has $43 million in contracts to develop tests connected to the Common Core. Another donor, McGraw Hill Education, sells math and reading programs and classroom materials aligned to the Common Core standards, among other products.
Another article by Bloomberg, titled Jeb Bush has a Mitt Romney problem, discussed Bush's other financial dealings, including with failed Lehman brothers and a Communist Chinese conglomerate and how they will likely hurt him in a presidential campaign:
Documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Nov. 27 list Bush as chairman and manager of a new offshore private equity fund, BH Global Aviation, which raised $61 million in September, largely from foreign ­investors. In November the fund ­incorporated in the United Kingdom and Wales­--a structure, several independent finance lawyers say, that operates like a tax haven by allowing overseas investors to avoid U.S. taxes and regulations.

BH Global Aviation is one of at least three such funds Bush has launched in less than two years through his Coral Gables, Fla., company, Britton Hill Holdings. He's also chairman of a $26 million fund, BH Logistics, established in April with backing from a Chinese conglomerate, and a $40 million fund involved in shale oil exploration, according to documents filed in June and first ­reported on by Bloomberg News...

...In the wake of Romney's bruising 2012 loss, however, Bush's overseas funds, mysterious investors, and foreign entanglements could prove harder to overcome. As a budding private equity mogul, he's begun to resemble a Mini-Mitt. Bush declined to be interviewed for this article.

"Running as the second coming of Mitt Romney is not a credential that's going to play anywhere, with Republicans or Democrats," says John Brabender, a Republican consultant and veteran of presidential campaigns. "Not only would this be problematic on the campaign trail, I think it also signals someone who isn't seriously looking at the presidency or he wouldn't have gone down this path..."

...Soon after his tenure as governor ended, Bush became an adviser to Lehman Brothers and, later, Barclays. As Lehman faltered during the 2008 financial crisis, he was called upon to use his family connections to try and broker a rescue from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. The plan, code-named Project Verde, was unsuccessful. At one point, according to testimony in Lehman's bankruptcy case, Lehman Chief Executive Officer Richard Fuld considered asking Bush to have his brother, President George W. Bush, intervene on the ­company's behalf with the British ­government, which was blocking a potential merger with a British bank...

...In turn, Bush and his partners get a chance to profit from China's insatiable appetite for energy. On July 25, Dorian ­announced a "memo of understanding" with HNA Group and explained in a presentation to investors that this would "enhance Dorian LPG's access to the Chinese market and Chinese LPG importers, ­significantly ­improving its access in this growing market..."

...Bush's newest fund, BH Global ­Aviation, is his largest and most complicated. It deepens his financial ties to China and Hainan. Controlled by Bush through a U.S. holding company, it's set up to receive money from foreign investors.  (Emphasis added).

The Florida Stop Common Core Coalition will continue to join with organizations across the country to make sure that primary voters in every state understand especially the education concerns related to Jeb Bush's potential presidential candidacy.

Posted in Political Aspects of Common Core. Tagged as 2016, Chris Christie, Foundation for Excellence in Education, Gates Foundation, Harcourt, HNA Group, Jeb Bush, Pearson, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz.

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