"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Corporate Welfare Venture Fund Specialist to Lead Duncan's "Race Over the Cliff" Fund

With $5 billion burning a hole in his pocket and with the ed industry leeches like Whittle lined up at the feeding trough and with the Oligarchs tapping their sharp pencils on the edge of their desks, Arne announced yesterday that a bundler from the corporate tax evasion outfit, the New Schools Venture Fund (NSVF), would be in charge of handing out the dough.  

NSVF is a "non-profit" clearinghouse of sorts for corporate cash looking to generate tax credits in ways that shape social policy to benefit the corporate ideology of unrestrained greed.  Does the appointee know anything about schools?  No, but she's from Princeton.  It should be quite a party:
May 19, 2009
Contact: John White, (202) 401-1576,john.white@ed.gov

Citing a track record of innovative ideas with rapid and effective implementation, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that Joanne Weiss will lead development of the "Race to the Top Fund" to catalyze innovation and restore America's global leadership in public K-12 education.

Weiss has a record of success in investment strategy and management assistance that includes a portfolio of investment ventures at the New Schools Venture Fund, a national nonprofit venture philanthropy firm, during the last eight years. She also led the organization's research agenda and oversaw operations.

"Recruiting successful professionals from the entrepreneurial community is one way we will change the culture and our way of doing business at the Department of Education," Secretary Duncan said during a videoconference today with the audience at the annual NewSchools Venture Fund annual Summit in Pasadena, Calif. "We may never have an opportunity like this again to dramatically improve our country's educational system with huge investments in a few strategic areas to make changes that are deep and foundational."

"Joanne will help us push a strong reform agenda that is entrepreneurial in spirit, providing carrots and sticks, to change the way we do business, and fundamentally turn around underperforming schools in ways that last for decades," Duncan said.

Throughout her career, Weiss has helped to pioneer innovative work to increase the effectiveness of teaching and learning processes. Prior to joining NewSchools Venture Fund, she was CEO of Claria Corporation, an e-services recruiting firm that helped emerging-growth companies build teams quickly and well. Weiss has spent 20 years in the design, development, and marketing of technology-based products and services for education. She was senior vice president of product development at Pensare, an e-learning company that created business innovation programs for the Fortune 500 market. Prior to Pensare, she was co-founder, interim CEO, and vice president of products and technologies at Academic Systems, a company that helps hundreds of thousands of college students prepare for college-level work in mathematics and English.

Weiss holds a degree in biochemistry from Princeton University.


  1. In my investigations over the past several months, Joanne Weiss has appeared as a member on the Board of Directors of all kinds of related organizations.

    She's on the board of one of my local CMO's (Education for Change), one which was started by an OUSD administrator "on-leave" from the district under our Broad-trained regime. She appears on the board of Revolution Foods, a company that is essentially trying to privatize school food services here in the Bay Area. She is also on Green Dot's Board of Directors.

    Wouldn't this be some sort of conflict of interest?

    They're all in cahoots, and probably all have wet pants. It's all about educational entrepreneurship and MBA's. There's hardly a true academic in sight.

    Arne Duncan was such a dreadful, dreadful pick.

    I can't look at Obama's image now without having a strong feeling that those of us who care about public education have been betrayed.

  2. More good research!

    Thanks, PP.

    Upon inspection, one finds that what
    appears to be a well-oiled machine, is indeed
    a well-oiled machine.

    As you said:

    "It's all about educational entrepreneurship and MBA's".

    Just like Jesus said:

    "Grab the bucks and runneth!"

    Uh, he DID say that, right?

  3. The Broad Foundation gives huge amounts of money to the NewSchools Venture Fund (formerly known as the New Schools Fund) and directs them to use it for specific projects.

    2002: $530,000 to support the Charter Accelerator Fund which promotes the expansion of non-profit CMO's

    2003: $470,000 to support the expansion of CMO's

    2004: $700,000 for Green Dot, $500,000 to use as scale up grants for CMO's, $1,500,000 for Aspire Pubic Schools, a CMO in CA

    2005: $1,860,000 to support incubation and development of CMO's

    2006: $650,000 as above

    2007: $40,000 for policy research and development, $30,000 for the 21st Century Summit, $25,500 for [Thm?] Contract Research Project, and $3,500,000 for the support and development of eight CMO's.

    Broad Foundation EIN = 954686318

    Also, in 2006 NSVF CEO/Board Member Ted Mitchell was paid $480K and COO Joanne Weiss was paid $228K.