Page 87 is called "New Advocates, New Ideas" in the print version but online it's titled "The Education Upstarts."
Let me just say that I applaud the online title as being interesting if not entirely apt. Perhaps definition number two fits, but I doubt if any of the parties detailed in Brown's piece (and rather differently detailed below) could be described as coming out of humble origins.
But perhaps it is Rachel Brown who is an "upstart." Let's take a quick look at our ostensible "author." The Atlantic helpfully discloses Brown's bias and in so doing discloses its own.
Rachael Brown works for Bellwether Education Partners, a nonprofit organization that aims to improve educational outcomes for low-income students. (Note: Bellwether works with Stand for Children, and one of Brown's colleagues is on the board of Democrats for Education Reform.)
RACHAEL BROWN is an associate with Bellwether Education Partners, a non-profit organization working to improve educational outcomes for low-income students. Before joining Bellwether, Rachael was an associate editor with The Atlantic, and coordinated digital strategy for Strong American Schools’ ED in ’08 campaign. She previously taught high school English with the District of Columbia Public Schools as a Teach for America corps member, receiving the Symantec Award for Innovation in Teaching in 2007. She has written about education for The Atlantic, The Guardian, and National Journal, among other outlets. Rachael holds an MA from American University and a bachelor of fine arts from Emerson College.
Let's look at a Bellwether partner and co-founder, Mary K. Wells. This will need no comment:
MARY K. WELLS is a co-founder and partner at Bellwether Education Partners, a non-profit organization working to improve educational outcomes for low-income students. Prior to co-founding Bellwether, she established an independent consulting practice serving education reform organizations with a focus on growth strategy, partnership opportunities, business planning, organizational development, and implementation planning. Recent clients include the Denver School of Science and Technology, Teach Plus, YES Prep Public Schools, and the New Teacher Project.
Ms. Wells has worked as a private sector consultant, an investor, and a nonprofit executive. From 2005 to 2007, she designed, launched, and managed the Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) Initiative for the Texas High School Project. T-STEM is a $71 million initiative to improve the quality of math and science education in Texas and to expand the pipeline of highly skilled employees qualified for careers in the economy of the 21st century. She also managed the New Schools portfolio for the Texas High School Project, which included investments in high-performing charter schools and school developers.
Ms. Wells brings extensive experience from the private sector. She was a manager and consultant with Bain & Company, where she worked primarily with Fortune 500 companies on growth strategy, new business development, and post-merger integration issues. She was with Bain & Company for over seven years. During that time, she advised Boston Public Schools on the creation and implementation of small learning communities within their comprehensive high schools on a pro bono basis.Mary has been a busy little privateer! These insidious connections serve to strengthen our understanding that the forces "innovating" our educational systems are simply "innovating" careers out of children, out of lives that have no knowledge of their status as raw material for the edu-production line, and no ability to "stand for" themselves against the duplicitous greed of the Bain-ites, like Mary Wells.
But the guy who must sell the most tickets at Bellwether is co-founder Andrew J. Rotheraham who writes a column serving corporate reform at Time Magazine. Here's one of his recent columns praising the corporate funding of reform, "Can GE Bring Common Core Standards To Life?" (cute) that seems tailor-made to illustrate Paul Goodman's explanation of our "empty society" delivered 50 years ago in his Massey Lectures.
...the GE Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the multinational General Electric Company, announced a landmark $18 million investment to support state implementation of the new Common Core standards and train teachers how to use them. It is sure to set off alarm bells among critics of education reform who worry that too many companies are trying to treat school productivity like a business problem. But the truth is the GE gift is a reminder of how rare meaningful corporate involvement actually is....
But while plenty of business dollars flow into education, privatization is a sideshow, and, as a rule, corporations are skittish about taking on the really contentious issues in education reform....
So forget all the rhetoric about corporate education reform, since no one can really define what it means anyway. And forget, for a moment, whether you agree with the Common Core project. When school reform gets tough, mettle and commitment from companies is pretty rare.
Here's Goodman, and remember, this was 50 years ago...nothing new under the sun.
Just now, General Electric and Time, Inc., that owns a textbook house, have put nearly 40 millions into a joint subsidiary called General Learning. And an editor of Life magazine has been relieved of his duties for five weeks, in order to prepare a prospectus on the broad educational needs of America and the world, to come up with exciting proposals, so that General Learning can move with purpose into this unaccustomed field. The editor has collected and is boning up on the latest High Thought on education, and in due course he invites me to lunch, to pick my brains for something new and radical. "The sky," he assures me, "is the limit."..."Perhaps," he tells me at lunch, "there is no unique place for General Learning. They'll probably end up as prosaic makers of school hardware. But we ought to give it a try."
Consider the premises of this odd situation, where first they have the organization and the technology, and then they try to dream up a use for it....The competence required is to have a big organization and sales force, and to be in, to have the prestige and connections plausibly to get the subsidy. Usually it is good to have some minimal relation to the ostensible function, e.g., a textbook subsidiary related to schooling...or learning. But indeed, when an expanding corporation becomes very grand, it generates an expertise of its own called Systems Development, applicable to anything....
There is an extensive post on Edelman at The Common Errant: "The Harthouse Exemplar."
What: DFER inspires rich people to use Bill Clinton’s New Market Tax Credits to lend money to corporate run charter schools which use taxpayers’ money to pay back the loan with interest, increasing the hedge fund managers’ money double fold in a matter of a few years.
Recently at the Global Leadership Summit, Cory Booker schmoozed with corporate Christians and Michelle Rhee. To help his Newark school privatizing scheme, he depends on the Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates coffers, not to mention the donations of Eagle Capital Management’s Elizabeth and Ravenel Curry, who have generously funded Education Reform Now, a group tied closely to the Democrats for Education Reform where their son is a board member and Booker is an advisor. Booker has been in the pockets of rich white people who hate poor black kids for years now.
Foundation for Excellence in Education
Here's an interview with "co-founder" Mike Stryer at the "teacher-restructuring" site NCTQ.
Bearing in mind that certain things can only be changed through the state education code, the new collective bargaining agreement must include a new, revamped evaluation system. A well-developed system, with multiple evaluation points, is a linchpin for so many needed educational reforms.