We know a lot of school districts, charter schools, and state departments of education give a ton of money to Teach For America, but who got the group going? And who still funds them? Let’s just say it is a lot of organizations! Some of these foundations I had never heard of. Keep in mind, this is the corporate Teach For America. There might be foundations funding each state chapter. For example, the Rodel Foundation loves giving money to the Delaware TFA!
Richard Barth is the CEO of TFA, but Wendy Kopp, Barth’s wife, runs the show. But Barth runs the KIPP charter school chain.
Going from here, it is amazing how many connections between Teach For America, Kipp, the Gates Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, the NewSchools Venture Fund, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Charter School Growth Fund, and Tom Vander Ark exist. It is important to know Vander Ark’s role in this because he is one of the biggest pushers for the death of traditional public schools through his competency-based education personalized learning career pathways earn to learn agendas.
I’ll be doing more of these. If any traditional school district unionized teacher isn’t very worried about their future, I would probably start doing something about it now. Unless you want to be working as a facilitator in an online charter school in 2026. This IS corporate education reform, but only a part of it. It goes much deeper than that. I’ve been telling people this for over two years now. But sometimes pictures say a lot more than words ever can.
The Delaware Dept. of Education put out a request for proposal for their Social Studies and Science state assessments. For Social Studies, the bidding ended on 9/9 and for Science, 9/23. This is the second time the Delaware DOE put out requests for these two tests and some of the same companies bid again. I went into detail about some of those companies last December. The last time both the state assessments were included in one big lump. This time, they separated them. I had a lot to say about the Social Studies request for proposal last month and how this could lead to embedded stealth testing in a constant online competency-based personalized learning environment.
Delaware System of Student Assessment in Social Studies
Next Generation Science Assessment for Delaware Learners
The new bidders for these assessments are Measured Progress Inc. and WestEd. Measured Progress is just more of the same according to Save Maine Schools. They were the Smarter Balanced vendor in three states last year, but they couldn’t even handle the data capacity and had to shut down testing. WestEd, though, is no stranger to Delaware. This is a company that thinks online digital learning games with Curious George are just great for preschool. They also have an extensive list of clients with some very familiar names. Ironically, the Delaware DOE hired facilitators from WestEd for their Every Student Succeeds Act Community Conversations, along with Research In Action. They even went into a partnership recently with NewSchools Venture Fund to expand small business data technology companies in K-12 classrooms. How ironic that they received grant money from the Small Business Administration to fund ed tech start-ups while they are bidding for contracts that would measure the effectiveness of ed tech instruction with state assessments. No conflict of interest there! Strategic Measurement still has the same website as last year. Both AIR and Pearson are still the lead players in the high-stakes testing arena. None of these bidders signal Delaware ending the high-stakes testing arena any time soon.