Their reach is everywhere. Foundations who say they represent the best interests of children. Who want to fix education so all children can get a shot. Why then, do so many of the children of these philanthropists, politicians, and corporate education reformers, attend private schools? Ones without the invasive education technology and Common Core standards? That alone should tell everyone they are not in it for the kids. For them, it is about the profit. Servant and master. They feel we should bow down to their infinite wisdom and do as they say. The reports from the Department of Labor showing increasing jobs don’t paint the same picture as the doom and gloom coming from the education “prophets”. They talk about gaps between disadvantaged students and their peers while putting forth policy that enforces those gaps, whether it is from standardized tests, “IEPs for All”, the false importance of education technology, or the perception that traditional school district teachers are horrible. They are the incubators of discrimination and segregation. But they fail to understand how their actions contribute to the outside factors our schools should not have to deal with, such as trauma and poverty. With all their vast wealth and power, they don’t spend their money helping to ease these issues. They believe that it is okay to track students into career pathways starting at the first moment they are able to take a test. They don’t care that very personal information goes out to 3rd parties that have no business seeing any information like this. They wrote the Every Student Succeeds Act. They are the ones pushing for more charter schools. They have the US Dept. of Education in their back pocket along with the politicians and groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council and the National Governors’ Association. They have many colleges and universities doing whatever they say. But they are wrong. What they are doing is the best for themselves, not the kids.
Where are decisions made that affect every single person in America, as well as the rest of the world? The Aspen Institute seems like a good place to look.
I first came across the Aspen Institute when I was researching the Rodel Foundation of Delaware two years ago. It seemed like an odd outfit. Since then I have written about them many times.
I urge readers to see which power brokers are in this élite club from their states. Many influential current and former Delawareans are in this group based out of Aspen, Colorado. People like Jack Markell, Mark Murphy, Paul Herdman, Lillian Lowery, Bryon Short, William Budinger, Lincoln Willis, Tom Kovach, Chris Coons, Collin O’Mara, Portia Yarborough, and Leo Strine.
The Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship is a who’s who of corporate education reformers. The Rodel Fellows (yes, that Rodel), covers public leaders. The Henry Crown Fellows is for “community-minded leadership”. They have many other fellowships in this billionaire, political power players, and ed reform conclave.
The Aspen Institute is all in on the cradle to grave workforce of tomorrow. They created the Ascend Network to which focuses on early childhood education, economic supports, health, postsecondary/adult education, social capital, and the workforce. With funding from many philanthropic foundations, this is just another example of how the Aspen Institute is reshaping society.
One of their more recent articles focuses on the “Gig Economy”, which coincides with the Blockchain Initiative. This has some very frightening ideas they think the next President and Congress should take up next year.
For conspiracy theorists, they often wonder if there are secret groups out there that decide what happens in the future. This group isn’t so secret and thanks to the internet, we can see exactly who they are, what they have done, and what is in the planning stages. We can also see who funds them:
All these foundations, creating the future. The Aspen Institute, an invitation only select club where futurists go to play. A tangled web of money and power, hitting every aspect of children and their future. There are other groups like this out there, but this seems to be the one the biggest names in corporate education reform like to go and play. I am very certain there are good things that come out of a group like this, especially those dealing with poverty and health. But the price is decisions going on behind closed doors with big money backing all of it. The rich always think they know what is best for those below them. But history tells us otherwise.