jeb fee 216
Governor Jeb Bush, Making “the Moral Case for Education Reform” at Foundation for Excellence in Ed 2016 Summit to over 1,000 ed reformers #EIE16

Jeb Bush has heavily promoted Common Core; he’s even been referred to as the godfather of ed reform. Betsy DeVos, our newly nominated US Secretary of Education,  is listed as a Board Member on Jeb’s (Pro-Common Core) Foundation for Excellence in Education.

Side note:

For those claiming to be opposed to Common Core,  ending Common Core means:

No aligned standards, No aligned assessments, No teacher accountability based on aligned assessments, No data collection and sharing without parent consent – Return FERPA to pre-2011. No national student database and create laws to protect against data mining.

For those claiming to want School Choice, True  School Choice means:

Let teachers and local schools, parents, and communities choose curriculum and assessments, without penalty.  Let teachers teach.  Ensure option of real books, real teachers, paper-pencil for parents who don’t want their children exposed to screens.  Let students and parents own their data, choose how or if it is shared outside of school.

 

Common Core involves more than “just standards“.  We need to truly end it.

Common Core was made possible by collaboration between federal and state government and a vast web of nonprofit and nongovernmental entities, and money.  Lots of money. It relies on massive data collection,  teacher accountability based on aligned assessments (eventually embedded formative assessments with real-time data collection), teacher re-training,  moving to online and “blended learning” curriculum instead of text books, changing the traditional knowledge-based education system into social-emotional  21st century competencies and a supply of children as “human capital” for a global workforce.

 

in the public interest

If you need proof of these statements, look no further than this treasure trove of emails from education reformers like Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education, (FEE),  and another Pro-Common Core reform group of state education superintendents under the Jeb Bush FEE umbrella, called Chiefs for Change.

The emails come from the folks over at In the Public Interest who have done a lot of work on public records requests and have archived information on Jeb’s FEE (among many other education and related issues).  Many thanks to In the Public Interest  for making this information available and searchable to the public.  We expect many more parents, teachers, and taxpayers will be interested in searching this public website. (Try it. Just click on the blue search button, type in your state, or FEE, or whatever you are interested in.)

Ed reformers like to claim that Common Core was state-led.  Based on these emails, that statement seems to be backwards. Instead, state-led Common Core seems to mean that reformers /recruiters  led-states one by one, giving them the sales-pitch, all-expense paid trips, offering testimony on bills, help writing waivers and talking points to win-over legislators.

 

Below are just a few of the emails and archived information we pulled up today. (Emphasis and highlights by MEW)

 

Patricia Levesque, CEO of FEE, was happy to help testify and promote online learning, teacher effectiveness, and get help from College Board.  https://inthepublicinterest.org/wp-content/uploads/me-response-january-2012.pdf

college board AP choice FEE emails foia

 

 

iNACOL was nudging state policy makers to adopt online “embedded” and “personalized” data collecting assessments aligned with Common Core, in this FEE email.

 

inacol fee emails

 

Jeb’s Foundation for Excellence in Education also sent this 2012 email promoting Digital Learning NOW! a company founded by Jeb Bush, and managed by FEE and the Alliance for Excellence in Education (who happens to be a founding member of Bill Gates’ Data Quality Campaign whose mission was to create commonly tagged data,  and interoperable student databases in each state, SLDS)

 

digital learning now

 

 

 

Interesting insight into insider’s views of  Jeb’s  more aggressive “splinter-group”  Chiefs for Change, with a list of the group’s mission.

 

Chiefs for change jeb's splinter group

 

 

This 2011 ESEA Reauthorization Harkin Draft – supported by Jeb’s FEE- has  many familiar components:

o Formally authorizes the Race to Top, Investing in Innovation, and Promise Neighborhood programs, all top Obama administration initiatives that were part of the stimulus.

o Requires states to set college- and career-readiness standards, either with other states or alone. States would need to track if students need to take remedial courses.

o Requires states to develop new teacher evaluation systems

ESEA reauth draft 2011 FEE emails foia

When the FEE  supported version of ESEA reauthorization was not adopted,  note this request from DFERs, Department of Ed, US Chamber of Commerce, and civil rights groups, asking Chiefs for Change to sign this letter:

department dfers ask sign letter esea

 

 

Finally, we’ll leave you with this which has countless links to nonprofits, and Ed Departments, meetings and many more emails for you to search and dive into. You will find a seemingly endless web of influence and behind the scenes deals, cashing in on children via the new “Education Marketplace”.  Please share and please say something.

in the public interest

Note: Correspondence files below following summary.

Major Highlights:

The Oklahoma emails, like those from some of the other states, contain the Foundation for Excellence in Education’s national plans.  A notable omission in the Oklahoma emails is Supt. Barresi’s acknowledgement of an email from FEE CEO Patricia Levesque urging to Barresi and others to encourage teachers in their states to use SendHub, a product Jeb Bush had invested in. Barresi’s response to Levesque was included in public records provided by Rhode Island because officials in that state were cc’d on the emails. The Oklahoma emails reveal some facts specific to the state’s education policymaking:

  • Superintendent Barresi being introduced to Scott Laband, the vice president of Colorado Succeeds, for a forum with Stand for Children Colorado.
  • Superintendent Barresi as a guest of Louis A. Piconi–Founder & SVP Strategic Activities, Apangea Learning Inc., a distance learning company–to an event he hosted for Tony Bennett and Jeb Bush.
  • Regulatory drafting and revisions being performed by the Foundation for the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
  • Superintendent Barresi asking for Foundation assistance in drafting its ESEA flexibility request to the federal Department of Education.

Connections to other Education Reformers and Education Companies: In a June 7, 2011 email, the Foundation’s Patricia Levesque introduced Superintendent Barresi to a Colorado education reformer, Scott Laband of Colorado Succeeds, in the hopes of getting the Superintendent to a forum co-hosted by Stand for Children Colorado on a test based promotion policy in 3rd grade.  Also, in an October 7, 2011, email the Superintendent accepted an invitation from the founder of a digital learning company to be his guest at an event he hosted for Tony Bennett and Jeb Bush.

Waiver Assistance from the Foundation
 Superintendent Barresi leaned on the Foundation for assistance with the Department of Education. On August 10, 2011, she wrote Levesque:
Patty: Sec. Duncan called the governor and asked that Oklahoma send a framework document to him next week prior to USDE releasing guidelines. I assume other C4C folks received the same call. I have a meeting tomorrow with gov staff to discuss. I am putting together my ideas but want to bounce some things off of you or anyone working on this.

Thanks,
Janet 

On August 12, 2011 Superintendent Barresi wrote to the Foundation and the Chiefs: Good afternoon: I was asked by my Governor to compose this letter that would go out to Duncan next week. The internal politics of this is that Gov. Fallin does not want our waiver request to appear to be skirting the work of Congress r chairman Klein. I agree with that. This is why we are asking for a three year waiver with an option to go an additional year. Please note that I am sending you a draft that will be a work in progress with the governor next week. Comments? 

Supt Barresi,
I want to introduce you to Scott Laband the vice president of Colorado Succeeds an education advocacy group in Colorado. 
In conjunction with Stand for Children Colorado, they would like to host a 3rd grade literacy forum to influence the literacy task force created by Gov. Hickenlooper. One of the goals is to get the task force to adopt an Oklahoma style test based promotion policy in 3rd grade. 
They would like to invite you to speak on a panel. I will be speaking on a panel as well. 
I just wanted you to know that Colorado Succeeds is an excellent organization and it would be wonderful if you could participate if your schedule permits. 
Patricia
October 7, 2011 email from Louis A. Piconi to Janet Barresi
Janet:
Are you planning to be in San Francisco next week? If so, would you like
to be my guest at an event supporting Tony Bennett on Wednesday evening?
Talk to you soon.
Best-
Louis A. Piconi
Founder & SVP Strategic Activities, Apangea Learning Inc.
August 10, 2011 email from Janet Barresi
note that I am sending you a draft that will be a work in progress with the governor next week. Comments? 

Finally, in October 2011, the Superintendent’s staff received an email about waiver assistance from the Foundation:

Hey Kerri,
John Bailey, our federal policy superstar, can help Oklahoma with this process. I’ve cc’d him, and Superintendent Barresi knows him well.
But let me know if you need anything else as you move through this process.
Thanks!
Mary Laura 

Regulatory Assistance from the Foundation
The Department of Education relied on the Foundation for regulatory drafting assistance. A Department of Education staffer emailed the Foundation on August 22, 2011:

Good Morning, Mary Laura,
I hope you had a wonderful Weekend….
I have these 2 Rules and Technical Document to finish. I want your input
to finish them…. we will have to work with what Oklahoma has in place at
this time and add in the future those pieces that are making Florida 

Attorneys at the state Department of Education sought input from Foundation staff on regulations they were drafting. On February 8, 2012, an assistant general counsel of the Department emailed the Foundation:

Attached for your review is a revised draft of the A‐F rule—which incorporates all of the edits we made today. We will pick up tomorrow morning at 9:00 am with sec on (f).
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Thanks!

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Cheri Kiesecker