It’s pretty shocking that MVP,  a k-12 math provider, would sue a parent for being critical of its Common Core math curriculum.  But before we get into the MVP lawsuit,  let’s look at MVP’s partner.  Ever hear of Open Up Resources?  https://openupresources.org/about-us/

Open Up Resources is a nonprofit. Thanks to sharing the same nonprofit EIN number on their IRS filing, we also know that Open Up Resources used to be called The K-12 OER Collaborative.

According to OpenUp Resources’ 2017 IRS 990, their highest paid contractor is (page 8, almost $2 million)– ILLUSTRATIVE MATH MEW  wrote about Common Core Illustrative Math and Bill McCallum in 2012. If you are familiar with Common Core math, you might also recognize Phil Daro, on the Board of Open Up Resources.

And look at this statement, does it have a familiar Common Core-ish, “state-led”  ring to it?

“Open Up Resources began as the K-12 OER Collaborative, a 13-state initiative to address quality gaps in the curriculum market.”

Here’s who funds Open Up Resources: 

Ding Ding Ding.  Bill Gates, who pushed through Common Core standards, (and astonishing data collection),  whose attention to the failed Common Core, has now evolved to curriculum and teacher training, is one of the funders of Open Up Resources.

So…if you are keeping track:

  1. Gates funds Common Core.
  2. Gates switches his interest ($$) to curriculum and teacher training.
  3. Gates gives money to Open Up Resources, see herehere, and here.
  4. Open Up Resources partners with MVP to provide ‘free’ math curricula.
  5. MVP is suing a parent for criticizing its Common Core math program.
  6. Oh- and thanks to this tweet from reporter Keung Hui, we know the Wake County Public School System is now PAYING Open Up Resources $150,000 to train its teachers how to use Open Up Resources ‘free’, common core math, the same MVP math that is suing the Wake County parent.

Gee, way to  silence  support parents, Gates.  You and these other edtech philanthropists are really putting parents and their kids first. Maybe instead, you could Open Up your wallet and donate a few hundred thousand to this GoFundMe for Mr. Dillard, the Wake County DAD that is getting sued by a company that you support? 

As for the free Open Ed Resources, OER:
MEW previously wrote about President Obama’s  #GoOpen OER program and its partners:  USDoE,  Microsoft, Amazon, Edmodo,  ASCD, Creative Commons.  In 2015 the OER Press Release pledged, along with Future Ready Districts, to replace textbooks with openly licensed educational resources, and online curricula.  So, it’s not that surprising that Gates is funding online curriculum, especially since “personalized” data is the new oil.
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The MVP Lawsuit:  Setting a precedent against parents?

Does it feel like this MVP lawsuit is trying to silence a parent from speaking about his own child’s education?  As this EdWeek article points out, this lawsuit would set a precedent against parents:

“It’s a surprising move that some say could have broad implications for parent advocacy around curriculum and instruction. A win by the company “would certainly cast a shadow on the idea that parents have a right to participate in their own children’s education, to criticize schools for buying particular textbooks, to voice their concerns about instruction and curriculum,” said Tom Loveless, an education researcher formerly at the Brookings Institution, who is not involved in the case.

The Mathematics Vision Project, a publisher of open source math curricula, filed a complaint this summer against Blain Dillard, a parent in the Wake County public school system. MVP has accused Dillard, an outspoken opponent of the math program, of libel, slander, and “tortious interference with business relations.”

…In a written statement to Education Week, Jeffrey Hunt, Dillard’s lawyer, wrote that the lawsuit “has no legal merit.”

“It is alarming that a parent would be sued for defamation for expressing opinions and making truthful statements about his son’s high school math curriculum,” Hunt said. “The lawsuit appears to be an attempt to silence Mr. Dillard and other critics of MVP, and to chill their First Amendment rights to speak about MVP’s services.”  —EdWeek Parent Who Criticized His Son’s Math Program Is Sued By Curriculum Company

Court Documents

For more details on the lawsuit and up to date court documents, visit this website, set up by friends of Blain Dillard, father of 3, who is being sued by Mathematics Vision Products (MVP) for expressing opinions about their Common Core math program. You can also go to this GoFundMe site, Wake County Math Parent Legal Defense Fund, to help support Mr. Dillard and his family.  And, in case you missed it, Mr. Dillard just filed a countersuit against MVP this week.

Pro tip for the edtech-billionaire-personalized-commoncore- k-12- datamining-moneyball-marketers: 

Good possibility that parents won’t use your curriculum if you sue them.

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Cheri Kiesecker

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