The idea of business leaders having a say in public education best practices is not only a conflict of interest, but a laughable idea. Business leaders are good at running their businesses and making money. Education policy and practices should be left to those who have studied education, learning theory, psychology, pedagogy, technique, and curriculum.
Want a top quality education for your kids? Keep the corporations out of it. Read this letter to Pennsylvania's former Governor, Tom Corbett, from the Exxon CEO. If you want to know who is behind this push for the common core, add big corporations to the list of players we already know, including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Walton Family Foundation, The College Board, The Pearson Corporation, and other names you will recognize.
Diane Ravitch explains more in this article. She answers a big question for us,"Who supported the standards? Secretary Duncan has been their loudest cheerleader. Governor Jeb Bush of Florida and former DC Chancellor Michelle Rhee urged their rapid adoption. Joel Klein and Condoleeza Rice chaired a commission for the Council on Foreign Relations, which concluded that the Common Core standards were needed to protect national security. Major corporations purchased full-page ads in the New York Times and other newspapers to promote the Common Core. ExxonMobil is especially vociferous in advocating for Common Core, taking out advertisements on television and other news media saying that the standards are needed to prepare our workforce for global competition. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed the standards, saying they were necessary to prepare workers for the global marketplace. The Business Roundtable stated that its #1 priority is the full adoption and implementation of the Common Core standards. All of this excitement was generated despite the fact that no one knows whether the Common Core will fulfill any of these promises. It will take 12 years whether we know what its effects are."
In this Bill Moyers post, Ravitch explains, "The leading funders of the (corporate education) reform movement are the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which supports charter schools and test- based teacher evaluation; the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, which supports charter schools and trains urban superintendents in its managerial philosophy; and the Walton Family Foundation, which funds vouchers and charters. These powerful and wealthy foundations have overlapping interests. They subsidize many organizations in common, such as Teach for America (which recruits young college graduates to teach for two years in low- income schools), the KIPP charter schools and Parent Revolution (the chief advocates of the “parent trigger” idea). They jointly funded the digital learning policy statement issued by Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida and Bob Wise, former governor of West Virginia, which promotes the proliferation of low- quality virtual charter schools. Many other wealthy foundations support the corporate reform agenda, including the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, the Robertson Foundation, the Fisher Foundation and the Anschutz Foundation, as well as fabulously rich individuals, including the Bezos family (Amazon.com), Reed Hastings (Netflix) and Rupert Murdoch (News Corporation)."
See the Exxon letter here.
Education is NOT a business.