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Heads Up, Catholic Educators: A David Coleman Keynote Is Coming Your Way in 2016

November 3, 2015

From March 29 to 31, 2016, the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) will host its 2016 Convention and Expo in San Diego.

David Coleman will be the keynote speaker.

His talk is entitled, “Reverence, Excellence, and Education for Life.”

I wonder if he will tell his audience that “no one gives a s**t” what they think or feel:

Perhaps not. In fact, Coleman’s bio in the NCEA conference program has been scrubbed of any indication of his Student Achievement Partners (SAP) and of his being at the center of Common Core development. Coleman’s bio doesn’t even mention Common Core– and certainly not his approaching billionaire Bill Gates in 2008 regarding bankrolling Common Core. (Incidentally, in September 2013, NCEA, received a modest Gates grant in the amount of $100,007 “to support trainings and provision of follow-up materials for teachers on implementing the Common Core State Standards.”)

Even though Coleman’s bio mentions he is president and CEO of College Board, it leaves out the convenience of College Board as being one of three organizations purposely included in the development of the Common Core for which Coleman was a lead writer (the other two were ACT and Achieve, Inc.). (Coleman’s SAP was there, too, but the CCSS MOU did not mention it by name.) Here’s that NCEA bio:

About David Coleman

David grew up in a family of educators and followed them into the field. He went to public school in New York City before enrolling at Yale University. At Yale, he taught reading to high school students from low-income families and started Branch, an innovative community service program for innercity students in New Haven, Conn. Based on the success of Branch, David received a Rhodes Scholarship, which he used to study English literature at the University of Oxford and classical educational philosophy at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. He returned to the U.S. to work at McKinsey & Company for five years, where he led much of the firm’s pro bono work in education.

David was named to the 2013 Time 100 the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. He has been recognized as one of Time magazine’s and was one of the NewSchools Venture Fund Change Agents of the Year for 2012. He is the proud father of two.

Coleman’s NCEA bio is an abbreviated version that he has used in the past (except for the strategically positioned “proud father of two” tag above), including for the news release of his College Board appointment. Here is the full, 2012 College Board spiel, with the NCEA-omitted text in bold:

David Coleman grew up in a family of educators and has followed them into this field. Coleman went to public school in New York City until college. At Yale, he taught reading to secondary students in the Ulysses S. Grant program for low-income New Haven students and started Branch–an innovative community service program that worked with students at an inner city New Haven high school. Based on the success of Branch, Coleman received a Rhodes Scholarship, which he used to study English literature at Oxford and classical educational philosophy at Cambridge. He returned to work at McKinsey & Company for five years, where he led much of the firm’s pro bono work in education.

Together with a team of educators, Coleman then founded the Grow Network, an organization committed to making assessment results truly useful for teachers, parents, and students. The Grow Network delivered breakthrough quality reports for parents and teachers as well as individualized learning guides for students. Based on the success of Grow, McGraw-Hill acquired the organization in 2005.

Coleman left McGraw-Hill in 2007 and co-founded Student Achievement Partners, a nonprofit that assembles educators and researchers to design actions based on evidence to improve student outcomes. Student Achievement Partners played a leading role in developing the Common Core State Standards in math and literacy, a process that drew on the input of teachers, states, higher education, business leaders, and researchers from across the country. As a Founding Partner, Coleman now helps lead Student Achievement Partners’ work with teachers and policymakers to achieve the promise of the Common Core State Standards.

Coleman has been recognized as one of Time magazine’s ―11 Education Activists for 2011‖ and was recently named one of the NewSchools Venture Fund Change Agents of the Year for 2012.

Just because Coleman has omitted both his SAP and Grow Network (which rode the federal testing madness of No Child Left Behind and which he happened to ditch the same year that NCLB was a recognized flop– in 2007), that doesn’t mean Common Core will not be present at the NCEA conference.

The NCEA conference program includes a list of sessions. He are three that bespeak the Coleman influence via their titles:

Back to the Text: The Role of Text Dependent Questions in Improving Reading Comprehension

Infusing Writing (and Common Core) into Religion/Theology

Response to Intervention and Common Core Standards

I wonder if Coleman will be introduced at NCEA in 2016 the same way he was introduced by Institute of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh Director Lauren Resnick at a senior leadership meeting in 2011 (pages 106-107 of Common Core Dilemma):

Okay, so this is the kind of person we are going to be privileged to hear tonight. He has been involved in virtually every step of setting the national standards, and he doesn’t have a single credential for it. He’s never taught in an elementary school—I think. You know, I actually don’t know. He’s never edited a scholarly journal, but I think he has written scholarly papers. And a variety of other things that have, you know, everybody here has done some of, he hasn’t done.

Amazingly, Coleman then agrees with Resnick:

Student Achievement Partners, all you need to know about us are a couple things. One is we’re composed of that collection of unqualified people who were involved in developing the common standards. And our only qualification was our attention to and command of the evidence behind them. That is, it was our insistence in the standards process that it was not enough to say you wanted to or thought that kids should know these things, that you had to have evidence to support it, frankly because it was our conviction that the only way to get an eraser into the standards writing room was with evidence behind it, ‘cause otherwise the way standards are written you get all the adults into the room about what kids should know, and the only way to end the meeting is to include everything. That’s how we’ve gotten to the typical state standards we have today.

Common Core is certainly not typical.  For one, American education had not ever before had educational standards bankrolled by a billionaire. But Common Core is also not successful. In his November 02, 2015, examination of the “financial woes” related to to “the Common Core rollout,” Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Rothfeld aptly refers to Common Core as “a hypercharged political issue.”

Indeed it is.

Beware, NCEA attendees.

poison apple


Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.

She also has a second book, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?, published on June 12, 2015.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

  1. Derek permalink

    you may be correct in saying “the only billionaire”, but Gates is the Rockefeller of his time. I am not as well versed from my research, but ,once removed, by their foundations does not make them less subversive. Nothing like hiding in plain sight? They use their foundations to not only shelter their assets at present, but ensure continued manipulation of the buying public through indoctrination. This is all just the continuation of an old agenda, but with new products and new contracts to keep their greedy tenticules hooked in better under the guise of heart felt philanthropy. This is monarchy continuation through Rhodes association taming the west through subverting education (even religious, which they are not) to control the outcome by pigeonholing the socialist surfs(commoners ) with data mining ther responses from emotionally based tests. Take it away, Mercedes.

  2. Christine Langhoff permalink

    I don’t think it can be overlooked that the connections between McGraw-Hill and the Bush family go back to the founding of the resort town of Jupiter, Florida. Prescott Bush and Harold McGraw were partners in that endeavor, and the families have been doing business together ever since. The Texas “miracle” that begot NCLB was based on those McGraw-Hill produced curricula and testing, and of course there’s Neil and Ignite! and Jeb! and all he did in Florida for the testing industry. (Those Bushies do like their exclamation points!)

  3. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    Great disclosures on the edited bio offered to the Catholic educators. On the Bush family, I still hear Mollie Ivins referring to the children as Shrubs.

  4. McKinsey had a great reputation when it came to business consulting twenty-five years ago.
    Education was not a part of their business. At some point the “McKinsey” brand was compromised.

  5. ira shor permalink

    At their hyped and special events, you should introduce all the billionaires and their cronies like Coleman, hiding nothing, revealing what matters most, putting their real clothes on these naked emperors, thank you.

  6. sek1949 permalink

    I do hope that this post by MS is sent directly – (possibly by real mail, on paper….) to all of the Catholic School leaders and also e-mailed to as many teachers as possible. “The truth shall set you free…” David Coleman has no business telling anyone, at any school what to teach!!!

  7. Jill Reifschneider permalink

    Infusing Writing (and Common Core) into Religion/Theology
    oh boy

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