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Gates Foundation Money Connects Common Core and ESSA

October 4, 2016

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) includes the following prohibition regarding the federal government’s luring states into adopting specific standards, assessments, or content, including the Common Core State Standards (CCSS):


‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—No officer or employee of the Federal Government shall, through grants, contracts, or other cooperative agreements, mandate, direct, or control a State, local educational agency, or school’s specific instructional content, academic standards and assessments, curricula, or program of instruction developed and implemented to meet the requirements of this Act (including any requirement, direction, or mandate to adopt the Common Core State Standards developed under the Common Core State Standards Initiative, any other academic standards common to a significant number of States, or any assessment, instructional content, or curriculum aligned to such standards), nor shall anything in this Act be construed to authorize such officer or employee to do so.

‘‘(b) FINANCIAL SUPPORT.—No officer or employee of the Federal Government shall condition or incentivize the receipt of any grant, contract, or cooperative agreement, the receipt of any priority or preference under such grant, contract, or cooperative agreement, or the receipt of a waiver under section 8401 upon a State, local educational agency, or school’s adoption or implementation of specific instructional content, academic standards and assessments, curricula, or program of instruction developed and implemented to meet the requirements of this Act (including any condition, priority, or preference to adopt the Common Core State Standards developed under the Common Core State Standards Initiative, any other academic standards common to a significant number of States, or any assessment, instructional content, or curriculum aligned to such standards).’’ (page 312).


In August 2016, the Gates Foundation has managed to connect ESSA and CCSS in the form of two grants totaling almost $18 million.

The first is to CCSS co-owner, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), so that CCSSO can help states with their ESSA plans:

Council of Chief State School Officers

Date: August 2016
Purpose: to support states as they develop and implement Every Student Succeeds Act plans
Amount: $10,000,000

Though CCSS is not explicitly mentioned in this $10 million Gates grant, CCSSO is still rooting for CCSS even as it also gives a nod to “other college- and career-ready standards.”

And, in 2016, Gates CEO Susan Desmond-Hellmann is still promoting “the value of Common Core.”

Thus, it should come as no surprise that the Gates Foundation has managed to combine support for both CCSS and ESSA into a single grant, this one to New Venture Fund:

New Venture Fund

Date: August 2016
Purpose: to support national communications work around Common Core, high-quality and aligned assessments, and ESSA implementation
Amount: $7,900,010

New Venture Fund advertises itself as “work[ing] with donors and social entrepreneurs to quickly begin delivering on their charitable missions while managing accounting and maintaining compliance through a fiscal sponsorship.” In other words, Gates is paying NVF to oversee and manage 1) CCSS, 2) assessments, and 3) ESSA implementation.

I’m thinking Gates means for the three to be a set.

It looks like Gates is going to try to use ESSA as the vehicle to, uh, ” do CCSS implementation “right.”

So, even though the federal government isn’t supposed to promote CCSS in connection to ESSA, that doesn’t mean Gates has to stop.

He was, after all, solicited to bankroll CCSS by then-CCSSO CEO Gene Wilhoit in 2008, and, sure, he and wife Melinda have made “mistakes” in trying to drive American public education, but they can find fresh purpose in 2016 in spending their billions melding their CCSS fidelity with the mammoth, nationwide ESSA implementation.

bill-and-melinda-gates  Bill and Melinda Gates


Released July 2016– Book Three:

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of both A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?.

both books

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

  1. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    It is widely known that Education First played a major role in getting the Common Core pushed and in helping states apply for RTT grants that complied with the criterion of “having standards in common with other states.”

    Now Education First has this document in circulation in order to to steer how states deal with the “flexibility” in ESSA. The writers have substituted the mantra of “college and career readiness” for the Common Core, a practice that has been widely adopted.

    Click to access Education-First-Making-the-Most-of-ESSA-May-2016-1.pdf

    Even more interesting is this April 16, 2016 publication from Education First. This is a detailed “tutorial” on how foundations and their agents (including Education First) helped to launch the Common Core. It also functions as a guide for foundations as they work on future projects.

    The title is “How Funder Collaborations Flourish: Lessons from the Common Core Standards: A Guide For Education Funders “Here is the opening:

    Quote: On an issue as complicated as implementation of the Common Core State Standards, how can funders decide whether to collaborate—and how to do so successfully?

    Education First developed this guide to help funders create more effective collaborations, focusing on how they can work together to advance implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) or other significant, system-wide changes to education systems.

    Funders can use the guide to reflect on their priorities, learn how to apply a decision-making matrix to shape collaborations with others and review brief case studies with lessons from our work supporting funder collaboratives.

    Importantly, our ideas for how funder collaborations can support the standards moving forward can apply in any state committed to college- and career-ready expectations, including those states that have rebranded or added to the CCSS.

    We appreciate the encouragement and support the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation provided to develop this guide.

    In this guide, Education First draws on its experience managing and facilitating multi-year funder collaboratives.

    Over the past five years, Education First contributed to several collaborations among national and local funders to support the success of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
    The collaborations featured as case studies in this guide include a learning network, an initiative to align funder investments, a pooled fund and a new funder-created nonprofit organization. (End Quote)

    Read the whole strategy guide at.

    Click to access Funder-Collaboratives-Complete-Guide-Final-4-25-2016.pdf

  2. Would these requirements described in the ESSA apply to the grants listed above?

    “Section 9203 Preventing Improper Use of Taxpayer Funds”
    “To address the misuse of taxpayer funds, the Secretary of Education shall—
    (1) require that each recipient of a grant or subgrant under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.) display, in a public place, the hotline contact information of the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Education so that any individual who observes, detects, or suspects improper use of taxpayer funds can easily report such improper use;
    (2) annually notify employees of the Department of Education of their responsibility to report fraud; and
    (3) require any applicant—

    (A) for a grant under such Act to provide an assurance to the Secretary that any information submitted when applying for such grant and responding to monitoring and compliance reviews is truthful and accurate; and
    (B) for a subgrant under such Act to provide the assurance described in subparagraph (A) to the entity awarding the subgrant.”

    • I think the gist here Dr. Marachi is, they think if they put it in writing (like above) – people will be complacent enough to believe it. “Oh look – it’s in writing they won’t misuse our tax dollars”. Was that same sentence or section or anything remotely like it in in NCLB? Like EVERYTHING they have done – it’s a ploy, a lie and fraud. If we had even a fraction of the taxpayer dollars back that they have flat out wasted and that ended up in all those companies/corporations/ed-tech/non-profits/foundations bank accounts – our schools would be in a much better place and not in the predicament they are in now. Absolutely horrendous. And the worst part is – it is continuing. It’s foolish how they loop it all around to look important or sound important when in fact – just like the tests – it’s nothing but a fraudulent, useless document not worth the paper it’s written on.

  3. TN was one of the first 2 states to get RTTT $$$$$ in round #1 (TN and DE) and Education First helped in writing our application. The vast majority of states that actually won money also had EF help them. Gee coincidence? Not a chance. I contacted EF several years ago because there is a UN initiative called Education First and I wanted to know if this group was affiliated with the UN group. They said they are not affiliated but support many of their goals. One goal of the UN EF is to create global citizens through education. ‘Nuf said!!! After ESSA was passed and the Democrats shock wore off they openly admitted they were shocked they pulled this off and the Second in command at the US Dept. of Ed said she felt confident that states would stick with Common Core rather than risk the chance their standard plans would not be approved if they changed them. Again, ‘Nuf said.

  4. Another point I wanted to make about GATES. Again, I must reiterate he is doing this in order to save Microsoft. He was under investigation back in the lat 90’s and under threat of having Microsoft broken up. Gee that never happened now did it. I firmly believe he is in bed with the federal government doing their dirty work in order to keep Microsoft in tact and protect his fortune. He is not a good and compassionate man. He cares about his money and nothing else. Just because he spends his money doesn’t make him a good person. He knows whenever he spends a dime he gets back a dollar. Corporate fascism has replace capitalism in this country. We need to do whatever we can to end tax exempt status for all.

  5. “Making mistakes” with OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN. Golly, now what’s wrong with THAT?

  6. The New Venture Fund IS Gates. Funny how that works……open fake foundations and then give them billions of your own money to do your dirty deeds. Make sure the failure is tied to the new fake company, the fake foundation, the fake ed-tech or the fake “non-profit” so your name is not directly tied to it. That’s the new MO.

  7. I believe the Gates Foundation is evil. They are using their enormous wealth to control people and governments.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Mercedes Schneider: ESSA Prohibits Federal Support for Common Core, But No One Stops Bill Gates | Diane Ravitch's blog
  2. About Gates’ New, Lobbying Nonprofit: Don’t Kid Yourself. Bill Gates Already Lobbies. | deutsch29
  3. Mercedes Schneider: Bill Gates Has Been Spending Millions to Buy Influence for Years | Diane Ravitch's blog

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