In what must have come as a complete shock to the Haslam Administration and Kevin “IVFO” Huffman, the Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation — one of the largest financial supporters of Common Core and a major contributor to related programs in Tennessee — has called for a 2-year moratorium on using Common Core testing.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced its support for a two-year moratorium on tying results from assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards to teacher evaluations or student promotions to the next grade level.
— Education Week, 6-11-2014
(Of course, we did not hear one damn word from the state’s mainstream press about this. Oh, no — nothing to see here. Everything is A-OK.)
Gates Foundation money has been used in a big way to used to promote Common Core in Tennessee, so this announcement comes as an unquestionable slap in the face off Huffman & Co. For example:
- Just last October, the Gates Foundation gave Jamie Woodson $250,000 to promote Common Core. Of course, that amount doesn’t even cover Jamie Woodson’s salary. But that’s okay, because:
- back in 2011 the Foundation also gave $500,000 to SCORE for its Achieve More program.
- In 2009 the Foundation gave the Memphis City Schools over $90 million.
- In 2011, the Foundation gave $175,000 to “the new education [Tennessee] commissioner to help him reorganize his office” The re-org was so effective, Huffman and his ship of fools couldn’t even conduct and report the TCAP scores on time.
- And in January of this year, the Tennessean reported the Gates Foundation pumped $400,000 into the Tenn. Chamber of Commerce to buy ads to “promote Common Core.”
Well alrighty, then: Does anyone who is being even partially objective believe that these huge sums of money have nothing to do with the administration’s mad push on Common Core? We haven’t even included the millions that Pearson and others stands to reap/rape from the Tennessee taxpayers through new tests, new materials, news textbooks, etc.
What is happening in Tennessee with Common Core is political corruption, pure and simple — and the governor knows it.
During the last session, the Haslam administration, backed by Jamie Woodson and SCORE, went to the mat when legislators sought to delay the Common Core PAARC test for two years — the same waiting period now advocated by the Gates Foundation. They stamped their feet, threatened, connived and pulled every trick in the book to keep the cram-down going, and still had to accept a one-year delay.
This moratorium called for by their biggest Common Core partner effectively shoots the credibility of the administration all to hell. Why would any legislator believe them when the recalcitrant administration will predictably fight to stay with just a one year delay? Stubbornness is not a character trait, Governor. You seem to be channeling Don Sundquist these days.
In light of this development, look for the legislature to add another one-year delay to the PAARC test — whether Haslam, Huffman & Woodson like it or not.