The Road to Hell is Paved by Hope Street



Founded in 2003 by “young entrepreneurs” from a wide range of industries, Hope Street Group is a national, nonpartisan 501(c3) group.  One of their multi-pronged agenda of course is education and refers to itself as national policy reform group.

They support Race to the Top.

They have also been touted as, “a novel nonprofit …created in 2003 as a volunteer-only experiment, (which now) now has a full-time staff that works to build “coalitions of the reasonable” around domestic policy questions by gathering diverse groups of people to solve them together.”

But who and what lurk behind the curtain of lofty language?


To promote the Common Core State Standards and other corporate driven reforms.

From their summary paper on their Education Working Group they focused on:

DATA driving a school culture, teacher EVALUATIONS, aligning CURRICULA, DATA driven instruction, and professional development.

According to their summary: “With CCSS as a backdrop and common thread for these areas, the Education Working Group participants used their time at the Colloquium to determine how we should best support public, private  and non-profit entities to address these three challenges.”

The Education Working Group was facilitated by Dan Cruce, VP of Education at Hope Street Group, who was formerly top brass in Delaware State Dept of Education.

and by Jimmy Sarakatsannis, Associate Principle at McKinsey & Company. 


McKinsey Management Consulting firm hires the elite to serve the elite.  McKinsey “draws on both public and private sector expertise” helping “clients improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their central administrative offices and processes.”

According to their own research panel entitled: Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity– Capturing its value: “Big data—large pools of data that can be captured, communicated, aggregated, stored, and analyzed—is now part of every sector and function of the global economy. Like other essential factors of production such as hard assets and human capital, it is increasingly the case that much of modern economic activity, innovation, and growth simply couldn’t take place without data.”

David Coleman, President of College Board and chief architect for Common Core was formerly an Associate as McKinsey. Sir Michael Barber now Chief Education Advisor at Pearson is former partner and head of McKinsey global education (in 2005) practice for McKinsey,and its unofficial motto could be his own: “Everything can be measured, and what is measured can be managed.”

If you think this all a coincidence I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

For a more in-depth analysis see:

The two resulting vision principles from Hope Street’s 2013 colloquium were:

• Using the “right” data to inform teaching on a daily basis

• Recognizing that professional development is not a separate idea or activity, but instead something that is embedded into school culture


There are many funders but a few important ones to note include: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Fdn, Wireless Generation, Carnegie, Wal-Mart, and THE COLLEGE BOARD


Who do they list as their “network”?

It reads like a who’s who list of ALEC groupies, profit mongering corporate reformers, and sock- puppets masquerading as politicians.

(here are a few):

John Deasy, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest school district.

Michael F. Bennet was elected United States Senator for Colorado

Joel Klein-CEO of the Education Division and Executive Vice President, Office of the Chairman, at News Corporation, where he also serves on the Board of Directors.

Ron Huberman the Former CEO; Operating Executive for Chicago Public School System

John Schnur Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of America Achieves which creates common core related materials . Jon co-founded New Leaders for New Schools.  He also advises philanthropists seeking to “improve” education, including Michael Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Bob Wise President; Former Governor and chair of Alliance for Excellent Education (check out their ALEC affiliated donorsand works closely with Jeb Bush and his brainchild Foundation for Excellent Education which is a member of ALEC. Bob Wise has also been know to present at ALEC annual meetings.


Another faux non-profit Trojan horse designed to promote ALEC’s education agenda to destroy public education and to manipulate the public into selling out their schools and their children by fostering the illusion of “helping.” It’s funded and led by the SAME chief architects of the corporate-focused, data-driven, privatizing millionaires and politicians who serve as their house pets we find in dozens of other similar organizations. It might seem like all these “different” groups give the appearance of large public support, but really it’s the same folks who have orchestrated this from the beginning and now use places like “Hope Street” to fool the public into buying their narrative.

I’ve stopped listening to what they working groups are saying. I mean, who among them is really going to form a group and tout as their mission “to bilk the American public out of their right to public education and make millions of dollars doing it.” No. Of course it’s going to say “help the children blah blah blah.”                Whatever…..

I look at WHO is saying it.

WHO’S footing the bill.

Forget promises and ideals that NEVER manifest in reality. Who is making a buck off this?

Whose next campaign is getting funded?

\Whose getting the multi-million dollar contracts to facilitate these reforms?

And most importantly, where’s the data that shows that ANY of this crap has actually served the children it promises to “help?” For all of their obsession with BIG DATA, even McKinsey can’t pull that one out of their arses. Because the truth is, facts suggest these reforms have HARMED children and communities.

Published by educationalchemy

Morna McDermott has been an educator for over twenty years in both k-12 and post secondary classrooms. She received her doctorate in education, with a dissertation focus on arts-based educational research, from The University of Virginia in 2001. Morna's teaching, scholarship, and activism center around the ways in which creativity, art, social justice, and democracy can transform education and empower communities. She is currently a Professor of Education at Towson University.

8 thoughts on “The Road to Hell is Paved by Hope Street

  1. Your words about Hope Street Group are not solid… Just became affiliated with the group and I can’t seem to find one thing you have printed to be true. I am looking, but unsuccessful at seeing your perception of how harmful HSG is to children. I am also concerned with your paranoia and choice to perpetuate fear—seems to me there could be more intellectual strategies to use for caring about education, besides the use of FEAR.

    1. If you can’t find info yourself start with the links I provide-it’s all easily accessible and public information
      I just deliver the facts as I find them-whether or not this is frightening is up to you

      1. Oh, Michael, the only thing that scares me is people who think they are being a voice for children by printing information without uncovering hidden agendas. I still think you should schedule a trip to Kentucky and visit classrooms that have been implementing the standards since 2011. Why rely on internet garbage? Why not come and see what children are actually experiencing? If you really care about education and distribution of wealth (and by they way, I agree with you on many of your points about groups of opportunists) you just have to come and see what even the youngest students are able to do and think—very powerful—and may even restore your faith in teachers! Teacher-voice is your reliable source. We are the one’s in the middle of it all, and are sadly silenced.

  2. I never lost my faith in teachers-I’ve been one for over 20 years-and believe it or not I hope your right-but history of corporate backed reform thus far has shown otherwise-I want what’s best for all kids-on that we clearly agree

  3. You are incorrect about Hope Street’s funding and mission. What they support, among other things, are high standards and teachers having input on decisions. Those are good things because most of the problems we have right now are coming from decisions being made without teacher input. And what in the world do you find dangerous about using the RIGHT DATA to inform instruction? Teachers have always used data to inform their teaching decisions and what they want is exactly that, to use the right data, not random data, not singular data from standardized tests, to inform their practices. Enough of the conspiracy theory craziness that keeps ANY good decisions from being made for fear of capitulating to shadowy interests. Listen to teachers, let teachers lead, and stop obstructing teacher-initiated change.

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