Three Non-Profits Selling Out Public Education… in the name of “public education”


The phrase Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has gone viral. Criticisms of it are broad and deep. Much has been said about its highly questionable federal intrusion, data piracy, costliness, questionable quality, and attachment to new rounds of standardized testing… I could go on, but I won’t. But let’s not also forget the new “middle men”-the non profits sprouting up like weeds- creating a new market in which they profit from the management and delivery of CCSS and the other education reform policies forced on schools everywhere. Let’s not forget that CCSS is indelibly attached to broader reform efforts to insert corporate interests into public education with the aim of privatizing education. Here are three non-profits to watch for. Read the bio’s of the Board members, the Team leaders, and Funders. It’s long. I know. The information has been summarized, culled from a variety of sources and pulled together here. Here you can see the cast of corporate characters and their partnerships to political and education institutional affiliations. Make note. And beware if you see them coming to a school near you.


From website: “BELLWETHER EDUCATION PARTNERS is a nonprofit dedicated to helping education organizations – in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors – become more effective in their work and achieve dramatic results, especially for high-need students. To do this, we provide a unique combination of exceptional thinking, talent, and hands-on strategic support.”

Bellwether works with Stand for Children, and one of the board of the Partner -members is on the board of Democrats for Education Reform.

Andy Smarick, partner in Bellwether Education Partners was keynote speaker at lunch for the November 19 Summit on Faith-based schools, sponsored by The American Bible Society in NYC.

Example of work: Partnered with Pittsburg Public Schools in 2012 to deliver professional services totaling $2,532, 177.

Board of Directors

Tina Fernandez: she was the managing director of Alumni Engagement and Infrastructure for Teach for America

Kendrich Ashton: investment banker at Goldman, Sachs & Co.,

Paul Reville: is a Professor of Practice at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education after having completed nearly five years of service as the Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As Governor Patrick’s top education advisor, Reville established the Executive Office of Education and had oversight of higher education, K-12 and early education in the nation’s leading student achievement state.

Kim Smith: is CEO and founder of the Pahara Institute, a national nonprofit that aims to identify, strengthen, and sustain diverse high-potential leaders who are transforming public education. Its programs, including the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship (previously the Aspen-NewSchools Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education Fellowship), Earlier in her career she served as a founding team member at Teach For America, she co-founded and led NewSchools Venture Fund, a philanthropy focused on transforming public education through social entrepreneurship, Ms. Smith has helped to incubate numerous education and social change organizations and has served on a range of boards, which currently include those of Pahara, Bellwether, NewSchools, Rocketship Education, and ROADS Charter Schools

Mary K Wells: She was a manager and consultant with Bain & Company, where she worked primarily with Fortune 500 companies on growth strategy, new business development, and post-merger integration issues. She was with Bain & Company for over seven years.

Salaries—includes bonuses:







Team (not a complete list)

Chad Aldeman: Associate Partner–.He works on the Policy and Thought Leadership team at Bellwether. Previously, Aldeman was a Policy Advisor in the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education, where he worked on teacher policy and secondary schools.

Lina Bankert: Principal –Prior to joining Bellwether, Ms. Bankert was a Principal at Bain & Company, where she worked with executive teams across a broad range of industries and capabilities in both the private and public sectors, while building extensive pro bono/ non-profit advisory experience with focus on K-12 education.

Ellie Craig: Research Assistant-Ellie served as a SPEA VISTA Fellow with The Mind Trust, a nonprofit organization that invests in great schools and innovative ideas in order to create excellent educational opportunities for all Indianapolis students. At The Mind Trust, she worked as a member of the Education Initiatives team, focusing on selection and accountability for the Charter School Incubator and the Education Entrepreneur Fellowship programs.

Alison Fuller: Associate Partner-Prior to joining Bellwether, Ms. Fuller was a case team leader at Bain & Company, where she worked with clients across a broad range of industries.

Gifford Goldberg: Principal with Bellwether Education Partners,-Rebecca was a consultant with McKinsey and Company, where she managed engagements with leading global institutions on growth strategy, sales and marketing, and operational efficiency.

Charles Glover: Senior Fellow -Charles was the founding Executive Director of TFA-Dallas/Ft. Worth in 2009, and in that capacity oversaw its growth into one of the Teach for America’s largest regions.

George Mu: is an Education Pioneers Analysis– Prior to joining Bellwether, George was a Consultant at Booz & Company, a global management consulting firm.

Jeff Schulz: is also a proud Teach For America alum, former advocacy lead for a group of high-performing, nationally acclaimed Texas charter schools, and education analyst for the central Texas-based E3 Alliance.

Gunjan Sun was a senior associate consultant with Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm.

Stephanie Wilson has also worked as a consultant for Bain & Company


Becky Crowe is a Partner at Bellwether Education Partners, a nonprofit organization working to improve educational outcomes for low-income students. She has spent more than 15 years leading education reform efforts as a social entrepreneur and education policy and philanthropy advisor. Her clients include state Race to the Top winners, America Achieves, and the Carnegie Corporation and Opportunity Equation’s 100Kin10 STEM initiative.

Monisha Lozier Prior to launching Bellwether, Ms. Lozier was the founder of her own small business, Cobbe Place Consulting. In this capacity, she and her team conducted executive-level searches for dozens of reform-oriented organizations in the K-12 education community.

Andrew J. Rotherham Co-founder of Bellwether. He serves on advisory boards and committees for a variety of organizations including Education Pioneers, The Broad Foundation, and the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research. (CALDER). Rotherham is on the board of directors for the Indianapolis Mind Trust, is Vice Chair of the Curry School of Education Foundation at the University of Virginia, and serves on the Visiting Committee for the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Board member for Democrats for Education Reform.

Andy Smarick is a former White House Fellow, member of the 2010-11 class of Aspen Institute-NewSchools Fellows, and founding board member of 50CAN.

Mary K. Wells was a manager and consultant with Bain & Company, where she worked primarily with Fortune 500 companies on growth strategy, new business development, and post-merger integration issues.

Key Endorsements

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

In 2013, Gates donated $1,981,978  to support CoreSpring, an initiative to build a bank of shared Common Core aligned formative item and assessment resources that assure improved discoverability, availability and interoperability.

Massachusetts Department of Education National Institute for Excellence in Teaching

New Leaders for New Schools

NewSchools Venture Fund

New York Center for Charter Schools

Stand for Children

Doris & Donald Fisher Fund


HOPE STREET (created 2003)

Website description: Hope Street Group’s Education Program seeks to transform the teaching profession to improve outcomes for students. How? By changing the way we support educators and by creating the right incentives to produce outstanding student outcomes. Our Education Program features collaborative, crowd-sourced solutions that bring together new voices, world-class talent and modern tools. We tap the most experienced people in education, with leading involvement from teachers themselves. From identifying innovations to engaging practitioners, documenting results and fostering the spread of good ideas, the Hope Street Group approach is sparking the widespread change we so urgently need.

History of Assets

$31,600 2004
$51,293 2005
$835,420 2008
$958,879 2009

Monique Nadeau President and CEO (2007-2014) salary: $207,000 ($82,000 of that is from bonuses)”


The primary funding comes from 3 private foundations

Other than the 3 foundations largest donors have been one board member and one individual though constitute only 1% total contribuation. 25% comes from public support

The top listed foundations are

Peter Peterson

Rodell Foundation

College Board





Board Members

Ted MeiselChairman of the Board/Senior Advisor/Elevation Partners Before he became an internet executive, he spent a number of years with the consulting firms of McKinsey & Company

Tony MillerChief Operating Officer and Founding Partner/The Vistria Group LLC joined the Hope Street Group Board of Directors in 2014. The Vistria Group, LLC, is a private investment firm focused on building market leading companies in the education, healthcare, and financial services industries. Before launching The Vistria Group, Mr. Miller was the Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer at the U.S. Department of Education, After completing his-MBA, Mr. Miller joined McKinsey & Company where he was a Partner serving healthcare and technology companies throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Monique Nadeau joined the Hope Street Group and the Board in early 2007. As President and CEO from 2007-2014, she led the organization to cultivate economic opportunity and prosperity for all Americans. Managing Director globally at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, pioneering more than $4 billion of public-private finance initiatives for the UK Government and advising the full spectrum of public and private institutions on high profiled strategic risk management transactions.

Bob Kocher is a Principal at McKinsey and Company where he leads the McKinsey Center for Health Reform and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution Engleberg Center for Health Reform.


Michale Cohen-President Achieve Inc. Cohen has held several key roles in education during the past 20+ years, including Director of Education Policy at the National Governors Association (1985-1990) and Director of Planning and Policy Development at the National Association of State Boards of Education (1983-1985).

Allan Golston, President of the United States Program, leads the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Brad Jupp is Senior Program Advisor on teacher effectiveness and quality serving under U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Jupp works on school and district performance improvement and accountability, teacher effectiveness, and school choice, among other issues. He was formerly a Senior Policy Adviser to Denver school’s Superintendent turned U.S. Senator, Michael Bennet.

Joel Klein CEO Education Division; Former Chancellor-Newscorp; New York City Dept. of Education

In January 2011, Joel I. Klein became 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.

Amy Laitinen is Deputy Director for Higher Education at the New America Foundation, a non-partisan Washington, DC-based think tank. Her current work focuses on federal policies that can increase the use of competencies and data in higher education and the workforce. Laitinen previously served as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Education, where she was responsible for developing policy and budget proposals for post-secondary and workforce education, including the $12-billion American Graduation Initiative and what became the state-focused Race to the Top for College Affordability proposal.

Goverbor Jack Markell. He is former Co-Chair of the Common Core Standards Initiative and a former Board Member of the National Assessment Governing Board.

Jon Schnur is executive chairman and co-founder of America Achieves. Schnur is also the co-founder and former CEO of New Leaders and serves on its Board of Directors. He recently served as senior advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, co-chairman of the Obama for America Education Policy Committee and as a member of the Obama Presidential Transition Team.

Bob Wise is president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. He currently co-chairs the Digital Learning Council with Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida. Governor Wise also chairs the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards


Net assets (2012): $309,536

Donated to Education Trust: $2,980,822

Website description: EDI’s vision is “to be the nation’s most effective organization in helping deliver world-class education outcomes for all students. Our mission is to partner with K-12 and higher education leaders with ambitious reform agendas and invest in their capacity to deliver results.  By employing an approach known as delivery, a proven methodology for effective implementation in the public sector, we help leaders maintain the necessary focus to plan and drive reform.

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others and officially launched this past spring, EDI was developed by Barber and is being headed by former Georgia state superintendent Kathy Cox. EDI was the brainchild of Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust, and Mike Cohen, president of Achieve, Inc., two Washington, DC, school reform veterans who have lamented how little attention has been paid to the implementation of large-scale school reforms.

Achieve and the U.S. Education Delivery Institute have developed a practical Common Core Implementation Workbook for all states in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

Katy Haycock on Board of Directors is President of Ed Trust: Her salary is $272,000 and was listed on the tax return for EDI, not Ed Trust , as “reportable compensation from RELATED ORGANIZATIONS.”

While EDI donated almost 3 mill to Ed Trust in 2010, EdTrust are not listed as donors but they are listed as organizational partners.

Just a note about EdTrust. It’s funded largely by corporate interests belonging to American Legislative Exhange Council. Funders list:

Laura & John Arnold Foundation
Bezos Family Foundation
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Joyce Foundation
The Kresge Foundation
Lumina Foundation for Education
State Farm Companies Foundation
The Wallace Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation

CEO Kathy Cox: Before joining EDI, she served as Georgia’s State Superintendent of Schools from 2003 until 2010, a statewide elected office.

Salary: $106,091


Partial List of the “Team”

Sir Michael Barber: Founder of EDI grounded on his philosophy of “Deliverology.” Barber recently joined Pearson as Chief Education Advisor. Prior to Pearson, he was a Partner at McKinsey & Company and Head of McKinsey’s global education practice. 


Nick Rodruigez : Prior to joining EDI, he was an engagement manager with McKinsey & Company’s education practice, where he advised education leaders on policy and implementation at the district, state, and national level in the U.S. and abroad.  

Ellyn Artis: Prior to her time at EDI, Ellyn worked at The Education Trust

Partial List of Board of Directors

David Britt: serves as board chair of The Education Trust

Dr. Jeri Echeverria: is retired Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in the Chancellor’s Office of the California State University

Katie Haycock: see bio above

Sir Michael Barber: see bio above

Dr. Driscoll: has served as President of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and currently serves on the board of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the K12 Advisory Board and the Alliance for Excellent Education.  He was recently appointed Chair of NAGB by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Ross Wiener: is a Vice President and the Executive Director of the Education and Society Program at the Aspen Institute. From 2002 to 2009, Ross worked at the Education Trust.

Kathy Cox: see bio above

Organizational Partners include



Education Trust



Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


Harold Castle Foundation

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Clients include state departments of education and higher education institutions

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.

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