In the past few years, Fordham Institute leaders seem to have forgotten their own research and have been traveling the country as cheerleaders for Common Core to states that are trying to drop out. Hello, do you not remember what you wrote??? Like a fly who can’t resist a pile of youknowwhat, the Fordham Institute regurgitates whatever their donors pay them to say, which also comes out as a pile of youknowwhat. Yessiree, these guys know which side their bread is buttered on. The Curmudgucation blogger called Fordham Institute "the best thinky tank money can buy." Keep reading and you'll see why.
Here are some ironic nuggets that Fordham reported in 2010, and is now conveniently ignoring in 2014:
On the first page, Fordham Institute proudly announces that its very first publication, released in July 1997, was Sandra Stotsky’s "State English Standards."
Connect the dots... Sandra Stotsky, a professor at University of Arkansas, was one of 2 educators on the Validation team for Common Core Standards. She refused to sign her name on the Common Core. Not only did she refuse, Stotsky now travels the country speaking against Common Core.
So... Fordham Institute respected Sandra Stotsky enough to give her the honor of being their very first publication, but conveniently ignores her professional assessment and vocal opposition to Common Core now? Hmmm...
This statement on p.2: "it’s no great surprise that serious analysts, recently including the Brookings Institution’s Russ Whitehurst, have found no link between the quality of state standards and actual student performance."
Then why the heck are you forcing Common Core on our states?
This admission on p.3: "The Common Core math standards earn a grade of A-minus while the Common Core ELA standards earn a B-plus, both solidly in the honors range. Neither is perfect."
So you’re supporting these standards, which you admit are not perfect. These standards may not be perfect, but shouldn't our standards at least be worthy of making honor roll (all A's)?
On page 6 and several times throughout your research, Fordham Institute admits: Some states had superior standards to Common Core. Some had standards that were “too close to call”.
Why aren't you supporting for those standards that are superior to Common Core, then? Don’t you want the BEST for children in America? Why are you pushing states to completely swap their standards, purchase new curriculum and tests, and spend a ton of money to implement standards that you categorized as "too close to call." That doesn't make sense and you know it.
This nugget on p.4: “States will do their kids no favor if they mess up this decision or just go through the motions of embracing new standards, maybe only long enough to qualify for RTT funding. In short order, everyone in those jurisdictions will recognize that this was a false messiah – and educators and voters alike will grow even more cynical about standards-based education reform.”
Fordham Institute, you said it: “A false messiah”. And you were right about us being even more cynical.
Fordham Institute rated Tennessee's prior English Language Arts standards = A minus.
They scored Common Core's ELA standards = B plus.
Does that sound like Tennessee is raising our standards to go from A- to B+? Um, no. We'll keep the A- over the B+ thankyouverymuch, plus save a bunch of money not having to buy new curriculum. Many other states are in the same predicament. Like a broke salesman with no morals, you're selling standards they don't need and can't afford.
the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Bingo!!! Continual funding by the Gates Foundation has paid your paychecks. How much have you received from Daddy Gates? This link will show at least $3.5 million in grants from Gates so far. And considering the method that the Gates Foundation pays their grants out over monthly installments (not in one big check, how stupid would that be?), we see you’re now under at least a 6 year commitment, with the possibility for more if the Bossman is happy with your "performance". That $1 million grant for "general operating support” is especially suspicious... Is that to pay for your travel expenses to all these states who are backing out of Common Core? Hey, if we paid you $3.6 million to support different standards, would you change your tune?
Not only that, if you look at the list of Fordham donors, you'll find all the usual Common Core supporters like: GE, the College Board, Amplify Learning (makes expensive Common Core technology products), and the Walton Family Foundation. And if you look at Fordham Institute's finance report, you'll see they are largely dependent upon their donors to exist. In fact, donors cover 2/3 of their expenses. That is hard to ignore. Everyone knows not to bite the hand that feeds you.
In the video, Petrilli is kidnapping another reformer, Frederick Hess (who can be also bought if you ever need a research paper to support your agenda and have an extra $30,000. In fact, click here to how Hess has hurt TN). Petrilli kidnaps Hess to give him a makeover at Brooks Brothers. Apparently, Hess likes to wear shorts year-round, and shorts just aren't appropriate attire for an exclusive black-tie event called "The Eddie Awards". Fast-forward to the 2 minute mark and you will hear Petrilli say this:
"Alright, now come on Shug, where are ya?" (looking for his chauffeur)
"I got a 2:30 conference call with Gates, and I don't wanna miss it.
BIG money on the line, baby, BIG money!"
Watch the video and hear it for yourself. Even though the video is supposed to be humorous, Petrilli is dead serious about the money.
Also, just because an organization is a 501c3 non-profit, it does not mean someone isn't getting rich.