Jeb Bush’s Chiefs for Change Snag Lucrative Edu Corp Gigs as “Common Core Crony Capitalists”

From Alec MacGillis’ New Yorker piece:

Meanwhile, several of the chiefs for change whom Bush was relying on to promote the standards were leaving office. Early last year, New Jersey’s Chris Cerf took an executive position at Amplify, which in 2013 had won a $12.5-million contract to develop a digital library of student-assessment tools from one of the state consortia that were developing the Common Core-based tests. Such movement from the public sector to the private is routine, but it underscored a central critique of the standards from both the left and the right: that, because the new testing regime required states to buy new test-prep materials, curricula, and even computers on which to take the tests, they were essentially another sales opportunity for the education industry. A headline on the Web site of the libertarian magazine Reason in July claimed that “Common Core Is Crony Capitalism for Computer Companies.”

And disgraced former Florida education commissioner Tony Bennett now works for Pearson:

Tony Bennett walked through the lobby. After he lost his bid for reëlection in Indiana, he briefly served as Florida’s education commissioner, but resigned after the Associated Press reported that he had tweaked the rating of an Indiana charter school founded by a major G.O.P. donor. (An inspector general later cleared him of any legal violation.) He was consulting for the test-prep company ACT Aspire, which is co-owned by Pearson. “In this incredible land of opportunity,” Bennett said, “why shouldn’t someone who served his country get to serve in another way?”

Reason’s apt take on Common Core’s creepy cash-ins show what an insult to real capitalism and real capitalists today’s education policymaking has become.  Jeb Bush has served as virtual (forgive me) Godfather of an enterprise which games the system at the legislative level for lieutenants like Cerf and Bennett. It seems that everyone who has ever kissed the ring has come out saying as does Charter Schools USA boss Jonathan Hage that they simply identified a “classic business opportunity.”


About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
This entry was posted in charter schools, Common Core, EDUCATION, GOP16, Jeb Bush and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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