ATTENTION: TIME TO BE HEARD!
Roundtable discussion with IL Superintendent of Education Christopher Koch
WHEN: Thursday January 16th at 6pm
WHERE: Eola Branch of the Aurora Public Library at 555 S. Eola Road, Aurora IL
More details about the event HERE
Christopher Koch is the state superintendent of education in Illinois. He also served as the President of the the CCSSO Board of Directors from 2010-2011. CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers) is the Washington DC based lobbying organization which, together with the National Governors Association (NGA) developed the Common Core State Standards. He is also on the PARCC (common core assessment) governing board.
Under the direction of Superintendent Koch, Illinois has taking a leadership role in the adoption and implementation of Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science standards and the The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards.
In other words, Christopher Koch is an avid supporter and has ensured that Illinois is going to adopt the entire suite of Common Core education reforms.
But there’s more…
According to the New York Times, Christopher Koch, state superintendent of education in Illinois — which has $138 million in contracts with Pearson — went to China, Brazil and Finland with the Pearson foundation, a charity associated with the Common Core connected textbook publisher Pearson Publishing. The only Pearson compensation he listed on state ethics forms was the cost of the flight to China, $4,271 for business class. Asked why hotels, meals and the other flights were not documented, a spokesman for Dr. Koch, Matt Vanover, said, “What we’re looking at is a litmus test; they just want to make sure he’s not traveling first class.”
In response to this Pearson Foundation funded world tour and other questionable practices, the Oswego Superintendent of Schools wrote a letter to Illinois Governor Quinn calling for Superintendent Koch to resign. This letter is worthy of a quick read HERE:
The New York attorney general conducted an ethics investigation into the activities surrounding the Pearson Foundation’s lavish conferences and their involvement in the development of Common Core materials. On December 12th 2013, the New York Times reported that Pearson Publishing settled with the Attorney General of New York for $7.7 million dollars.
The Pearson Foundation settled with the Attorney General of New York state to pay $7.7 million to settle accusations that it repeatedly broke New York State law by assisting in for-profit ventures.
The inquiry by the New York attorney general focused on Pearson’s attempts to develop a suite of products around the Common Core…
Around 2010, Pearson began financing an effort through its foundation to develop courses based on the Common Core. The attorney general’s report said Pearson had hoped to use its charity to win endorsements and donations from a “prominent foundation.” That group appears to be the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Indeed, in April 2011, the Pearson Foundation and the Gates Foundation announced they would work together to create 24 new online reading and math courses aligned with the Common Core.
Pearson executives believed the courses could later be sold commercially, the report said, and predicted potential profits of tens of millions of dollars. After Mr. Schneiderman’s office began its investigation, the Pearson Foundation sold the courses to Pearson for $15.1 million.
The attorney general’s office also examined a series of education conferences sponsored by the Pearson Foundation, which paid for school officials to meet their foreign counterparts in places like Helsinki and Singapore.
The trips were made public after a series of columns in The New York Times, which detailed the expensive hotels and meetings with corporate executives that were staples of the experience.
Several school officials who went on the trips represented education departments that had contracts with Pearson. The investigation did not determine whether those officials had awarded any new contracts based on any improper influence. But the report found that executives from other companies were not invited to attend, giving Pearson’s corporate side a clear advantage.
Common Core was adopted by Illinois without debate and a vote by Illinois Legislature. It was adopted by Governor Quinn and the Illinois Board of Education administratively. For more information about how Common Core came to Illinois please see information HERE.