Progressive billionaire George Soros via his Open Society Foundations is listed as a “funding partner” of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE).
NASBE is holding its annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia November 1-4. The organization boasts a long list of progressive “partners,” which includes Soros’s foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – primary private funder of the Common Core standards, the College Board, tech titan Google, and textbook giant Pearson Education.
The conference’s keynote speakers include David Coleman – “architect” of the Common Core standards and current president and CEO of the College Board – which administers the SAT that is now aligned to the Common Core standards.
— NASBE (@NASBE) November 2, 2017
Salman “Sal” Khan, founder and CEO of Khan Academy, is also a featured keynote speaker at the NASBE conference, as is Dr. Pedro Noguera, a sociologist and education professor at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA.
According to an Eventbrite invitation, Noguera will speak on Saturday on the topic of how to achieve excellence through equity for all children.
Soros recently transferred $18 billion to his Open Society Foundations, which serve as the primary vehicle for his left-wing political activism.
Internationally, Soros is currently involved in efforts to turn Ireland and other pro-life nations into countries that provide abortion on demand. He also promotes demonization of the Israeli government and migration from Muslim countries into Europe.
In addition to promoting abortion and progressive public education in the United States, Soros and his foundations fund the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-conservative media outlet Media Matters.
NASBE has received roughly $5.5 million in grants from the Gates Foundation – much of it to help the state boards implement the Common Core standards.
As Breitbart News reported in June 2014 – soon after the state of Oklahoma had repealed the Common Core standards – petitioners organized by NASBE sued the state, arguing that the repeal of Common Core is unconstitutional under Oklahoma state law. The plaintiffs claimed the state legislature – the representatives of the people of Oklahoma – had no right to draft new standards to replace Common Core, and that this power belongs to Oklahoma’s state board of education. The state legislature, however, passed the adoption of Common Core even before the controversial standards had ever been released.
Panelists for NASBE’s conference include Dr. Linda Darling Hammond – Stanford University professor emeritus and former director of RAND Corporation’s education program, and Gene Wilhoit – CEO of the Center for Innovation in Education at the University of Kentucky and previous executive director of NASBE. Wilhoit was also a prior executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) that, along with the National Governors Association (NGA), owns the Common Core standards.
Betty Peters, a Republican member of the Alabama State Board of Education who has actively attempted to repeal Common Core in her state, tells Breitbart News regarding Hammond:
Most seniors will remember a political activist from the violent 60’s and 70’s – Bill Ayers. He petitioned his long-time friend President Obama to fire Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and replace him with Dr. Hammond, who had helped Obama draft his education plan.
Peters continues regarding panelist Wilhoit, providing an “excerpt from an interview of him by Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE),” who became well known for his congratulatory “letter to Hillary Clinton” following the election of her husband as president of the United States in 1992:
Here is an excerpt from an interview of him by Marc Tucker of NCEE:
“Gene Wilhoit served as chief state school officer in Arkansas and in Kentucky before the Council of Chief State School Officers asked him to assume the leadership of their association. Two decades earlier, Wilhoit had served as an active member of the board of an organization, the New Standards Project, that I had put together to develop new, internationally benchmarked student performance standards for the American states, along with a set of assessments set to those standards. After he took the helm as Executive Director of the CCSSO, Wilhoit led the successful joint effort of the country’s chief state school officers [CCSSO] and its governors [NGA] to create the Common Core State Standards…. Marc Tucker: “Gene, you played the key role in the development of the Common Core, a remarkable achievement.”
“States pay hefty dues to NASBE, and NASBE trains new state school board members,” Peters says. “NASBE also offers help with searches for state superintendents, and its board and work groups write policies for use by its member states. Obviously, NASBE has a lot of influence on state school boards. That point has not escaped the many education groups and vendors who agree to be partners.”
Dr. Karen Effrem – president of Education Liberty Watch and executive director of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition – observed that NASBE has stated part of the purpose of the Common Core standards and their aligned assessments is to test children’s psychological attitudes and attributes, primary components of social and emotional learning (SEL).
“Various elements of SEL [social emotional learning] can be found in nearly every state’s K-12 standards framework and in the Common Core State Standards for the English Language Arts,” NASBE states in its primer on the subject.
In April 2015, Dr. Sandra Stotsky – professor emerita of University of Arkansas and an invited member of the Common Core validation committee who ultimately refused to sign off on the controversial standards – wrote at Breitbart News that state boards and departments of education should be eliminated.
“It is becoming increasingly clearer that the main groups oppressing parents, local school boards, and local teacher unions with Common Core-based standards and tests (regardless of what they are actually called) are state boards of education and state departments of education,” Stotsky wrote, adding:
[T]here is no research to support their effectiveness, their functions, or indeed, their very existence. They are a late 19th century addition to state government, and grew enormously in staff and importance only after the federal government began to provide funds for public education after 1965 with the passage of the first Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
Stotsky explained most state board members are appointed by governors and not elected by state residents, and, therefore, “follow the party line of the appointing governor.”
“Most state boards do not provide public meetings for higher education academic experts and parents to discuss standards for the K-12 curriculum in English and mathematics,” she continued. “No state board is on record in 2010 for asking for a cost-benefit analysis of Common Core’s standards or tests. No state board is on record for asking higher education academic experts in their own state for their analysis of Common Core’s ‘college readiness’ standards.”