Meet Susan Patrick.
Ms. Patrick is CEO of iNACOL – a powerful reform group that receives most of its funding from the Gates Foundation, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, and the Carnegie Corporation. Ms. Patrick, who was never a teacher and has no education background, previously served as director of the Office of Technology at the U.S. Department of Education.
Yesterday morning, I watched a video posted on Facebook from iNACOL’s website, in which Ms. Patrick said something startlingly frank:
When I went to take a second look that evening, the video had been taken down. Fortunately, a tech-savvy and prescient friend had captured the video before it was removed.
After admitting that they are serving up a giant Trojan horse, Ms. Patrick reveals the organization’s true intention:
“Competency-based models are key to the redesign and transformation of education,” she says.
And then she doubles herself.
Competency-based education is the hyper-efficient, uber-profitable fantasy model of education favored by corporate leaders who are convinced that our schools exist to serve their bottom line.
Here is how iNACOL helps.
Under the guise of bringing alternate, online learning “pathways” to students, iNACOL leaders meet with politicians and corporate leaders to come up with policies that they embed in documents like the Elementary and Secondary Reauthorization Act.
Here is what Susan Patrick thinks is a great policy idea:
And here is what Governor Wise’s “Digital Learning Now!” Council thinks:
After they develop their policy blueprints, they pass their ideas on to the corporate bill mill known as the American Legislative Exchange Council.
ALEC then works with member politicians in your state to submit benign-sounding, cryptically worded bills based on the agenda above. Here’s a graphic showing how it works:
Finally, your state legislature votes on these policies, which sound like they are simply meant to give kids access to multiple learning “pathways”, but are, in fact, designed to completely restructure our educational system to favor the wealthy few.
Soon, teachers find themselves sitting through professional development sessions that make no sense and are run by organizations funded by the very groups that set the whole thing in motion. Districts find themselves spending huge portions of their budget on experimental technology plans and consulting groups. Class sizes grow, buildings crumble, children are experimented upon, and teachers flee the profession.
Meanwhile, the corporate world profits.
Can you believe how easy it is?