Monday, July 20, 2015

Yet More Influence of Money

The Leadership Conference on Human and Civil Rights just keeps on pushing standardized testing. Two articles in particular are troubling. This one from Vox, and this one from International Business Times (IBT). Both highlight the lobbying by big civil and disability rights groups for Congress to maintain high stakes testing in an effort to close achievement gaps of poor, minority, and disabled students. 

It's a noble thought that, in practice, is a disaster for those groups. I know I sound like a broken record, but please, someone, anyone, show me the data that demonstrates the closing of those gaps. Show me how tests given to students who have NEVER seen the material on the tests demonstrate anything worthwhile. Anything! Please. 

I recognize the place from which these civil and disability rights groups argue. That pre-ESEA, or IDEA, the people they represent were left out. Districts we not obliged to educate them. I'd like to think that in 2015 the thought of not educating someone in this country is utterly abhorrent. There are better ways to demonstrate growth, progress, achievement, rather than issuing poorly designed standardized tests and narrowing curriculum for the sole purpose of taking those tests. I don't care where you live in the US, that's exactly what's happened -- all in the name of "college and career ready," a term that no one has bothered to define, but, heck, it sure sounds good. 

The other day, Steven Singer noted on his blog that many of the civil rights groups had been asking for relief from standardized testing as late as last October. Now they want it. Politics and money are tricky, I guess. 

Once again, I've been obliged to go poking through the Gates, Broad, and Walton Foundations' websites and 990's looking for grants provided to the groups that signed on to not one, but two, press releases from The Leadership Conference in the last week. There were a couple of new faces on these two lists. 

I have written about the money here, here, and here. The money from just these three foundations is staggering.  

Here is the list from the 14th July 2105 Leadership Conference advocacy letter to the US Senate.


Gates
Walton
Broad
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
$2,930,868
----
----
Alliance for Education Excellence
$17,740,140
----
-----
American Association of University Women
----
----
----
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
----
----
----
Association of University Centers on Disabilities
----
----
----
Center for American Progress
$6,448,809
$200,000
$771,676
Children’s Defense Fund
$433,178
----
$4,000
Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates
----
----
----
Democrats for Education Reform
----
----
----
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
----
----
----
Easter Seals
$384,747
----
----
Judge David L. Brazelon Center for Mental Health Law
----
----
----
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
----
----
----
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
$943,687
----
----
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)
$1,325,077
----
----
NAACP
$2,456,106
----
----
NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
----
----
----
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
----
----
----
National Center for Learning Disabilities
$124,315
----
----
National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools
----
----
----
National Center on Time & Learning
$1,311,003
----
$1,571,500
National Council on La Raza (NCLR)
$33,331,260
$2,419,330
----
National Disabilities Rights Network
----
----
----
National Down Syndrome Congress
----
----
----
National Indian Education Association
$1,944,230
----
----
National Urban League
$5,156,017
$40,000
----
National Women’s Law Center
----
----
----
New Leaders
$20,718,314
$1,800,000
$2,653,000
PolicyLink
$1,882,828
----
----
Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
$1,680,105
----
----
Southern Education Foundation
$500,056
----
----
Southern Poverty Law Center
----
----
----
Stand for Children
$13,449,716
$3,136,134
----
Teach for America
$12,405,267
$77,109,586
$20,855,440
Teach Plus
$17,094,388
$250,000
----
The Education Trust
$15,291,817
$1,283,000
$582,785
The New Teacher Project (TNTP)
$23,000,280
12,191,239
----
UNCF
$1,587,347,363
$3,535,030
----
Total
$1,767,899,571
$101,964,319
$26,438,401


Here is the list from the 16th July 2015 Leadership Conference other advocacy letter to the US Senate.


Gates
Walton
Broad
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
$2,930,868
----
----
Alliance for Education Excellence
$17,740,140
----
-----
Association of University Centers on Disabilities
----
----
----
Children’s Defense Fund
$433,178
----
4,000
Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates
----
----
----
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
----
----
----
Judge David L. Brazelon Center for Mental Health Law
----
----
----
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
----
----
----
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
$943,687
----
----
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)
$1,325,077
----
----
NAACP
$2,456,106
----
----
NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
----
----
----
National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools
----
----
----
National Disabilities Rights Network
----
----
----
National Down Syndrome Congress
----
----
----
National Urban League
$5,156,017
$40,000
----
Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
$1,680,105
----
----
Southern Education Foundation
$500,056
----
----
Southern Poverty Law Center
----
----
----
TASH
----
----
----
The New Teacher Project (TNTP)
$23,000,280
12,191,239
----
Total
$56,165,332
$12,231,239
$4,000




2 comments:

  1. Easter seals? Easter seals supports the 1% cap on alternate assessment? Easter Seals? Maybe the national center for learning disabilities wants to make sure it's kids are taught and pushed, but Easter seals KNOWS some kids cannot handle the regular curriculum and testing. Shame on them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes. Astonishing, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete