HANY is High Achievement New York. It has mounted a very costly campaign to oppose the opt out movement and to support high-stakes testing and the Common Core.


Who is funding their expensive campaign to maintain the status quo?


Fortunately, blogger and former teacher Deb Escobar has done the research and provides the answers. This will come as no surprise to readers of this blog. HANY is funded by the Billionaire Boys Club.


Who is the Man Behind the Curtain? Why, it is Bill Gates!


But he is not alone.


The purpose of this post is to pull back the curtain and let you know who is funding this massive campaign that aims to fix our “broken” system. Because, you know, it’s all for the children. Let’s start with their coalition members, beginning with Arva Rice, President and CEO of the New York Urban League, who previously was affiliated with Paul Tudor Jones (yes the hedge fund guy) and his Robin Hood Foundation.


Then there is New York Campaign for Achievement Now (NYCAN), part of the larger 50-state education reform group. The funding stream for 50CAN includes Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bush Foundation, JP Morgan Chase, and the Walton Foundation, among others. A veritable who’s-who of big money in the education reform game. The NY chapter adds more money from Gates, along with Bloomberg Philanthrophies, Kenneth M. Hirsch and William E. Simon.


Include Association for a Better New York, founded by real estate tycoon Bill Rudin. Their self-stated goal is to “promote neighborhood revitalization.” AKA gentrification. AKA keeping their fingers on the real estate prize in NY.


Coalition member Parents for Excellence in Bethlehem has bought the Common Core Gates funded spin. Co-President Kim Namkoong is a parent, also a mathematician and computer programmer. She is a face for the “How is My Kid Doing?” campaign that is funded by – you guessed it – the Council for a Strong America folks and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Bethlehem Parents for Excellence has a lackluster website (a surprise considering Namkoong’s stated occupation) that does not list its donors. They advocate for common core and testing.


Membership includes reformy groups Educators4Excellence and StudentsFirstNY. Educators4Excellence, also funded by the Gates Foundation, is comprised of anti-union young teachers, many of whom are alumni of Teach For America. See ed blogger Jonathan Pelto’s research on the group here. StudentsFirstNY is that pro-charter, pro-voucher group that shares its physical address with New York Charter queen Eva Moskowitz’ organization. NYS Families for Excellent Schools also shares that same address and is a hedge-funded PAC for education reforms.


The corporate reformers are a cozy group. There are not many of them, but they have so much money that they pop up again and again, singing the same tired old song. Test your children (not mine); put your children in “no excuses” charters (not mine); testing will make everyone smarter; the harder the tests, the smarter everyone will be and the more the achievement gap will close.


Evidence has nothing to do with their campaign. They do what the Man (or Men) Behind the Curtain want them to do.