A reader of Mercedes Schneider’s blog asked her to investigate a new curriculum that the state was imposing on all teachers. Schneider took the challenge, which resulted in this post.

I play a role in this venture so I want to explain how I got involved. In 2007 or 2008, I was invited to co-chair a new organization whose purpose was to advocate for the liberal arts. The other co-chair was Antonia Cortese, Secretary-treasurer of the AFT. The board was bipartisan. Our goal was to take a stand against the narrow test-based focus of No Child Left Behind and make the case for the importance of literature, history, and the arts.  The organization was called Common Core Inc., but it had no connection to the “Common Core State Standards,” which did not then exist.

At some point in 2010, the executive director Lynne Munson decided to take money from the Gates Foundation to expand into “curriculum mapping,” changing the original focus from an advocacy group to a purveyor of services, selling its wares. I quit the board.  During the two years of my association with the board, I never received any compensation.

As Schneider shows, Common Core Inc. is now “Great Minds,” and it has a large budget.

It is big business, a part of the education industry.