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(1) Fund for Educational Excellence. (2) Foundation for Excellence in Education (or ExcelEd). (3) Alliance for Excellent Education, and (4) ConnectEd (Note the backers) and I just showed (5) Communities in Schools (Remember the subcontractors). Also Consider (6) Brown University’s AISR ~Smart Education Systems~ based on Ted [Yale, Harvard]+Nancy Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools.

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published April 17, 2017 (the day after Easter) at 19,000 words.

Tags (there would be many!) to be added later.

This post,

(1) Fund for Educational Excellence. (2) Foundation for Excellence in Education (or ExcelEd).  (3) Alliance for Excellent Education, and (4) ConnectEd (Note the backers) and I just showed (5) Communities in Schools (Remember the subcontractors). Also Consider (6) Brown University’s AISR ~Smart Education Systems~ based on Ted [Yale, Harvard]+Nancy Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools. (case-sensitive short-link ending in “-6pr”),

continues from the bottom of

Three (or Four) Famous, Privately Controlled Nonprofits Who Just Wanna Transform Public Education (and Urban Populations to Practice On (case-sensitive short-link ends “-6iI”) (just published, with a long introduction, April 3, 2017 mid-day),

and represents where the writing started after deciding on that title and subject matter.

Among other questions, I first remind us (and I have the standing as a parent, former teacher across a variety of systems, and more recently, investigative blogger of nonprofits and public/private partnerships and their self-reporting of programming while concealing, withholding, or delaying until forced to, their books — i.e., holdings (cashflow, etc.) to say this with confidence):

Controlling the education (esp. public school system) = controlling the next generation = controlling the nation, including the revenue-producing options of those same generations.

By “controlling” I mean “restricting” in order to keep most of the nation in its assigned places in society — NOT in the top echelon who control the investments, and steer the systems, and train their own offspring, marrying into each others’ family, to continue doing the same generation after generation.

Look for the matching questions I have about this agenda in similar-styled box quote below.  There is a discussion and several paragraphs inbetween.

Along these topical lines, you’ll hear a lot about “closing the achievement gap.” It may come from groups pushing charter schools and more choice,* or those opposed to the same.

From generic (Google) search results, 1st and 2nd page, you can easily see the variety of domain names discussing this, from NEA (National Education Association), to PBS to Www2.ed.gov (federal Dept. of Education), to what would seem to be product-specific domain names, and others, state-specific.  I looked at several of them, and no matter where I looked, I found those so enthusiastic about closing it were operating either as tax-exempts backed by other tax-exempts — or public/private partnerships, and when debating the issue of charter schools (as I just said, above), on closer look whether those for or those against, both are recommending more investments for systems change, and typically involving digital learning platforms.

Again, this conversation also tends to be partisan, with progressives complaining about conservatives and vice-versa.  Everyone seems eager to discuss the “big bucks foundations” backing the OTHER side, or blast for-profit schools — but neither side is discussing the tax-exempt sector AS a networked sector, drawing both finances, sponsored voices, and collections of assets available for investment (wherever the privately controlled group chooses) towards that sector and away from the low-income, poor people.   [Example in this 2013 document focused on Massachusetts, [“Threat from the Right focused on Massachusetts”] but see its pp.76ff discussion of “Foundation for Excellence in Education” w/ references to Betsy DeVos and the DeVos family, Bush, Broad, Gates, and others].  From reading it, one would think there was no substantial sponsorship of education reform from progressive foundations — but I’ve seen and posted on it at the highest levels (Open Society Foundations, Omidyar Fund Network, etc.).

It seems to be off the radar to discuss that the tax-exempt status itself might be a contributing factor — as opposed to a solution — to poverty in the USA, which has now passed its 100th anniversary in taxing all individuals except those able to drastically reduce, legally evade, or illegally, dodge accountability and paying it. IF that discussion were ever to be held fairly, as I through this blog consistently have intended for it to be, whether court-connected, or gender-war-connected (both sides), or as we have here, public-education-reform-connected, the fingerpointing would be equally at both political parties.

~ ~ ~ I’ll talk more about the Achievement Gap-Closing Group Debates, reviewing some of the top-level search results on the phrase, separately. Some fascinating data on the sponsors continues to surface (well, after I dug into the Form 990s) ~ ~ ~ (link active now, but accurate only when it’s published: “Tax-Exempts Against the Achievement Gap (Accounting Details ALWAYS provide a fascinating backdrop to the Cause-connected and Controlled-Debates SPONSORED Rhetoric) with case-sensitive short-link ending “-6zO” as in “October” not as in the symbol for “zero”)“) ~ ~ ~

This “closing the achievement gap” talk does NOT refer primarily to the significant gap between the schooling of those of inherited or significant (entrepreneurially-acquired) wealth, typically private schooling from grade or high school forward and the public schools, BUT INSTEAD basically achievement gaps within and across public school systems, according to defined demographic (racial, gender) or geographic (i.e., urban/inner-city or not) sectors and with a view to eventual utilization across country lines, too.

In this sphere of discussion, schooling in USA inner-city, impoverished, disadvantaged, low-income (etc) urban areas is compared for potential program application for schooling in conflict-ridden, violent zones in other countries. Programs have been and still are being developed with a view of working internationally, not just in the USA. There is a profit and self-propagation motive, which pushes back against the actual intention to solve poverty in the USA.

What we tend to forget: public schools as fantastic market testing place (just like the family courts also have been — so many people getting divorced, forced-consumption-of services on an unprecedented scale also, just like welfare reform — it’s a remarkable market niche for those with their eyes on it.

The USA just happens to provide (to people of this mindset) an irresistably wonderful, and wonderfully large testing ground in its massive school system, and (unlike some other countries) significant public education funding too. Our compulsory education laws K-12 and our Department of Education (Federal and state levels) with corresponding budgets, and supportive, supplemental “education foundations” are already and for decades (over a century) established;  common practice.  And, we are a large country.

Having filled themselves up well here as corporate entities with wealth poured into tax-exempt foundations (family, private operating, or public charity) and through social and class connections, able to fly around for conferences and networking to (spawn) more nonprofits, many nonprofits and their backers (working closely with for-profits providing the digital or other platformed, often proprietary) are eager to spread the good news in countries where there’s less competition with educational choice [private incl. some legal forms of homeschooling; public, parochial or other religious] or savvy middle and professional classes who might over here see the profit motive involved in school-reform entities operating primarily tax-exempt.

FOR AN EXAMPLE (of US Schools being used as educational laboratories): I have recently been hunting for WestEd‘s comprehensive, annual financial reports (audited) covering ALL its activities and stating ALL is assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses to date, for a specific year as, being a Joint Powers Agency, it has to produceAnyone who can locate such a report more current than, let’s say 2010 (WestEd was formed in 1996), please submit a link in a comment!

WestEd (a JPA formed from two previously-existing JPAs under California’s Joint Powers Authority Act; roughly translated, it’s a government entity under which citizens have no direct rights, although it is public-funded, probably mostly public-funded). runs an REL (Research) Regional Education Laboratories).  (The image this time = the link, also).

WestEd has been subjected to at least two negative audits I found while looking for their CAFR.  One, from 1998 (USDOE OIG) I already posted.  Here’s another one from the NSF: Audit Report OI8-08-1-011:

Attached is the final audit report, prepared by Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C., an independent public accounting firm, on the audit of NSF award number ESI-0119790 awarded to WestEd. The audit covers NSF-funded costs claimed from September 1, 2001 to June 30, 2007, aggregating to approximately $11.05 million of NSF direct funded costs and $1.25 million of claimed cost sharing. NSF requested and OIG agreed to conduct an audit at WestEd because of findings in prior A-133 and other NSF audits that identified that the policies and procedures WestEd used were inadequate to monitor and track award activity for subawards, cost sharing, and participant support.

The auditors identified four significant compliance and internal control deficiencies in WestEd’s financial management practice that contributed to the questioned costs, of which we consider the first to be a material weakness. Additionally, the first three of these control weaknesses were previously identified and reported in NSF OIG and A-133 single audit reports. Given the systemic and continuing nature of these compliance and internal control deficiencies it is likely that NSF’s eleven other current awards amounting to $13.6 million, as well as future awards are impacted by the same weaknesses.

…In case there was any question whether the US public school system, at public cost, is being subjected to “R&D” monitored by government agencies who have questionable internal control (reporting weaknesses).  SO DO MANY OF THE NONPROFIT NETWORKS WISHING TO FIX THE SCHOOLS, but the only real auditor of this sector as a sector seems to be the IRS, and public who get around to figuring out it might be a good idea to research.

This all seems obvious to me, but readers who question this are welcome to submit comments.

For more indicators of school-reform as “development” in conflict-ridden places (USA, Mexico, or on other continents) — also resembling the Boston Consulting Group, as I call it, “Harvard/Bain/Bridgespan” philosophy (see recent post with that phrase in it) of being the first or among the first in some new field and so able to define the terms and dominate it, as well as employ the “LBO” (Leveraged Buy-Out) practice on public institutions (by getting on the decision-making groups — for a private corporation it’d be board of directors; but for public institutions, it would require having councils to steer those “public/private collaborations” (or if more official, “partnerships”)  —  please review some of my earlier posts (2016) on the International Institute for Peace at Rutgers (http://iip.rutgers.edu), which lists the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (or similar title) in Southern California associated with it.  Notice the language.

The Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative is a non-governmental organization with international scope and reach, founded by IIP Co-Founder and Chairman, Forest Whitaker in 2012. WPDI develops an array of peace-building programs, initiatives and campaigns to foster peace and reconciliation in disadvantaged and fragile communities in the different regions of the world, including Africa, Latin America and the United States.

Working in close cooperation with international organizations, civil society, grassroots organizations, and a network of experts, the WPDI promotes youth empowerment, cultural diversity, continuous learning, capacity building, and access to internet connectivity and digital technologies. Projects include on-the-ground programs combining education, life and wellness skills and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for peace and development, broadcast series, social events, as well as awareness campaigns. (etc.).

The underlined portions show, yes, the intention is to go international, and that it is developing programs, initiatives and campaigns;  Para. 2, “combining education, life and wellness skills and information with “Information and Communication Technologies.”

You don’t have to read very far into almost ANY of the school-reform network websites (pick one, start somewhere) to realize that the same philosophy (Communities in Schools, Smart Education Systems, etc.) is being applied in the USA.

Also see from the paragraph on WPDI, it’s about DEVELOPING PROGRAMS, particularly DIGITAL.  Products and services, to be associated with the particular promoter.

What they don’t broadcast much is that they want to do this based in the USA and tax-exempt where many of the poor in the country (including in urban conflict-ridden areas) are NOT functioning, as individual households, “tax-exempt” but every time their noses get too far above ground level, will be subjected to the very same income taxes (and/or child support payments for some) groups like WPDI and others intentionally do not pay.

Also not referenced — these don’t always file properly, and WPDI and its predecessor show signs of not having done so. Again, feel free to visit my TOC 2016 page, locate the posts, and read the posted links — I posted significantly on this entity after discovering some “anomalies.”

Notice (further down on the WPDI description) the Rutgers website describing WPDI.org solicits for potential graduate students from Rutgers for program interns.  Meanwhile, MY habit is to go for the corporate filings and 501©3 IRS Forms 990, and (if in California or some other state whose charity registrations I can navigate) the Registry of Charitable Trusts.  Check my TOC for which posts.

Also, I never did really get an answer the question, how is the IIP at Rutgers actually engaged in financial reporting? (Would it show on a Rutgers CAFR?).  Now in 2017, I”m having the same issue with Annenberg Institute for School Reform, at Brown University (which is, unlike Rutgers, private).  Another question I have had for a long time — if the cause is so just, why must the accountability to US citizens for use of their public institutions, and public funds, so corrupt, almost consistently, in some types of projects?  Such things, I simply do not respect.  Why should I?

BUT, as a parent, teacher in a variety of schools, and Form 990-reader (and having been subjected to “education wars” surrounding “family court fiascoes” over many years, this century, I do have some perspective on the respective quality of education available — and the directions they are pointing — public vs. private in the USA.

So, while either way I’m going to go after the Forms 990s corporate filings of the networks AND the Forms 990PF of their rich sponsors, and/or where appropriate, CAFRs, who among themselves are now so enthusiastic about sponsoring Public School Reform Network 501©3 or ©4 entities, when it comes to purpose, I still ask, in these reform efforts to better US Public schools (or form charter schools, also with public expense accounts) — is the goal for these students in the “new, improved, reformed” schools:

Are they being primed for professional + technical classes mostly to work for the business owners (the upper crust, the elite — old and new combined) + government, thus being discouraged from challenging EITHER sector through not having the clout or influence to do so?

Are they being encouraged after graduation to battle each other as to middle vs. lower income (or, male v. female, or by race) while NOT following what the business owners and investors are doing?  Is the agenda to elevate USA education (through the various plans being promoted), or to suppress it, when the same entities are investing heavily and moving assets, to other countries and similar education models — in other words, how innocent and genuine IS it, really?

Are ANY of these entities even considering how interesting and engaging it might be for young people to learn to read the financial statements of their own schools or government entities, as I just pleaded with my (presumably mostly) adult readership to do and start to understand how these are organized and self-financing? (Probably not; working on reading, writing and math still).

When so many are so intent on privately (and most, “the non-profit way”) controlling the process of school transformation and system’s change, is the purpose really benign? Is it the main purpose, or ancillary?  


Also, following up from Item (6), the last part of today’s title — about Brown University’s AISR**and the Sizers’ Coalition of Essential Schools (“CES”) (network) — and built on my (unpublished draft notes) about Dec. 26, 2016 on (in part) these entities, is another post just published April 11, 2017.  This “follow-up” post just happened to get published first in all its annotated, excerpted and explained details:

A Tale of Two LLCs (and One Brown University Institute): Fronting the Causes, Burying-Moving-Renaming-Abandoning/Reinstating-Geographically Dispersing and Building Umbrella Organizations (a.k.a. Shelters) for the Networks’ Actual Fiscal Identities and Relationships (post title with case-sensitive short-link ending “-5gG”).

**AISR at Brown U logo

Some questions about the AISR** remain unanswered, while new connections with other influential foundations holding onto major assets in the form of student loan portfolios surfaced.   Some of the foundations were built, literally, on ownership of that debt, the ability to sell it to others, and the interests and dividends involved in doing so.  Meanwhile If I can solve (find the answers) today to my original “who IS it?” regarding the AISR, either (a) as a business entity filing SOME sort of financial statements SOMEwhere, that is, taking full ownership and claim to a separate EIN# from its originating Brown University EIN# (who is clearly — per other foundations’ Form 990s — taking donations earmarked to it) or (b) an appropriate explanation that and how it is legally (i.e., under what authorization) maintaining an active corporate status  as a Rhode Island domestic nonprofit (i.e. operating tax-exempt), but not providing its own tax returns — as Brown University, also operating as nonprofit and filing a 990 under its own name does —  I will incorporate some of them into this one also.

THIS IS THE QUESTION: Where is the Form 990 attached to an EIN# corresponding with the corporation filed in Rhode Island called “The Annenberg Institute for School Reform” IF one exists?

In this post (and the “Two LLCs…” one published 4/11/2017) I show some places I have already looked, and how other members of the same networks are displaying the “reluctant to register at the state level” on both coasts.  In fact, when the Coalition for Essential Schools (“CES”) that is by name associated with the AISR shows such a deplorable track record on BOTH USA coasts (RI and California), it is a very good question — who or what is the AISR and whether it considers itself somehow to be exempt from opening its books to the public. As, apparently does another major (though government not private) entity, “WestEd.”

Ramifications: IF there is no proper EIN# (for example, if AISR is an UNregistered trademark of Brown University, or some other explanation), then what does that say about the famous Annenberg Foundation whose $500M to public education — and $50M of this to this institute named after the donors — is displayed on their website and recited faithfully in histories of the respective institutions?

If, by contrast (however) the secrecy and “catch-us-if-you-can” aspects of the cash flow TO the AISR is symptomatic of Brown University only, not the foundation, then PERHAPS the donee may be found by starting at the Annenberg Foundation end and working downwards as to the Public Challenge Grantees.  (So here comes THAT part of the post! It will help if you read the annotated images, and not just the narrative).

From ANNENBERG FNDTN WEBSITE About Page 1989 – 1993 (School Reform) + 1958 School for Communciation at U of P (Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 1.32PM (Goes with next image):

The School Reform challenge is featured on Annenberg Fndtn’s own summary of itself, along with establishing schools of communication in 3 institutions, and substantial contributions to art museums and endowed chairs at universities. It also gives a size reference for the initial funding of the foundation — sale of a media empire (Triangle) for, judging by this, $3.6 billion, presenting another major problem to be solved — federal taxes on capital gains! And, public image vis a vis the less well-endowed (i.e., the working poor and middle class).


Timeline FAQs from its “Who We Are” (after identifying as a family foundation).  Notice the years, please.

  • 1989 The Annenberg Foundation begins operations on July 1 with $1.2 billion in assets. [see also annotated image to left]
  • 1990 To focus attention on the needs of historically black colleges, the Annenberg Foundation makes a $50 million challenge gift in what becomes, at the time, the most successful fundraising drive ever by the United Negro College Fund.
  • 1993 The Annenberg Foundation makes a $25 million grant to Harvard University. The grant will be used for scholarships, seminar programs and renovations to historic Memorial Hall, including the creation of a freshman dining facility named for the Ambassador’s son, Roger Annenberg.
  • 1993 The Annenberg Foundation makes a historic commitment to public education with the $500 million Annenberg Challenge. The Annenberg Challenge is one of the largest gifts in philanthropic history and works to revive and inspire school reform efforts across the nation. Eighteen locally designed Challenge projects operated in 35 states,** funding 2,400 public schools that served more than 1.5 million students and 80,000 teachers. [[More on how it identifies (or doesn’t) these projects, below]]
  • 1993 The Annenberg Foundation grants $120 million to the University of Pennsylvania. The grant endows the Annenberg School for Communication and creates the Annenberg Public Policy Center, which conducts research and convenes discussions on the critical intersection of media, communication and public policy.

(**18 projects in 35 states by definition indicates crossing state jurisdiction lines, which helps break down accountability with the departments of education and school districts within each state involved.  But that’s nothing particularly new in the field of public/private partnerships…)

Question:  Where are Forms and audited statements for year 2015? I can understand why 2016 may not be out yet — but why not 2015? (2015 return has not shown up yet on the FoundationCenter search, either) — this is the latest year showing as of now, April 2017.  They are two to three years behind in reporting to their own openly transparent website.

Annenberg Foundation PA 2014 990PF 101 $1,663,095,893.00 23-6257083

Above represents FY2014 because at this point their FYr.=Calendar Yr. That means FY2015 isn’t posted yet, at least here (also not on their website).

Just a word on the relationship with the University of Pennsylvania and Annenberg School for Communications (started in 1958) and its endowment (and new name, Center for Public Policy) — who funded whom, and who controls whom, gets a little complicated when I read an Annenberg Foundation 2002 return stating that the “[Ann’brg.] School for Communications” had converted into a private trust. I looked up the private trust and found its initial return (2002) which shows a $100M contribution TO this trust:

Total results: 9. (I didn’t post all 9!)Search Again.

Annenberg School for Communication Trust at the University of Pennsylvania PA 2014 990 34 $119,030,954 81-0550464
Annenberg School for Communication Trust at the University of Pennsylvania PA 2013 990 34 $119,053,373 81-0550464
Annenberg School for Communication Trust at the University of Southern California PA 2015 990 34 $104,485,226 77-6216147


After spending “Just about a day or two” on “Just a word” I just exported that information. While it is showing the network from Large to Small, it is not narrating it as I discovered it from smaller nonprofits upwards, those profits having repeatedly claimed “Educational Excellence” as part of the purpose.

The whole narrative would be better in a single sequence, but in respect of keeping blogs under 24,000 words, I’m taking some of the show and tell for Annenberg Foundation, how it relates to AISR at Brown University, and through the evasiveness of the AISR EIN#, how I encountered the insufficient and misleading information at “Children and Youth Cabinet” (“Cradle to Career” motto) housed AT AISR (Brown), but with major connections to yet another high-powered, and billion-dollar-assets privately controlled foundation (Annie E. Casey).

Annie E. Casey Foundation’s presence was visible on two different websites, promoting its “Evidence2Success” (trademarked) programming. Looking closely also at the AEC foundation tax returns, and finding them paying (off) government, institutions, schools, nonprofits dedicated to systems change on one or another of AEC’s programs (such as JDAI), I was still surprised to see how blatantly they are paying groups (of the above categories) also to promote their trademarked programming.

Another foundation which gets pulled into this mix (they DO work in teams, you realize by now, right???) got its wealth, somehow, from the spinoff of federally funded education (student) loans started in the 1970s, become “Sallie Mae” (SLM Holdings) later, and eventually privatized (a process that lasted 1997-2004 says one reference). Before and perhaps during the tail end of privatization, some entities got into a secondary market on the same loans, or in guaranteeing them. SELLING some of these assets off to SLM Holdings in 1998 and another in 2001, created significant capital gains for those who sold them — which then set up certain major foundations to — among other things — avoid paying so much tax on their profits. From this we get “Lumina Foundation” and a “Nellie Mae Education Foundation.”

Nellie Mae Education Foundation, focusing on the Northeastern US it seems, has its own history and characters (directors). At this point, I figured going through ALL THREE of those routines in one post might just exhaust (or alienate otherwise interested) readers or followers of this blog. SO, that CHUNK of writing is now being exported into another post. I don’t have a title for it yet, but it will be easy enough to see when published!

(The Chunk of “Show-and-Tell” Expose on the Annenbergs “et al.,” is waiting** on a draft post named: Challenging the Annenbergs’ Public Education Challenge Grants, Still Searching for AISR@Brown as a Form 990 filer, Still Scrutinizing Why We Accept that Privately Controlled, Synched, Billion-Dollar Tax-Exempt Foundations Care about the Public as Much as About Controlling Their Collective Assets (and the Public, Lest We Start Demanding a Better Look at the Books!) case-sensitive short-link ending “-6yC”.  This will begin with overlapping text from the “About us” Annenberg Foundation page, above. (**It is waiting for me to get THIS post out…)


This post actually gets down to some reporting on the nonprofits referenced in its title, especially the first two (but showing tax returns for all of them).

In the March 30 “Three (or Four)” post I delved some more into other entities (Communities in Schools National) including the nonprofit behind a reporting entity, and introduced how the Omidyar Network came to my attention in this context (although that post** had just been published March 30).  This added some historical context and tied the post to previous writings. Having just found some key connections and links expressing them among the parties being studied, I felt it important to report that information promptly.  [**Omidyar Entities: The Harvard/Bain/Bridgespan Consulting Model (Transform and Help Run — or own — Distressed Assets, LIKE U.S. PUBLIC SCHOOLS), Rebranded, on Steroids, and Gone Global(with WordPress-generated case-sensitive short-link ending “-6lm”)(total length about 13,000 words)].  [After publishing this post focusing more on Omidyar Network Fund, Inc. (2004ff) I got around to looking at Omidyar Foundation (formed earlier (judging by the 2001 return perhaps in 1999), and terminated — after registering cash transfers outside the US to a variety of countries and through a variety of US-based companies — and its assets transferred to the newer “Network Fund]. 

OmidyarFndtn (770502810-Yr2005 990PF) p 15 Stmt3 LiquidTerm (Trfr to NetworkFund Inc) (2017-04-04 at 8.07PM ein#correctd

Annotated Statemt re 2005 Transfer (Click here for full-size) of assets from one Omidyar Fndtn (990PF filer) to another (O. Netwk Fund, Inc.) under a new EIN#

You can get a sense of these two (and two more foundations named “Omidyar,” one showing assets (and activities) “$0.00” 2006-2008, another in Massachusetts for MicroFinance-Tufts University) from this basic name-search on 990finder (also see captions and next several images):

Omidyar Form 990 Name Search showing 4 entities (sorted by EIN#), notice the years, assets, and that the Massachussets one is not a private foundation (is filing a Form 990 vs. 990PF)



Re: Nonprofit #4, ConnectEd, although I mentioned it in the title, enough said on that for now (a spinoff post “DISCONNECTED!” on “WestEd, ” a 1990s JPA of two regional 1960s JPAs (Joint Power Authorities), all set up with a California Connection,  may cover it again soon.  ConnectEd’s full name makes it clear its focus is statewide, for California. ConnectEd’s tax table is shown below with the others, however.

O. FNDTN FY2003 Officers List

@OMIDYAR FNDTN (EIN#770502810) 990PF FY2005 ~ Showing 169M ASSETS TRANSFR to O Ntwk Fund Inc Screen Shot 2017Apr04 at 7.56PM

Om. Fndtn 2005 return showing $169M assets transferred to Om NETWORK FUND (a different EIN# started about the same time, same street address… CLICK to Read.

@OmidyarNETWK FUND, FY2004 (initial return, EIN201173866) Statmt5 Officers List (Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 8.14PM

O.Ntwk Fund Yr 2004 (=Yr1 before assets transfer) Officers List, only difference from prior is no Ellen Peabody

@OMIDYAR FNDTN (EIN#770502810) 990PF FY2003~ Showing 49’4M SchedB from PM Omidyar Trust in Los Gatos CA (Screen Shot 2017-04-04) at 6.10PM 1

Here in this post, I also added a section on a sixth nonprofit (CES, started out of Brown University in 1984, followed by AISR, an Institute named after its well-known benefactor at Brown, started in 1993) on which had done some previous “drill-downs” (and was appropriately shocked at the corporate filing history), but not, as I recall, posted yet.  This is mentioned here because I feel it significant. It also demonstrates again whose money (such as Walter H. Annenberg of publishing wealth, starting in Philadelphia) is behind some of these reform efforts.

Overall, and sometimes individually (see last post!), these are networks and as nonprofits not necessarily huge (billion-dollar, or hundred-million-dollar) themselves, still have elite and influential backers [James Irvine Foundation, Open Society Institute-Baltimore, one, Betsy DeVos of “that” famous family line, and at least two of them, U.S. governors or former governors) — so reporting on any single element in isolation or without a timeline would give a flat, cartoonish perspective.  The shorter the posts, the more evidence (show-and-tell) is omitted.  The more depth they have, well, showing not just components but backers and recipients of grants (where the entities are grant-making), and how reliable or current are their corporate filings and tax returns, of course, adds length.

Next, just a quick look at the Omidyar Foundation grantees, which include (p1) to Bridgespan and “Communities in Schools” which I just posted on, as I had also in Nov. 2016.  This entity can toss off multi-million-dollar grants every year, if it wants to (will be replenished from the personal trust in his name (see Sched B image), plus the assets are also producing income, or assets could be sold off (etc.)   No doubt part of all this is balancing the distributions with the taxes on the various trusts..):

OMIDYAR FNDTN (EIN#770502810) 990PF FY2003~ GRANTS DETAILS p1 of 2 SIZE shows PRIORITIES (Bridgespan 175K CIS VA (for LasVegas) 150K etc (Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 6.14PM 3

Yr 2003 Grants from the (earlier) FNDTN — p1 of 2 annotated

OMIDYAR FNDTN (EIN#770502810) 990PF FY2003~ GRANTS DETAILS p2 of 2 SIZE shows PRIORITIES, Note Progressive Grantees ~ Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 6.16PM 4

Yr 2003 Grants from the (earlier) FNDTN — p2 of 2 annotated

OMIDYAR FNDTN (EIN#770502810) 990PF FY2003~ Showing 49’4M SchedB from PM Omidyar Trust in Los Gatos CA (Screen Shot 2017-04-04) at 6.10PM 1

One of many Sched B Contribution listings over the years (both Omidyar Fndtns) showing source of contributions. I’ve not seen any other SchedB contributions, understandably (it doesn’t need them!)

Presenting this situation as an overall, “macro-economic” situation with focus on the schools is of course going to require a series of posts, and those posts are likely show tax returns, annotated excerpts from them, and to contrast that information with at least looking at the website self-descriptions (including, but not only, to notice whether or not access to their financials is offered, obfuscated, or simply omitted).

So, no apologies for splitting that last post after expanding on the contents not even named in the title (!)


Controlling the education (esp. public school system) = controlling the next generation = controlling the nation, including the revenue-producing options of those same generations.

Are they being primed for professional + technical classes mostly to work for the business owners (the upper crust, the elite — old and new combined) + government, thus being discouraged from challenging EITHER sector through not having the clout or influence to do so?

Are they being encouraged after graduation to battle each other as to middle vs. lower income (or, male v. female, or by race) while NOT following what the business owners and investors are doing?  Is the agenda to elevate USA education (through the various plans being promoted), or to suppress it, when the same entities are investing heavily and moving assets, to other countries and similar education models — in other words, how innocent and genuine IS it, really?

Are ANY of these entities even considering how interesting and engaging it might be for young people to learn to read the financial statements of their own schools or government entities, as I just pleaded with my (presumably mostly) adult readership to do and start to understand how these are organized and self-financing? (Probably not; working on reading, writing and math still).

When so many are so intent on privately (and most, “the non-profit way”) controlling the process of school transformation and system’s change, is the purpose really benign? Is it the main purpose, or ancillary?

There seems no question that some of the supporting foundations or people (representing, typically a source of wealth, whether inherited or generated by themselves as entrepreneurs) have purposes far beyond just school transformation, many of them political.  However, I still want to look at these in their clothing as for-profit or non-profit and how networked (and, since when…).

In general, as first written, this post repeats the warning:

The cause and question “Will Left or Right Triumph?” may be moot.  They will continue the conflict administration after administration in the USA unless one so dominates we just turn into an open dictatorship or something worse.  BUT, while — as primed — you’re watching that battle front, you’re NOT watching HOW and WITH WHOM the Education Transformation Entities have already Privately Networked to access Public Investment Platforms, and you probably do not understand who really profits from Social Innovation Funding, or where it came from.

[excessive caps deliberate]

Writing this post, I was curious about “ExCelEd” (“Foundation for Excellence in Education” Florida backed by Jeb Bush), which unearthed a predecessor one (Foundation for Florida’s Future, Inc.). I want to look again at the IRS filings on the conservative side and will look at them again.

Also I see that for the more progressive one (Fund for Educational Excellence), I’d started following some of the grant money (larger amounts donated) through one entity (“Safe and Sound Baltimore Campaign for our Children, Inc.,” EIN# 522147148) through to another, Episcopal Community Services of Maryland (“ECS,” EIN# 520591564) for re-entry services.  The amount donated to ECS wasn’t huge ($380,000) but it was definitely moving through one entity to another.

Meanwhile, the first-level donee, Safe and Sound, on the first return I checked (FY2014) showed an about 10% ($33K) internal discrepancy in its reported grants distributed (details further on in this post).  Part I AND Part IX both showed about $33K lower than the attached Schedule I (the information from Part I and IX would presumably come from same sources as filled out Schedule I). So what does that say about how “Excellent was the Education of the other Fund” which gave to such a donor?

In the same year, ECS of MD in 2014 reported a five- year (or, 2006-2011) prisoner re-entry grant from the USDOL, after which, the program is perhaps attempting to sustain itself, but overall, ECS is operating in the red now, and was then (at least in 2008) also.  And, as of 2012-2013 neither their old, (ECSM.org) nor their new (mec.works), website (both powered by “squarespace”) even mentions the prisoner-reentry initiative (as a heading under “programs”).  It is however mentioned in a generality under “overview” and under “Core Values,” like this:

Advocacy:  ECSM employees recognize the importance of giving voice to the people we serve to make change at an institutional level thereby breaking down barriers to their leading more meaningful lives. We advocate in the areas of affordable housing, education, universal access to healthcare, reintegration services (both pre- and post-release from prison), public transportation, and workforce development.

Nor is any Form 990 or EIN# showing, or any Annual Report other than for 2012 + for 2013 (!) at the ECS (old, or new) website.  These Form 990s, when found, do not reference the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland as any “related entity” although they do reference a holding company with “0” assets.   The older website also references that the organization began originally as helping with child adoptions and claims a 1927 (tax return said 1939) start date. Maybe it was an unincorporated association first, but that’s still a discrepancy.

ECSM began as an organization that worked for child success through adoptions. While ECSM no longer works in this area, we are aware of the importance of our roots. If you or someone you know was adopted through this organization and are looking to reunite with a child or birth parent, please contact the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, which holds all adoption records.

Episcopal Diocese of Maryland
4 E. University Parkway
Baltimore, MD 21218

ECSM, not having posted most recent returns on its website, is now getting a new name. (Although as of Apr 2017, not shown that I could see where business names are recorded in MD, and the old one still does.

Those IRS look-up efforts will probably conclude the post. It is not a complete expose or presentation on all nonprofits listed. It’s here to raise awareness of the existence of these particular organi-zations, and of this type of organization, and while doing so, to make a few points about the overall situation and its significance to balance of power and representative government under state laws.


In picking just a few nonprofits which crossed my path, and seem to exemplify some from the Left, some from the Right, and some similar practices by both, I also alert readers that it’s NOT just a few nonprofits — in general, it’s networks of nonprofits, and their various names come in many colors and stripes (Foundation for Excellence in Education, and on the last post I referenced Communities in Schools (CIS) as a naming convention and sort of co-dependent funding relationship — nationwide — and showed the search results by that name on the 990finder.)

Here’s another quick screenprint showing that reality (repeat search easily at “990finder” here.)

990Finder ~Coalitn of Essential Schools~ Namesearch=>Results 1 page only~3 regions, 2 states + home org (2017-04-02 at 7.26PM

Not mentioned here, but I did some drill-down on, and certainly did notice another one, “Coalition of Essential Schools” and its relationship with Annenberg Institute for School Reform (at Brown University in Rhode Island) and its founder, Ted Sizer (Yale, Harvard graduate); I looked at the corporate filings and noticed how the entity skipped town– literally, from R.I. to Oakland, California — and when it came back after YEARS of non-filing in Rhode Island, a special legislative act had to justify letting it start up again after only a slap on the wrist (providing the missing filings and paying the fees).  The preceding paragraph is “as I recall,” and subject to being re-checked in the usual places.  It certainly caught my attention.

Briefly, a Fast Glimpse, of CES & AISR (just to be aware it  exists, or at least CES did exist until 2016).  This could be “Nonprofit  #6,” besides the others already blogged.

Here’s a current view of the website “essentialschools.org” .  Apparently 2016 was its final year. :

The CES Network and Essential Schools

Though CES no longer exists as a national organization, many schools and support organizations continue to identify with the CES Common Principles. The CES network includes hundreds of schools and Affiliate Centers. Diverse in size, population, and programmatic emphasis, Essential schools serve students from pre-kindergarten through high school in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

 and, of CES founder Ted Sizer (without, strangely, naming what his doctorate was in, although one would think, Education):

Founder of the Coalition of Essential Schools, Ted Sizer was one of the 20th century’s leading educational visionaries and reformers.

Sizer received his B.A. from Yale and his doctorate from Harvard. After a career that included U.S. Army service, classroom teaching, serving as the Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and leading Phillips Academy Andover as its Headmaster, Ted Sizer came to Brown University as chair of its education department. There, in 1984, Ted founded the Coalition of Essential Schools to bring together examples of the radical school restructuring that was the focus of Horace’s Compromise, his work about the state of American high schools.

In other words, like many department chairs at prestigious universities, he has a book out, and he started a nonprofit and leveraged the academic prestige and career position for privatized influence on public institutions.  Book review of “Horace’s Compromise: The Dilemma of American Public High Schools” (by Houghton-Mifflin, 1984) admits that most discussions of the condition of American schools don’t even acknowledge the existence of private schools (i.e., are attempting to replace the definition of “schools” with a subset, in practice meaning “public schools.”  It’s a major difference — not just in type, but also in financing. Public schools are projects of specialized government entities called “School Districts.”  (See U.S. Census Bureau list of gov’t entities definitions).  This review (I’ve not read the book) is important.  See footnote to this section for more relevant quotes on it, and my response.  (This book review found after I did the drill-down on the organization and now makes more sense of what’s meant by the word “essential” in “Coalition of Essential Schools.”

Not mentioned there — what kind of startup funding the Annenberg Institute for School Reform (“AISR”), which picked up on the CES as its base model received, up front, so I’ll pick it up from the AISR site (a footnote).  Notice the the private-money purpose was improving (i.e., transforming) PUBLIC schools.

Some of this may come into better focus when you get down (on this post and at bottom of the one labeled “Three or Four Nonprofits”) to the section on “Big Society Capital” as a British government / Brit Private Capital idea headed by a Brit knighted for his contributions to venture capital (and supported/promoted Silicon Valley California circles/foundations also), Sir Ronald Mourad Cohen.  Although the term Social Impact Funding was coined (says one source) in 2008, and the push was on in the early 21st century, and CES + AISR in the mid-1980s, 1990s (respectively), the concept of public/private partnerships was already flourishing, including (apparently) for solving problems in the USA and globally which may have significant longstanding ties to the public/private partnership model in the first place.

[1] The Annenberg Challenge was a half-billion-dollar gift by Walter H. Annenberg that became the largest public/private endeavor in U.S. history dedicated to improving public schools. Over five years, eighteen projects in thirty-five states funded 2,400 public schools that served more than 1.5 million students and 80,000 teachers. More than 1,600 businesses, foundations, colleges and universities, and individuals contributed $600 million in private matching funds. In many cases, sites have secured additional funding or established successor organizations to continue the work.  From page “http://www.annenberginstitute.org/who-we-are/smart-education-systems” (<==Also read to catch what “Smart Education Systems” means).

Ted served as executive director of the Coalition of Essential Schools until 1996; during that time, he also established and led the Annenberg Institute for School Reform. He retired from Brown as Professor Emeritus in 1996, returning to Massachusetts to accept an appointment as Visiting Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he taught, along with Nancy, until very recently. In 1994, Ted and Nancy helped to found the Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School, in Devens, Massachusetts, where they served as trustees, and for one year as co-principals. With Nancy and other educators, Ted also co-founded the Forum for Education and Democracy.** Until his death in 2009, Ted remained an active part of many of the institutions of which he was affiliated and organizations that he founded, including CES, of which he was Chairman Emeritus.

(CES is a simply a nonprofit; its tax returns shown below. The “Forum for Education and Democracy” has many websearch results, and the domain “m.forumforeducation.org” and obviously the one (referencing the Sizers) but just would not load.  I went for the “cached” (older, 2011) version and found on the bottom (Donate) portion, it was an Ohio address, in fact, a PO Box in Ohio:

The Forum for Education and Democracy is supported by the contributions of the Conveners, foundation grants, and individual donations. If you would like to support The Forum you can donate to our efforts by sending a check to The Forum. Please make your check out to The Forum for Education and Democracy, and mail it to Box 15, Stewart, Ohio, 45778.

You may also donate by clicking on the button below to donate by credit card on a secure server through PayPal.  Your contribution is a tax deductible donation to a charitable educational foundation.

Again, that website seems to be no longer up.

Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) memorial on Theodore Sizer has more info and perspectives.  No one references this “Forum” entity or how discreditable (I just looked) its tax filings and patterns were, although referencing it as another accomplishment seems commonplace.

I just looked at EVERY available tax return available from the main site and find not one reference to the Sizers (at least on board of directors, and they are filing Form 990EZs so often, independent subcontractors are not identified). The reporting shows some funny patterns, also.

I found two related EIN#s.  Each filed a few years of “normal” returns and some of post-card returns.

Apparently the “conveners” (several seem to have their own nonprofits on this subject matter they are already running, for example, “Wendy Puriefoy” of Public Education Network, Inc. (which closed down in 2012; see below and I saw in 2008 was running $800K in the red).  This Forum referenced proudly (?) as an accomplishment at CES turns out to have existed from 2006 forward only, and if it’s filed tax returns since 2010 (note:  Ted Sizer died in 2009), they must be form 990-Ns postcards.  Having found an EIN#, I checked this on the standard IRS “Exempt Organizations Select Check” website.  The site disclaimer — if you want to be sure, give us a call — still applies.  However, NEITHER is showing a post-card tax return filed past 2013 (which would’ve made 2016 the “3 years in a row” prompting a revocation, which the IRS MIGHT not publish until later this year — or sometimes even later, even if it was still status revoked.

But, neither EIN# is showing as legitimate for tax-exempt charitable deductions (i.e., the donor wouldn’t get personal deductions for contributing), either.  George Wood (head of both entities) thus at 2013 had two different PO Boxes, one for each organization. The EIN#s are “Forum” 030591223, and “Common Ground Foundation” (the one in OHIO — there are several), incl. a large one in Washington, also now shut down or shutting down it seems) is 311377909.

It had only 3 board members and 3 employees in 2009 (last year a normal Form 990 vs. a 990EZ is shown), and the “prior year” showed a $250K deficit.  That is, Revs (that year)  – Expenses (that year) = negative $250K.  Looking at several returns of this entity, I see one (and ONLY one) referenced a related “successor nonprofit” “Common Ground Foundation — however Common Ground Foundation in Ohio (with same principal person, George Wood — and a PO Box different by one digit only in the same town) actually predates it and included in its program purposes “setting up / Developing” the Forum for Democracy and Education.  This entity goes back to 1999 (but I couldn’t access those tax returns), and stopped reporting before “The Forum” did.  Some involvement of “Knowledgeworks” is referenced (also comes up in the board of directors of PEN, below).

And we want these people transforming public institutions and private schools with that example?

Walter H. Annenberg is referenced primarily here for his contribution, but he was a LOT more than that as this short enough, but still vivid, biography (by Ann T. Keene?) at American National Biography Online shows.  The primary business was publishing; he had boarding school +Wharton School of Business (UPennsylvania), and worked in his father’s business also, despite his father having come to the USA just about penniless.

….In 1934, even as the country sank deeper into the Great Depression, [his father] Moses Annenberg added another lucrative company to his empire with the purchase of the Miami Tribune. Two years later he bought still another major newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer. Soon he was engaged in a bitter circulation war with the rival Philadelphia Bulletin and its publisher, J. David Stern. The battle extended to the papers’ editorial pages: Moses Annenberg, a lifelong Republican, virulently criticized President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal in the Inquirer, while Stern and the Bulletin, with equally tenacity, backed Roosevelt and other Democrats.

Meanwhile, beginning in the late 1920s, while working conscientiously for his father, Walter Annenberg enjoyed a glamorous social life as a desirable bachelor. In 1938 he married Veronica Dunkelman of Toronto; they had a son and a daughter. Moses Annenberg, perhaps because of his very public battles with Stern and because of his role as a self-appointed Republican kingmaker, was coming under increasing scrutiny from federal authorities, and in 1939 he was indicted by a federal grand jury for bribery and income tax evasion. Walter Annenberg was also indicted for aiding and abetting his father’s illegal activities, but those charges were later dropped. Moses, however, was convicted and in July 1940 was sentenced to four years in prison at the penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He was also ordered to pay the government $9.5 million in back taxes and interest.

Moses Annenberg was paroled in June 1942 but died a month later of a brain tumor, leaving his son as head of Triangle Publications. Walter Annenberg rose to the challenge, strengthening the company’s holdings as he began adding other media to the roster. The first was Seventeen, a magazine aimed at teenage girls that Annenberg founded in 1944, appointing his sister Enid Haupt as editor; the first issue sold four hundred thousand copies. The following year Annenberg bought a major Philadelphia radio station, WFIL-AM and WFIL-FM, and in 1947 he created its television affiliate. The acquisition of other radio and television stations across the country followed, nearly all of them affiliated with national networks.

TV Guide Success bred success for Annenberg. In 1953 he created TV Guide, the first national publication to list television programs, and it quickly became a fixture in American households. Four years later he bought the Philadelphia Daily News and significantly increased its circulation. Under Annenberg, Triangle also acquired other related media holdings in North America, including distribution, circulation, and printing facilities, and made a number of real estate investments. Over a fifteen-year periodfrom the early 1950s to the late 1960s, the annual earnings of Triangle Publications grew from $25 million to more than $200 million, putting it on a par financially with the New York Times Company and the Chicago Tribune Company. Annenberg himself was now an enormously wealthy man, said to be the largest shareholder of the Pennsylvania Railroad; he was also a major shareholder in other companies, including Campbell’s Soup and the Girard Trust Company.

He lived 1908 – 2002.  For (just two) more references, both from 2002, see “Footnote Walter H. Annenberg”] at bottom of this post.  Meanwhile, continued from the same source as the footnote [1] above (pink background here, not there):

An appeal to the crowd instinct — join in, it’s a popular cause.  All I say is, know who’s funding it, because at most levels, the public will continue also funding it.  Also know, how do such systems organizing mesh with legal representation of people through their elected legislative representatives, including at the local council?

For instance, a report by the National Commission on Civic Investment in Public Education (2011), convened by the Public Education Network (PEN) and on which I was privileged to serve, observed …

 (PEN would again, be another nonprofit — easy to look up.  I see it started in 1996 and was intentionally terminated in 2012, and as a page-1 stated purpose it was to set up LEFs (Local Education Funds).  It also ran projects in various cities (p2 of any return will show some of the sponsoring foundations):

Total results: 3Search Again.

Public Education Network DC 2012 990 23 $148,364.00 25-1639839
Public Education Network, Inc. DC 2011 990 27 $2,418,473.00 25-1639839
Public Education Network, Inc. DC 2010 990 28 $5,008,790.00 25-1639839

THIS one is interesting, and has some overlap.  But, I think it should be its own post.

I have many questions …. particularly after noticing the consistently deficit operations, that the board of directors (2008) including just one Exec Director Wendy Puriefoy (Salary $184K) and a slew of 1.0hrs/week volunteers, that a good part of its “Schedule O” was explaining why it still qualified (for tax exemption under the Facts and Circumstances Test, in part because of their broad-based Board of Directors representing the field), and that among those 1.0hr week board (at least that year) was Gov. Bob Wise (who shows up also under “Alliance for Education — which also got a grant from the group that year).  Also that in one of the Schedules A of support, it shows significant (large) private grants by persons “in excess of 2%” comprised (by recall, anyone can look, and I might get to show the screenprint) about $20M in a field of $31M — or roughly ⅔.

This, plus what it was doing in general (the LEFs being created, while “funds” were run by obviously some people, and intended as change agents themselves (p.2 of the tax return), a significant portion of the training was “Life Skills Education” for parents and teachers, and the sole subcontractor ($155K) was “Innovative Consultants International, Inc.” to evaluate the “Life Skills Training,” address, Silver Springs Maryland, stating it has operations in DC (I looked — status revoked, started up 2006, filed for 2008, revoked since) and PR.  I looked in Silver Springs MD, where it registered in 2001 (and is still active as a foreign– OHIO — stock corporation) and then went to Ohio, where it apparently filed in 1992, reported in 1993, maybe 1994 — and not again until 2007, when it was status-revoked (cancelled) for non-filing and nonpayment of franchise taxes, not re-instating itself for many months.  This record is a stark contrast with the website (which looks elegant and well-organized, and its board/owners and staff and team also very well qualified.

I know that if I continue going down that path now, I will forfeit finishing the work on this post by the end of the day, so … most of this will have to wait!

HORACE’s COMPROMISE (book review by Chester E. Finn (May, 1984) at CommentaryMagazine), excerpts 

….For another thing, it is written primarily from the standpoint of the teacher and the student, rather than from atop some public-policy pinnacle, and its glimpses into actual schools and classrooms are far more realistic—and sympathetic—than those offered by the competition. What is more, the prose is brisk, clean, and nearly free of “educationese.”  {{assumes teacher and student are “on the same page.”  Those are two different viewpoints, often!}}

Unfortunately, it is also nearly free of educational content. As with a fizzy drink made from chemical sweeteners, the initial refreshment is not accompanied by much nutrition. The compromising Horace of the title turns out not to be the great Roman poet and satirist so well-remembered by veterans of fourth-year Latin, but one Horace Smith, a fifty-three-year-old suburban high-school English teacher who moonlights at a liquor store. His compromise—a real and painful one skillfully drawn by Sizer—is the balance he has struck between the bottomless instructional needs of his too numerous students andwhat he is able to supply within the constraints of fifty-minute periods and twenty-four-hour days.

That just named two primary components of standard public school systems — multiple periods in a day (prolonged concentration or engagement in one task, discouraged) and too large class sizes and schools.

 …Sizer declines to prescribe content. Worse, he comes very close to arguing that the choice of content does not really much matter, that any book or fact or problem or event is as suitable as any other—at least in the hands of a gifted teacher—for coaching an eager pupil in the necessary intellectual plays.

Horace’s Compromise is indeed splendid on “cognitive skills,” both the simple ones (decoding words on a page, handling number problems) and the important advanced ones like abstract reasoning, clear exposition, and analysis. It borrows heavily from Mortimer Adler’s The Paideia Proposal1

In saying “it borrows heavily,” it’s saying, not all original thinking, probably on topics of previous sentence in which the reviewer rates Sizer’s book “splendid.”  I have (dog-eared copy) of The Paideia Proposal (“paideia” from the Greek had specific connotations on the role of a tutor).

Anyone successfully completing the required part of a secondary education designed by Theodore Sizer would have gained a lot more skills than most high-school students acquire today, and would in that sense be better prepared to cope with the challenges of further education and of modern life.

But he would know very little about the society he was entering, about its heritage, its works of art, its internal tensions or its external threats. He would have acquired little or none of what E. D. Hirsch, Jr. has termed “cultural literacy.”

(…and he would only be a “he,” hypothetically?)

This bobtailed education results from an insidious combination: Sizer’s beatification of pedagogy itself—the act of teaching—together with a relative indifference to curriculum content, and his minimalist view of “the essential claims of the state” with respect to education. Those claims, he insists, are precisely three: literacy, numeracy, and “civic understanding,” … But do the “claims” of society upon its children really stop short of Shakespeare, Emerson, and Frost, of Plato, Locke, and Marx, of Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt? Leaving aside entirely the demands of technological literacy and scientific competency, are we really prepared to conclude, with Sizer, that history, literature, and philosophy are, strictly speaking, electives, and that the entire heritage of Western civilization is merely an educational option, lying outside the domain of that which the society may reasonably oblige its youngest members to learn? Is it really an “abuse of state power,” as Sizer suggests, to require teenagers not only to ponder the implications of the Bill of Rights (which he sensibly advises as a basic text for “civic understanding”) but also to read a bit of Melville, a little Conrad, a smidgen of Longfellow, to examine the conceptions of justice and morality in To Kill a Mockingbird or the wellsprings of character in Abe Lincoln Grows Up?

To be sure, Sizer does not rule out the possibility of such study. He merely excludes it from the compulsory part of education. In truth, his idealized high school, trimmed down to four departments, with far fewer students per teacher, and with the day vastly more flexible than at present, is a beguiling notion, as are his suggestions for the virtual exclusion of vocational training and the deemphasis on athletics and other extracurricular activities.

Not mentioned, but it sounds like the arts (performing, visual or otherwise) are also “extracurricular.”  Are they to society?  This review, in concluding, remarks that now Sizer is moving to Brown University, he will have an opportunity to put his ideas into practice. A pretty good prediction, I’d say (43 years later)! That seems to have been the plan.

Since the dawn of the 20th century, American education has been riven by two competing approaches: molding the child to the standards and expectation of the school, or shaping the school to the interests and enthusiasms of the student.Horace’s Compromise does not fall completely into the latter camp; indeed, one suspects that Horace Smith himself would be uncomfortable there. But it is there that the author’s sincere reformist zeal appears to focus, and it is in this crucial respect that Sizer differs from the National Commission on Excellence in Education, from most other contemporary school critics, and certainly from the lay boards and elected officials who are now striving to strengthen the educational systems of their states and communities.

Sizer, too, will have a chance to put his ideas into practice. He is moving to Brown University (an institution whose undergraduate curriculum is celebrated for its lack of requirements) to head the education department and, from that perch, to organize a network of public and private high schools that will voluntarily transform themselves into places where Horace will have to make fewer and less painful compromises.


More on CES (screenprint)

Archive of “Demonstration year (2016) for CES from its website

More on Annenberg Institute for School Reform (screenprint and description).  The “History” link is not on the top level, and is in tiny, faint font as though we’re not really supposed to look at it.  Rather, focus on the large pictures of people, with the related captions and slogans:

Annenberg Institute for School Reform started in 1993 and focuses on urban schools

The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University is a national policy-research and reform support organization that promotes quality education for all children, especially in urban communities.

Our focus is on developing and promoting the concept of “smart education systems”; that is, systems that coordinate educational supports and services wherever they occur – at school, at home, and in the communityto provide all children with equitable opportunities and high-quality learning experiences.

On closer look the Annenberg Institute for School Reform says it was building on the CES model anyhow.  As we can see from other entities, this is not unique to CES.  What may be unique is a half-billion-dollar initiative (courtesy Walter H. Annenberg) of which this organization (“AISR” for short) received a good portion — $50 million.  What seems so ironic about an Ivy League University so long dedicated to keeping out women — is that now it has a woman president, and several women involved in the AISR “Board of Overseers.”  Perhaps Brown University has some lost ground to catch up as far as both minorities AND women are concerned.  This is the HISTORY page (viewed 2017):

AISR was established at Brown University in 1993 through an anonymous gift of $5 million. Several months later, a $50-million gift – part of Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg’s $500-million Challenge to the Nation to improve public education in America – enabled the fledgling Institute to considerably expand the scope of its work. In appreciation for the Ambassador’s gift, AISR was renamed in his honor.

Under its first director, Dr. Theodore R. Sizer, founder and chairman of the Coalition of Essential Schools, AISR built upon the work of the Coalition but with a broader mission: to support sustained, focused efforts to enhance the quality of learning of children and youth across the country.

Following Dr. Sizer’s retirement in 1996, a national search was undertaken for a new director. During the search period, Dr. Vartan Gregorian, who was then president of Brown University, served as acting director, and Ramón Cortines, a member of the Board of Overseers, as interim director.

In October 1998, Dr. Warren Simmons, then director of the Philadelphia Education Fund, was appointed executive director of AISR. Under Dr. Simmons’s leadership, the Institute adopted its current mission statement, concentrating on the critical need to improve schooling in the nation’s urban communities.

In 2000, AISR opened a small office in New York City in conjunction with the launch of its Task Force on the Future of Urban Districts. In 2001, AISR moved its Providence operations to permanent headquarters on Benefit Street, just off the Brown campus.

The inaugural issue of AISR’s quarterly journal, Voices in Urban Education (VUE), was published in the spring of 2003.

AISR collaborated with the Education Department and other units within Brown University in 2005 to establish a Master’s Program in Urban Education Policy. In the summer of 2006, the first cohort of students entered the program.

In 2006, AISR’s programs and staff were expanded with the assimilation of the Community Involvement Program, formerly affiliated with the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University. In 2007, AISR opened an expanded New York office in the Woolworth Building in lower Manhattan.

In 2012, AISR’s Board of Overseers established a permanent, annual scholarship in honor of Ruth J. Simmons to be awarded to the Urban Education Policy graduate student who most epitomizes the former Brown University president’s commitment to educational equity and social justice. Simmons, who served as chair of AISR’s Board of Overseers since her installation as university president in 2001, urged the Institute and the university’s Education Department to collaborate on a graduate program in the study of urban public education.

Noticing more information and posting on it is part of the learning and publicizing process.  If I’d ignored the strong signals the material was giving me, recently, on Communities in Schools (networked, and the National entity helping fund the network), or the involvement of the co-founder of eBay in a Harvard/Bain/Bridgespan partnership (where Bridgespan had been a subcontractor for Communities in Schools), and then — today, actually — discovered some 2013 news announcements (well coordinated by players within the network), the name “Sir Ronald Cohen” might not have come across my path again, [Next article should be taken in context with links near the bottom of my last post, most of them 2006 forward]

Refugee Repaying Britain (Oct. 27, 2002 in “The Guardian”)

Sir Ronald Cohen came to the UK penniless – and made a fortune. Now the venture capitalist is promoting a new fund for today’s deprived

It is almost an apprenticeship in entrepreneurialism. A decent, industrious family is kicked out of its homeland by an intolerant government, and forced to leave behind all that it has worked for. The family arrives in a more tolerant country, and enthusiastically sets about trying to restore its fortunes.

This was the historical force behind the establishment of the great merchant banking families of Warburg, Rothschild and Baring in the City of London; more recently, it was the origin of the Saatchi advertising empire, and the raft of Asian businessmen who turned expulsion from east Africa into prosperity in Britain.

In 1957, it happened to the Cohen family. In the wake of the Suez war, Jews were not welcome in Cairo, and the Cohens were forced to leave with almost no possessions. The mother’s British citizenship enabled them to begin a new life in the UK.

Ronald, then aged 11, describes the effect it had on him. ‘It creates a need in you to succeed, and generates a greater motivation to succeed economically and financially.’

AND there’s more, which you can read at that link, for example:

Cohen’s baby was launched last spring as the Bridges Community Development Venture Fund, with £20m of private equity arranged by Apax, and the same pledged from the Government. …

As a clincher, he produces the conclusive financial argument: ‘With government involvement, it’s perfectly possible to get a 10 to 15 per cent return and regenerate the economies of those areas. It makes sense for those pension funds that want to fulfil their social as well as their financial commitments.’ Cohen sees it as the domestic equivalent of foreign aid.

But back to basics. Cohen can afford to be so imaginative with Apax funds because his main business, the venture capital/private equity dynamo, has done so well.   After management training at Harvard, he launched Apax at the age of 26 in the savage 1970s, ….

We’re fortunate enough to have substantial funds to invest, so we can take the opportunity presented by lower prices.’  He declines to call it ‘bottom fishing’, but agrees there are some ‘forced vendors’ around.

nor would I likely have found a recent (October 2016) “Case Study” written under an Oxford University Business School (SAID school of Business) about “Big Society Capital  – The Worlds First Social Investment Wholesale Bank” and his involvement in promoting the concept. I’d already noticed the SAID School of Business in 2012 when doing a drill-down on some pharmaceutical trade industries based in Washington, D.C.

Here’s some more BIO from “Skoll.org” (It turns out — or, I was reminded from somewhere else — also featuring Sir Ronald Cohen — that while Pierre M. Omidyar founded eBay, the first employer and later President was Jeffrey Skoll).  My annotations (at the next link) are free of charge (one of them points out that a Skoll Fund (a public charity) started under a Silicon Valley Community Foundation (per their FAQs) in 1999, however, my records show that the latter (SVCF) didn’t exist until a 2006 merger (neither was “survivor” I think) of two previous foundations). Projecting the name SVCF retroactive to 1999 wasn’t done in any obvious manner — obviously the foundation under which Skoll Fund started up, no longer exists…

SirRonaldCohen from skoll’org[contributor]( Screen Shot 2017Apr02 at 5.44PM)

Also, found here are “Institutional Investor” (Dec. 30, 2015, by Imogen Rose-Smith, predictably under “Asset Management”) fills in some more of some gaps of at least my understanding, references fitting people (i.e., people’s thinking) with an “impact chip” and explains how a former Governor of Massachusetts (Patrick Devlin) got bitten (or, got the chip) and later joined Bain Capital:

For Sir Ronald Cohen, The Impact Investing Revolution is Just Starting [http://TINYURL.com/InstInvstrDec2015SirRonldCohen]

(Annotations are only identifying article URL and screenprint, then saying “see (this blog) for more info).

The day before, I took issue (when looking at CIS tax returns) the concept that somehow Staying in School (with wraparound supportive services at the “community” level) is associated with “Achieving in Life.”  I know that isn’t necessarily true, and that (being primarily a graduate of US public schools from “Day 1”) I personally spent a large part of that public school system being bored out of my gourd, most of the time, most days, especially AFTER I’d discovered my life’s passion (referring to a profession, not a person!).  That I still graduated near the top of the class is likely more a comment on the school, not me.

I also have spent a significant part of my middle age realizing just how many lessons learned IN those schools were very important to unlearn, particularly standing still to be bullied (but, what options were available to little kids at the time?  Not many!), and downplaying my own strong-suits (which weren’t just in one field, either), in part as a girl, and in part because the school climate was even then anti-intellectual. I remember it as an experience to be endured until I could get back to more interesting pursuits which, thankfully, didn’t include taking or dealing in mind-altering drugs.  Or, booze.

Idiotic, or unqualified statements on tax returns involving significantly funded and networked 501©3s with their sights set on school transformation, I don’t feel, should just be ignored.  So there is a section in the post where I was supposed to have (because I’d promised in the title) listed the three nonprofits and talked about them, instead (quoting from famous exceptions to that saying) arguing the primary point of “Communities in School,” although it’s basically there as an excuse in the first place (in my opinion), and reminding us how American K-12 education originally underwent standardization — and some of what this meant for (a) women and (b) minorities at the lower levels and in medical schools (Flexner Report, Committee of Ten from the NEA).

It also delivers what was promised on the last post

This is about where THAT post started

(Three (or Four) Famous, Privately Controlled Nonprofits Who Just Wanna Transform Public Education (and Urban Populations to Practice On) (case-sensitiveshort-link ends “-6iI”)

Nonprofits are privately-controlled by definition, even when their board members may be public civil servants AND even when they may have been brought into existence originally by an act of Congress; I just wanted to make the point that when the PRIVATE wishes to nationalize or control statewide the PUBLIC, the PUBLIC should be able to see the financial trail and have it put together in coherent form WITH clear links to supporting evidence — and when that is just not going to happen, and it becomes clear what sectors just do not want it to happen either, then it’s up to “the public” to do something about this.

Thus keeping “the public” coached how to argue Democrat v. Republican (like a catechism) and sling mud based on whether heresy against the poor and middle class in dismantling government services, or overbloated government encouraging welfare dependency and burdening the working class in almost any arena of government (healthcare OR schools OR law enforcement OR the military)…  

…when it comes to both political parties expanding the investments poured into FIXING, REFORMING, and IMPROVING the public schools for the poor (and middle class),

[Unfreeze – Change – Refreeze]

(German-American psychologist Kurt Lewin)

“The Change Theory of Nursing* was developed by Kurt Lewin, who is considered the father of social psychology. This theory is his most influential theory. He theorized a three-stage model of change known as unfreezing-change-refreeze model that requires prior learning to be rejected and replaced.” [*application in this quote  from “Nursing Theory,”  but it’s used in all kinds of business situations]

…while we are also arguing, many of us, fathers’ rights, children’s rights, women’s rights  (in respect to violence and abuse at the family level), and the role of religion in public institutions as a spiritual and religious rights matter (and less a fiscal matter), immigration (whether it’s protecting borders through building walls or either leveraging “Islamophobia” to protect borders or name-calling out “Islamophobia” to stop certain programming),…

(Unfreeze-Change-Refreeze, from “ChangingMinds.org,” Schein’s Stages of Conversion.”

Edgar Schein was one of the original psychologists who investigated brainwashing. He identified three basic stages (similar to Lewin’s freeze phases).

Throughout these stages, the person is generally kept unaware of the intent of conversion, and converting activities are framed as being friendly or casual.


The person current beliefs, etc. are shaken such that they start to doubt themselves and seek alternative ways of understanding.


The ‘Changing’ phase is where new behaviors, beliefs, values, etc. are instilled in the target person. He identified the following activities that are used during changing:

New Identification

A new identity for the target person is imposed formally in indoctrination sessions as well as informally through personal relations with individuals, tapes, books on group doctrines.

Behavior Modification Techniques

Behavior modification methods are used, including reward and punishment, thought-stopping methods, and the control of environment.

Mystical Manipulation

‘Mystical manipulation’ involves interpreting coincidental and  the perception of coincidental or inevitable events as spiritual signs. Recruits are trained that such signs are symbols of the greatness of the group.

Mind-altering Techniques

Hypnosis, repetition, monotony, and rhythm are often used to numb the thought processes of recruits. These are often carried out through excessive chanting, praying, decreeing, and visions.

Eliciting of Confession

Testimonials and/or confessions are forcibly and continually extracted from recruits as a means of keeping recruits dependent and obedient.


Refreezing involves fixing the new beliefs into the basic patterning of the individual, making them normal rather than new. Thus the person uses these beliefs and patterns without thinking when faced with relevant situations.

During refreezing, it is important to isolate the person from any disconfirming evidence or other persuasive forces that might pull them back to their original beliefs. It is also important that there is a period during which the person is not allowed to criticize or question the new ideas in any way. After a long enough periodof being banned from criticism and not receiving any external encouragement, they will come to accept the new beliefs as normal.

Edgar H. Schein with Inge Schneier and Curtis H. Barker, Coercive Persuasion: A Socio-psychological Analysis of the “Brainwashing” of American Civilian Prisoners by the Chinese Communists, New York: W.W. Norton, 1961

The Left/Right Political Debate is a great way of distracting from several hidden premises of “public/private partnerships,” for example, that private philanthropies with great ideas are the best way to reform public K-12 (or better yet, preK-12) schools; that as a system (reminds me in ways of the family court system) these should continue being compulsory and all-pervading (except for private schools including Ivy-league feeders, and those for the elite and some which may somehow manage alternative ways of education still legal in the USA), and that more should be invested in improving them, no matter what.

I.e., the premise they are indeed redeemable as an institution regardless of the track records — or costs compared to the track records.  FYI, the public school v. charter school debate is still a limited debate; it does NOT include all potential ways that American children can be educated legally and/or effectively,  particularly with in prior generations, some high literacy and college attainments of so many parents in the USA, having gotten here recently or been born here.

By inflaming that debate (in public at least) in a politically bipolar (“either us or them”) manner, both sides stand to profit in part by derailing or distracting attention, and in many venues or platforms even mention ofthe various interests of the private parties involved in these transformation agenda (i.e., mostly of 990s and the roster of subcontractors and board leadership, the types of reporting shown, the honesty of self-description on their websites and more).  That taken as a whole, remains just OFF the radar, which regardless of who wins in any given Administration of 4 or 8 years in the US Presidency (or, which party dominates Congress).

That’s why I blog it, in hopes to sensitize others’ radar to (personal awareness of)  these matters.  As the blog title says, it’s FamilyCourtMatters.  I blog matters which were kept OFF the radar as to family court.  Many aspects of this are transferable into the discussion of education because it involves education.  Educators and psychologists are sister professions.  When these become BFF (“Best Friends Forever”) with lawyers; one runs the courts with help from their “sisters” (I could say “brothers,” but I’m a woman, so why not?  The professionals come in more than one gender), and persuasion + behavioral modification (including, for lawyers at times, “give up — just settle, OK?… Or else…” as a strategy of course involves psychology, also an important part of the art of any war…) ….   what does that mean for those NOT in that inner circle?

So all this debate and social disruption isa time-tested, proven, virtually guaranteed way to prevent the public from organizing with each other enough to say, to those entities and the leadership of those entities intent on transforming, then running all institutions (the topic here being, public school systems) privately at public expense;

Enough! with the networking and MIA funds (and funding trails), we’re cutting off access to either our institutions and our children or your tax-exemption” and (if this won’t be heard), how’d you like not just some massive marches or rallies but also (or, instead) some massive boycotts?”

Such boycotts would hurt those with most to lose more than those with, apparently millions to donate, but might also provide some long overdue public embarrassment.

But without a solid basis for the protests, such as investigation of the outside-the-law and borderline reporting and behaviors of those involved in fighting each other on the futures of this country’s kids, it would become just another progressive/conservative (BiPolar, Schizo) argument.

My concern (whether or not that’s even a practical solution) is that most people don’t even see that there has been planning for just this event by causing inbred dependency throughout the whole system.  Backed up by all kinds of compulsory consumption of services, whether of education (inferior or not) for minors, or parent education for divorcing, custody-modifying individuals, or batterers’ intervention (attempted behavioral modification services) for the accused or convicted of personal violence against familiars, or attempts at standardized, system-wide, statewide, national and international training and re-training of service-providers in the same, including, for example, the case of OHIO IPV Collaborative, “Safe & Together Model” not to mention the 3 Ohio nonprofits I found whose curriculum (“Field Guide”) was used in a network of university-based schools of social work (see my CalSWEC and 3 Ohio Nonprofits post), or simply America’s obsession with developing and sustaining a national workforce of fatherhood practitioners (faith-based and otherwise) — it’s getting ridiculous in scope and detail.

Who is actually NOT being trained (indoctrinated) at this point?  Who pays for the training — bottom line, who pays for it?

If the money isn’t made through actual forced consumption of services (although it is), the hope of getting into the field also makes money at the technical assistance and training level of those who want to get in on it.  When the training is delivered electronically, and once set up (with distribution networks), the overheads are less, the expenses continue to be a writeoff and the profits (the markups) can be and I’ve seen often are, sky-high.

I don’t know exactly how that might look.  What I DO know as someone who regularly looks for and at tax returns and how likely is any organization’s website to cough them up, or tell the truth about its own origins, is what I’m looking at now, and another sample of it in this post, too.

How would we in united form ever handle the schools debate or even get around to scrutinizing those keeping it going to one side or the other?

These debates are interwoven with each other, and they are not local in nature to the extent tax-exempt foundations are involved, which is at almost every point.

The public,” as a whole, however, is more than enmeshed, in the corporate/school commercial complex even when not employed by it as it affects so much of daily and community life throughout the country.  It also affects parent’s ability to stay employed.

This is an accountability and control of institutions and assets issue.  It is also a taxation issue when the groups so adamant about controlling the public schools are operating tax-exempt, some of them with well-known foundation backers.

So IS there a Left vs. Right better answer on this topic on who gets to run the public school districts (which are, let’s remember, government entities, specialized ones)?

Among two of the four foundations “featured” in the title, there should be no argument that one, being Open Society/Soros (etc.)-backed would classify itself as progressive and Democrat.  I also don’t think there would be MUCH argument that a foundation whose founder was former Governor Jeb Bush who ran for US President at least in the Republican Primary (and is, after all, a “Bush” with father and brother having been Republican Presidents of the USA) == and also on the board of this nonprofit, Betsy DeVos whose fame in part comes from the Republican RNC in Michigan and (if you’re at all tuned in this year) as current Secretary of Education, USDOE.  (NNDB profile, see “2017-” …and the rest, incl. Amway).

Betsy DeVos squeaks through Senate to become Education Secretary

Both sides have sponsored major foundations promoting transformational change of the public school system and may seem to be adamantly opposed to each other’s ideas on what should be done — with the nations’  public school systems (although one does maintain a City of Baltimore focus, they are borrowing from other states).  And on both sides there are some odd conflicts of interest, financial motives for board members and subcontractors, and odd (screwed-up) behaviors regarding their own entities or related ones — as well as (I’ll follow this through part of the way) donor entities.

Surely there is a better way.  But I doubt it will even be on the radar while these continue grabbing the “spotlight” (as they are funded and connected enough to do) and retain credibility as genuine and genuinely in the public interest WHEN compared with the potential to reduce the collective, coordinated clout of the nonprofit sector to cloud gov’t accountability.

So here comes this post:

Three (or Four) Famous, Privately Controlled Nonprofits Who Just Wanna Transform Public Education (and Urban Populations to Practice On) (case-sensitive short-link ends “-6iI”)

Perhaps the nonprofits may not be quite so famous as their funders, originators, or leadership, but nevertheless they are, with links to their respective websites:

  • (#1) “Fund for Educational Excellence” (location, Baltimore MD)
  • (#2) “Foundation for Excellence in Education” (aka “ExcelInEd” a PO Box in Tallahassee Florida). I want to review this one more because of its board member Betsy DeVos and because of the two organizing governors or former-governors, Jeb Bush (FL) and Bob Wise (W.VA) and because it being so recent (2007, with related entity only 2013) it also clearly intends to go national. A predecessor (they merged) organization with similar leadership I learned (not from THEIR websites…. was “Foundation for Florida’s Future” (tax returns shown below also).
  • (#3) “Alliance for Excellent Education”  This one has been studied in depth on another post and is mentioned here, but not discussed in detail.
  • (#4) Connected: The California Center for Career and College (also previously blogged but I may not have posted its tax returns; they are below) comes up through a personnel connection with “Alliance for Excellent Education.”

BUT, I do wonder what would happen if a cross section (a “core sample) were taken of all three (the 501©3 parts only) in specific years, with a comparison of the Balance Sheets.  I’d say “Part X,” but where some may be Form 990PFs (vs. Form 990s) the IRS Return Part# will differ.

My “sponsor” post for this one is:
A Closer Look at “The Trade of the [previous] Century,” and some of the related Soros/Open Society Foundations, Their Ownership, Investments, and Activities (per Forms 990/990PF) (short-link ends “-573”).

Also remember that “ConnectEd” 11/18/2016 post showing that a major private foundation (James Irvine Foundation in California), which earlier in the 1900s had been forced to split itself up in an anti-trust movement (I DNR exact details but it had to do with who was the primary controller (shareholder) of the company and that the foundation couldn’t be it) chose to sponsor “Connected: The California Center for Career and College” which didn’t file tax returns or register as a charity timely, and got multi-million-dollar sponsorship from here and elsewhere.  From my tax return, I see that the James Irvine Foundation (filing Form 990PFs), and I posted the image, had donated $9.3M to ConnectEd in a certain year (after it finally registered with the State of California as a charity).  the JIF that year was a $2 Billion Assets entity, so I don’t think that caused it any particular belt-tightening…

Personnel in common with Alliance for Excellent Education (east-coast USA) and the “ConnectEd” (west-coast USA) included Gary Hoachlander.  See TOC and my last three posts of 2016 for more information or a refresher on that information.  Sample:  My pdf of California Registry of Charitable Trust Details for “Connected” or “ConnectEd” (however you wish to pronounce it). All “Related Documents” links (including First and Second Notice to Register) on p.3 are active links.

That post covers several organizations, including a section on “Bridgespan” (see also “Bain” see also “Boston Consulting Group” history.  Bridgespan was a contractor for (as I’m recalling) a “Communities in Schools” organization.

A simple search (990finder) of “Foundation for Educational Excellence” brought up 197 results (roughly 61 entities probably) showing how common the label is, in all its many variations (but in exactly that variation in several different states).

Form990Finder Srch Results ~|~ Fndtn for Educ’tl Excellence (LINKS ACTIVE total results 197, sorted Large to Small 3-25-2017)  (See annotations on first, otherwise blank, page; entity names on ALL results will be active links).

From large to small (links will not be active) — the “Drexel…” one is actually a charter school, which may explain for the much higher assets than the others.  This search is NOT identical because I selected Year 2015 only, but it gives an idea of the variety of names available:

“Foundation for Educational Excellence” (no state specified, but Yr 2015 only, sorted by $$ large to small) shows variety of orgs by this name. Notice the one in IOWA makes the top 15 of 50 in this image. It’s actually “Sahai Family Foundation” (namechange was 2014).  There is a “Sahai Family Charitable Foundation” in Puerto Rico (different EIN#), but I have no idea what is the connection.  But, what does “Sahai” have to do with “Foundation for Educational Excellence” other than, there being SO MANY entities by that name, it’s a good place to hide things.  The foundation in PR gave away grants of $100 + $200 (grantees listed by distribution dates, not alpha) to total $22.5K the year I looked.  What’s the point of so widely dispersing that much money in such small amounts?



2015 “Fndtn for Educat’l Excellence” Form 990s in diff’t states

2014 “Fndtn for Educat’l Excellence” Form 990s in diff’t states

2013 “Fndtn for Educat’l Excellence” Form 990s in diff’t states





As it turns out, I had the name not quite right:  Instead of “Educational excellence” it was “Foundation for Excellence IN Education.”  As their website isn’t exactly spitting up form 990 information, I got it from a Conservative Transparency” (i.e., Watching the Other Political Party’s funder) source, and learned that it had recently merged with another Bush foundation, ‘Foundation for Florida’s Future”

Total results: 3Search Again.

Foundation for Excellence in Education FL 2015 990 42 $12,422,065.00 26-0615175
Foundation for Excellence in Education FL 2014 990 56 $14,437,440.00 26-0615175
Foundation for Excellence in Education FL 2013 990 49 $14,938,571.00 26-0615175

And its 2013-formed 501©4 (filing a Form 990O) “Related Entity”

EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION NATIONAL INC FL 2014 990O 35 $1,669,697.00 46-3332269
EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION NATIONAL INC FL 2013 990O 26 $448,697.00 46-3332269

Not to mention the “Foundation for Florida’s Future” which merged into it 2014, per tax return and other sources:

Total results: 3Search Again.

FOUNDATION FOR FLORIDAS FUTURE INC FL 2014 990O 42 $0.00 20-3229141
FOUNDATION FOR FLORIDAS FUTURE INC FL 2013 990O 27 $638,368.00 20-3229141
FOUNDATION FOR FLORIDAS FUTURE INC FL 2012 990O 26 $937,410.00 20-3229141

“To make Florida’s education system a model for the nation.” (Founded only in 2005; image is from Yr 2012).  Notice Patrica Levesque (also on the above organizations, both of them). This may sound like a dumb question but isn’t:  “Why?”  Why should vastly different states be forced, coerced, encouraged, (or policy-influenced) to copy other states, particularly a large, coastal state which 501©3 with this goal references on its own website, it has a larger-than average low-income minority population?


and here’s the Open Society (among other foundations)-supported one whose fortunes apparently are improving.  And whom I’ve blogged before (so not too much now…)

Alliance for Excellent Education DC 2014 990 38 $11,981,836.00 11-3487339
Alliance for Excellent Education DC 2013 990 36 $10,463,204.00 11-3487339
Alliance for Excellent Education DC 2012 990 34 $8,433,847.00 11-3487339
  • [See “ConnectEd” FamilyCourtMatters.org post] I did that search, and finding notations on “Bernie Madoff Settlement” among other things, decided to look at a much earlier year.

Here’s the 990s for Connected: California….” EIN# 204781979, which claims (and I remember checking, that’s right) “Founded” in 2006 (the FL one above, remember, founded in 2007).

Total results: 3Search Again.

ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career CA 2015 990 29 $8,899,765.00 20-4781979
ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career CA 2014 990 38 $10,045,487.00 20-4781979
ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career CA 2013 990 37 $11,435,459.00 20-4781979

This is their first tax return (FY2006) showing just how closely entwined it was with MPR Associates controlled primarily by Gary Hoachlander, which is readily admitted. I took several screenprints, but anyone could also simply read the tax return through and figure it out.  He was paid FYI $196K (incl. benefits) the first year, but MPR Associates as subcontractor was also paid (plenty).  A grant of only $5,000 was made to “George Lucas Educational Foundation” (a PO Box in nearby San Rafael, CA) related to several schools.

FIVE YEARS LATER (2011) ConnectEd hadn’t even voluntarily registered within the state, as this notice indicates (and assuming it can be taken at face value). It took a Second Notice to actually “get ‘er done.”




And then there’s the this one in Baltimore, around since 1984:

Search Again

Fund for Educational Excellence MD 2015 990 31 $9,181,125.00 52-1129402
Fund for Educational Excellence MD 2014 990 27 $7,060,353.00 52-1129402
Fund for Educational Excellence MD 2013 990 27 $6,298,776.00 52-1129402

This one’s fortunes also improving, looks like (increased almost 50% (½ of $6.2M) in just two years…

RE: The Foundation for Excellence in Education”  IN FLORIDA ASSOCIATED WITH GOV. JEB BUSH AND BETSY DeVOS [yellow-background color for a Sunshine State entity]

As their website isn’t exactly spitting up form 990 information, I got it from a “” (i.e., Watching the Other Political Party’s funder) source, and learned that it had recently merged with another Bush foundation, ‘Foundation for Florida’s Future”

Total results: 3Search Again.

Foundation for Excellence in Education FL 2015 990 42 $12,422,065.00 26-0615175
Foundation for Excellence in Education FL 2014 990 56 $14,437,440.00 26-0615175
Foundation for Excellence in Education FL 2013 990 49 $14,938,571.00 26-0615175

…..The website “Conservative Transparency” on these two entities links to a number of other articles discussing conflicts of interests (for example, among the companies producing on-line education programs also supporting the organization), including from Reuters.com.  This type of journalism is interesting, but less than conclusive when it talks in generalities.


Conservative Transparency on “FEE”



Here’s a sample from a 2012 article linked to from the main page at Conservative Transparency, from this paragraph quoting Reuters:

FEE is dedicated to pushing Bush’s “success” in Florida in privatizing education.  Reuters explains that “the Bush foundation touts the Florida test gains as ‘perhaps the greatest public policy success story of the past decade’ and aggressively presses its formula on other states.”

And from there, title: “Jeb Bush, with Cash and Clout, touts education reforms” (11/27/2012 at Reuters.com by Stephanie Simon):

Hundreds of emails obtained under a public records request by the nonprofit advocacy group In the Public Interest, which opposes privatization of schools, show the foundation working closely with allies in Maine, New Mexico, Florida and elsewhere to craft public policy.

As I keep saying, advocacy groups left and right are always ready to report on the other side, depending on the cause.  Anyone who thinks it’s ONLY on political party working to privatize the schools and profit from doing so, isn’t paying close attention!  Those that want to keep public schools going, but reform them — have their own digital platforms and conflicts of interest also, not to mention foundations to go with!

“…Foundation employees write legislation and edit proposed bills line by line, then send in experts to testify on their behalf, the emails show.

“The Bush foundation also funds trips and events to introduce Bush’s donors to policy makers. At last year’s national summit in San Francisco, the foundation set aside two hours for several state superintendents of education, dubbed “Chiefs for Change,” to meet the foundation’s sponsors.

“In an email forwarded to Executive Director Levesque, an official from Apple Inc also requested access to the chiefs to tout the company’s products.

“This is a great opportunity. … But there are a dozen other companies that want access,” Levesque responded. She couldn’t accommodate Apple, she wrote, unless the chiefs first found time to meet with “all the other companies including those actually funding” the Chiefs for Change network.

“Apple declined to comment.

“Bush foundation donors include family philanthropies, such as those established by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Corporate donors include Connections Education, a division of global publishing giant Pearson ; Amplify, the education division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp ; and K12, a publicly traded company that runs online schools.

Many of these donors sit on a Digital Learning Council that helped draft the Bush foundation’s policy agenda. [Where’s the link to support this?] Key planks call for states to require online course work in high school and to lift restrictions that hinder cyber-school growth, such as limits on class size.

Studies in several states including Pennsylvania and Colorado have found that online students fare far worse than their peers in reading and math. Bush has said bad programs should be shut down, but he believes online schools have great potential to offer personalized, self-paced education.

“This is not about our commercial success,” said Sari Factor, chief executive officer of E2020 Inc, which develops online curricula and recently signed up as a foundation sponsor. “We’re focused on what’s right for kids.” | Still, Factor acknowledged that E2020 has “absolutely” benefited from Bush’s advocacy”



Fndtn for FL’s Future (EIN#203229141) merged into FEE in October 2014 per Conservative Transparency (2017-04-15 at 8.26PM

My suggestion is read both articles from this website (and their associated links), but I can see that neither is doing what I do — digging into the tax returns and discussing them.  At least this site gives the EIN#s and some of the background.

I COULD STAND TO LOOK SOME MORE, but at this point, am worn out with looking up and reporting the larger foundations’ involvement.  A further close drill-down on these two (or three) Bush foundations could be done by anyone who has the habit.  I do remember noticing how the assets were being quickly compiled, but believe at (now about) 18,600 words, this post is “done.”  //LGH 04-15-2015 (Saturday night before Easter, PST in California).  “To be continued…”


Controlling the education = controlling the next generation = controlling the nation.

Perhaps we should pay better attention to who’s been collaborating to do that, and their financial track records, and the cash flow circuitry.  For one, I’d score any entity on how hard does it make readers work for their own financials, on whether its grants are going to entities which can fill out a tax return (honestly, including ability to follow instructions, add and subtract, etc. as the plan is to coach others how to improve entire school systems, RIGHT?.

And when evidence exists showing that tracking the funding would be more than a full-time job for people who can’t afford it, and may not even have proper access to all the information (let alone humanly feasible ability to obtain, compile, prepare and present the information which may even be accessible — and free; but to validate it externally is if not a wild goose chase, at least a significant obstacle course.

FYI, the moment money is run TO the nonprofits or FROM the nonprofits, such an obstacle course exists. Think about it — how could all variations between truth and reality be compiled and compared in the public interest?

Two posts ago (“Indicators….“) I added a section on how the US Department of Health and Human Services, which now includes “Re-entry” under its primary HMRF program categories,** placed several obstacles to tracking the grantees when the same department website containing the letters “HHS” and ending “.gov” actually had a database on which the grantees could be researched.  For what that database is worth, at least it exists…

  • *So many men are in prison; if you’re going to help “fathers” (men) get their “Parents’ Fair Share” of custody and time with their kids, as well as be convinced to get and stay married (or at least pay child support), you are obviously going to be involved in those in prison, going to prison, and coming out of prison, i.e. “Re-Entry.” (See that post and section (light-blue background) for more references.

My last post referenced and researched a good deal of “Soros/Open Society” tax-exempts including one based in Baltimore.  I made note of a Fund for Educational Excellence it funded.  I figured it’s time to lay out that “Fund,” and the (FL-based, Besty DeVos on board) “Foundation” (for Educational Excellence) and perhaps again some basic stats on the “Alliance for Education Excellence” referenced (and posted) earlier particularly notable for having invested heavily in Bernie Madoff funds up to a point, as well as for its related 501©4 entities with multiple pass-throughs, and personnel behind it.

Perhaps seeing them in a single post compared to each other may continue helping to make my point that this situation is IN-sane and a radically different approach to fixing, supplementing, advising, coaching, and coordinating systems change**.  Like throwing out ALL the nonprofits, open up the straight “government books” (particularly on schools) and “let the people learn” how to understand them.  And if the schools won’t get fixed, boycott either funding them, or the “compulsory indoctrination education” system and substituting charter schools is hardly the solution (they are privately run but public funded).

The fear of anarchy or as a parent being thrown in jail or sued somehow for truancy of minors is a powerful force, as is having no independent income streams such that both parents (or in a one-parent household, the only parent) must be at a job, as opposed to acquiring assets sufficient enough to support the basic and future family needs.

  • **(towards or away from any particular social goal — such as “educational excellence” or away from disparate incarceration or achievement gaps for minorities, etc. or changing the “school to prison pipeline” into a “crade-to-career” pipeline)


ALSO on this post, the City of Baltimore as a pilot program destination for Open Society Institute-Baltimore comes up as now starting to also make more sense why such emphasis on sponsored fatherhood programs in this East-coast USA port city within range of Washington, D.C.

I was starting to insert more details on the Fund for Educational Excellence (the post already had it on the Foundation for Educational Excellence) on the “Another Look at the Trade of the (previous) Century” post, then moved it here instead.  That post is already carrying enough of its own weight by looking at the Trade of the Century and even summarizing some of the “educational excellence” nonprofit information.


However here is some transition information, highlights, which may help digest the original posts.  Writing it took me from some generalized awareness that the Open Society/Soros Funds were (1) many and (2) generally, large.  I also already knew that there was a particular hub of fatherhood (male minority-focused) programming in Baltimore and was surprised to learn of one tax-exempt entity characterized as Open Society’s “U.S. Programs” base — and using a “dba” for the actual legal name of the NY based “Open Society Institute-Baltimore.”

You will also find some information in here (not typical in the media) on Betsy DeVos, now our new Secretary of (the U.S. Department of Education), whom the Left is raking over the coals for her support of charter schools and intent to supposedly dismantle the public education system.

While I am no fan of the DeVos Family or ANY of their programming I’ve become aware of over time (nor am I a fan of charter schools, although I’ve taught in some — as well as other kinds of schools over several decades — as a professional musician), I also understood the differences between various school options as a parent (after first escaping the abuse, single parent) of modest means with the goal of making possible for my daughters a four-year college of their choice on scholarships based on each child’s unique abilities.  But what came up here is funding of the “Fund for Educational Excellence” and the “Foundation for Educational Excellence” not to mention Alliance for Excellence in Education.  There are personnel in common you might not expect to be working together for this cause.

https://www.ffee.org/about-us/ (Baltimore-Based) (does it post Form 990s or EIN#?  No.  It does post “Annual Reports” (but only through year 2014).  Since 1984.  List of major sponsors includes Open Society Institute-Baltimore. Says it’s serving as a fiscal agent for the public schools (??).

Founded in 1984, the Fund is a Baltimore-based non-profit organization that works to secure the financial, human, and knowledge resources necessary to support innovation that increases student achievement in City Schools.

FundForEducat’lExcellence (ffee’org,Baltimore) 2014 Annual Rept WhatItDoes Excerpt (Screen Shot 2017-03-25)








Its (searchable here) EIN# is 52-1129402.  The latest tax return shown (FY2014 ending 6/30/2015 only) (where is FY2015 ending almost one year ago?) Shows Total assets $9M.  FY2014, they took in $5.9M (100% private grants) and spent $4.8M in “Functional Expenses” HALF of it recorded on Part IX Line 24a ($2.4M) as “Professional Fees.”  These are not detailed (WHO was paid?); that is 50% of its functional expenses are to unknowns.  NO independent contractors above $100K are shown.  Salaries are maybe 25% of total expenses, and a Rev-Expenses = Excess that year was about $1.5M.  $480K grants were given to a few different nonprofits.  Of this, $193K went to two “HS PLanning” purposes — one to Bard College and the other to “Baltimore Safe and Sound Campaign” (EIN# 52-2147148), formed in 1998, and clearly draining its assets:

Total results: 3Search Again.

Safe and Sound Baltimores Campaign for Children and Youth MD 2014 990 28 983,057.00 52-2147148
Safe and Sound Baltimores Campaign for Children and Youth MD 2013 990 24 $1,432,664.00 52-2147148
Safe and Sound Baltimores Campaign for Children and Youth MD 2012 990 23 $1,763,669.00 52-2147148

This organization’s exempt purpose is: (p.1 Summary), “to help the children of Baltimore” and (p.2 Part III, “Briefly describe the organization’s mission”) “To measurably improve the health, safety, and well-being of Baltimore’s children, youth, and families.”
HOW? (Program Service Accomplishments), ”

Describe the organization’s program service accomplishments for each of its three largest program services, as measured by expenses Section 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations are required to report the amount of grants and allocations to others, the total expenses, and revenue, if any, for each program service reported:

4a (Code ) (Expenses $ 1,755,214 including grants of $ 371,873 ) (Revenue $

Organize service collaborations, secure investments, negotiate public policy waivers and facilitate agreements on measurable outcomes to initiate interventions and expanded opportunities, organize and connect people and organizations to increase opportunities, develop, maintain and operate the Public Safety Compact which provides a sustainable mechanism for Baltimore City residents to return to the community earlier to utilize the program services and opportunities which lowers the recidivism rate and saves the state money while providing greater Public Safety, build a coalition of youth, families, community members, program providers, educators, funders and policy makers to expand funding, implement more effective policies, and support increased program quality for youth opportunities outside of school

Translated, this sounds like (a euphemism for) prisoner-re-entry and early release programming, plus more/better afterschool youth programming. The Executive Director (only paid board member or officer, also only one reporting FT work, Hathaway Ferebee) earned $112K.

Grants reported on Pages 1, 2 and Pt. IX (Expenses) were lower than those shown on Sched I of Grants, which had only two entries, so I doubt it was a math problem: (Sched I, $404, 886 – (other places) $371,783 = $33,103 discrepancy of nearly 10%).  Also, the “net assets” shows over $600K (up from prior year), after contributions (100% non-government, private) of $1.2M.

Safe + Sound, Baltimore’s Campaign for our Children Inc (EUB#522147148) FY2014 Pt I Exps Balances (LL12-22)) (Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 1.12PM)Safe and Sound, Baltimore’s Campaign for our Children Inc (522147148, FY2014 Sched I totl doesn’t match IRS return) Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 1.23.34 PM


Safe & Sound Baltimore then (see image) in 2014 gives $380K to “Episcopal Community Services of Maryland,” around since 1927, and also showing gradually drained assets. (see next tax returns):



Total results: 3Search Again.

Episcopal Community Services of Maryland MD 2015 990 36 $1,632,637.00 52-0591564
Episcopal Community Services of Maryland MD 2014 990 31 $2,328,819.00 52-0591564
Episcopal Community Services of Maryland MD 2013 990 34 $2,424,375.00 52-0591564

Exempt purpose from the latest posted return (this is one year more than showing on their website, too, see near top of this post):


And from page 2, this is the “Program Service Accomplishment 4c” the Jericho program.  At expenses $698K, this is more than twice the combined expenses of program services listed on 4a & 4b (which together, as stated on that page, are about $454K).  Perhaps because they deal more with younger children, including pre-schoolers, they were featured instead of a prisoner-rentry program dealing with adult men (primarily, it seems) with a prison record, or completing one:

4c (Code ) (Expenses $ 698,521 including grants of $ (Revenue $


See Additional Data

Wow. Another way of saying this is Maryland’s growing industries seek ex-cons in rehabilitation for employees.  I wonder what would happen if some of this same level of services were given to their non-imprisoned women partners with young children on the outside?  (ECS also runs a pre-school for homeless children….).

I just looked at Tax Year 2008 Return, during a time when it’s federal re-entry grants would have been received, and am trying to understand how it still managed to operate the $800K Re-entry program while, overall for the year, managed to show an over $800K deficit (also having sold significant public securities at an about $600K loss, while its government grants were — about $600K.  Two out of three programs involved children (The Ark, a pre-school for homeless children, state-approved, and an afterschool/summer camp program for elementary through middle-aged children, and, third, rentry — for men, it appears, only.  That’s their most expensive program that year, too.

Three screenprints from the year 2003 return (where they moved out of the Diocese offices where had been renting for $160K monthly) shows this, as well as their usage of unrecorded volunteers (see religious affiliation — volunteerism encouraged) and that they’ve moved into a property now owned (or at least “used”) by this entity, with that holding company’s end of year assets (EOYr=2004) was worth $89K.  One wonders how so many groups can be accommodated in such a property, and, “it just goes to show” what kind of checks and balances are NOT involved when a 501(c03 named after a religious-exempt entity — and operating out of its premises for decades (apparently, or at least as of February 2004, with the entity having started in the early 1900s, before WWII (just about)) you do NOT have when one-half of the fact-checking is an entity which doesn’t have to file tax returns.  Also odd is how despite all these unrecorded volunteers serving as boards of directors (etc.) and from the administrative office (at the Diocese), the tax return doesn’t acknowledge the Diocese as a “Related Entity” whatsoever!

I realize they (ECS) are taking on tough jobs in (acc. to descriptions) tough neighborhoods.  I just don’t think it’s too much to ask to that among the many volunteers and SOME paid officers, they upload their most recent tax returns, and explain such things as, how they obtained a namechange which doesn’t yet show up as either a name change, or a dba (Trade Name) at the State of Maryland. From what I understand, the web domain “Squarespace.com” might be free. FYI, I also looked up their articles of incorporation, and various amendments gradually lessening the overt religious terms in the name (although as you can see, not completely) which insisted that at least ⅔ of the Board of Directors (up to 18 in number) be “communicants of the Protestant Episcopal Church” (or similar phrase). (Click a link to see the associated annotated ECS of MD Yr 2003 Excerpt [image] 1, 2, or 3 full-size)

|~1~| ECS of MD Yr2003 990 (EIN#529591564) showing 160K yrly mortgage payable to Diocose of MD (monthly $1,333) (Screen Shot 2017Apr04 at 3.34PM |~2~| ECS of MD 520591564 FY2003 re Taxable Subsidiaries ECSM Holding Company LLC (SAME EIN#?? HOW?) EOY Assets $89 945 (the year they moved) (Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 3.37PM |~3~| ECS of MD (EIN#520591564) FY2003 Line 82b re their Housing Change + 100 unrecorded (in audited statemts) Volunteers(Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 3.37PM)

ECS of MD FY2003 Excerpt 1 showing mortgage paid to the Diocese

ECS of MD FY2003 Excerpt 2 showing holding company

ECS of MD FY 2003 Excerpt 3

FOOTNOTE WALTER H. ANNENBERGNew York Times Obituary:  Walter Annenberg, 94, Dies: Publisher and PhilanthropistOCT. 2, 2002.

Written by Let's Get Honest

April 17, 2017 at 11:45 am

One Response

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  1. daveyone1

    April 17, 2017 at 12:03 pm

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Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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