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Posts Tagged ‘Origins of certain Social Impact Funding Terms (CDVF CDFI etc)

Three (or Four) Famous, Privately Controlled Nonprofits Who Just Wanna Transform Public Education (and Urban Populations to Practice On)

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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”)

Intro added right before hitting “Publish”:

This is a detailed post, under 10,000 words only because I broke off the bottom third (where it started) for separate publication.  It has at least two other spinoff posts one of which was already published on 3/30/2017.  I hope that by publishing several on similar topics in fast sequence, some common sense and raised awareness of just how many, and how deep are the pockets, of the school transformation networks (plural) with their subcontractor friends from the consulting field, in combination with of course proprietary technology platforms, are fully functional and effectively ARE transforming the landscape.  Another term for this would be “development” as it occurs by developed countries upon “under-developed” or developing ones.

We should acknowledge that “the world’s THE stage”;  while these typically operate in the US, their foundation backers often do not.  Many of the concepts for application on the US public schools — a vast resource for testing grounds for this and that pilot, and also representing compulsory consumption of products & services (for most, unless they have the privilege or option of alternate forms of K-12 education under U.S. law) came from England, Germany — from Europe, countries with peerages, titles of honor, and sometimes a national religion going back centuries, which the US does not have.

Careers and career professionals in the field of school transformation do exist, often working for the largest private foundations around (I found another one today, in a different network with, predictably, a doctorate (and B.A. degree) in psychology, government task force positions, and numerous foundation positions, including at the Annie E. Casey Foundation).  The U.S. is being “developed” every bit as much as other countries, but in a more different manner and sold as solving our social problems.  Most troubling to me is attempting to turn local public schools into community centers, rather than giving equal consideration to the possibility that this is a top-heavy, expensive model just too tempting for the profiteers to avoid.

These networks, private influence (non-representational particularly of local people) on school districts and most schools’ continuing, ever-present search for more money and programming which might bring that in or justify it, are here, probably to stay.  I advise becoming well-aware of the proliferating nonprofits while they are still around to be tracked.  (Some are starting to close themselves down, and the track record may not be around forever).

I am not writing from the sidelines on this issue.  Although I may not have lived in many of the states where nonprofits I discuss are headquartered, I have lived in several different states in the USA over the decades, and both East Coast, MidWest, and West Coast.  I am a parent, I know exactly what it is like to be a single parent with a college degree attempting to head my own children in the same direction on scholarships.  Unfortunately, also having had to deal with marital domestic violence, part of this time I also had do this while dealing with the usual choice such (mothers) get:  (a) the abuse itself (if in the relationship) and (b) the family court litigation (if one exits the relationship and becomes in ANY way, sharpe or form involved with the social services in the process, bringing on the child support, marriage/fatherhood factor into the mix in any divorce or custody proceedings).  In this context, I had NO real free time, and became acutely aware of the relative efficiency of different forms of schooling upon the household as well as (which was not even in question at the time) the relative levels of achievement and involvement in so-called “extracurricular” activities my children could be in, given a two-parent household with a commute every single weekend.

In several urban school districts (in more than one region of the country) I was IN the schools, teaching subjects which the budgets had eliminated, at times supported by a nonprofit organization, other times hired directly. I am also a product of public schools (primarily) K-12, but have worked with children from all types of schooling.  As a parent, I am well aware of the difference between private and public situations and its economic and time impact on an individual household, as this became an easy target to attack as soon as I separated from abuse with a restraining order.

Many people without children just do not realize what it takes to prop up and supplement any education when one’s children are in school so long every day, and so many days a year (not to mention, do not realize how hard teachers work OUTside of the school hours for what takes place INside).  In this field, in public education, there is “no free lunch,” even when students may qualify for one and it may be the main meal of the day.  Even in affluent areas, there is constant after-school tutoring or activities which might distinguish their offspring from the many candidates at the colleges they hope those children to have access (including but not limited to Ivy league, or top-notch, private four-year liberal arts colleges).  I have seen (as clients for my services) stay-at-home mothers who were essentially full-time chauffeurs and executive administrators for even just two or three children in some of these areas. Some hire nannies, housekeepers. There are sometimes ads for people to simply pick up the kids and bring them home when parents are working, or kids attend two or more different schools.

The public schools alone ARE an effective caste- and class-preservation device because they are not private schools!  Not everyone agrees they are the “only” solution and should be propped up under the theory / hope of equalizing them or closing achievement gaps or disparities by technicity or gender.   Will this ever be equal to the privileged, private schools of now, and the last century, which also come with social connections)?  

I challenge any reader disturbed by my continuing reporting on these nonprofits to go dig up his or her local school district’s [school district is tied to where you live, kids or no kids in the household..] comprehensive annual financial reports (independently audited) for the last four years, not to mention their local county’s CAFR too, comprehend the basics, and make a record (keep a log) of the assets vs. liabilities (and how recorded).  Then go find, for the same district, how many foundations are also involved in those schools, and record their assets (and leadership’s salaries, expenses, etc.) too, and come up with a figure. At least just GET YOUR FEET WET IN WHERE TO LOOK AND WHAT’S THERE FOR THE LOOKING!

It’s really about who controls the most income-producing assets for the longest, even if the same owners don’t hold them all under the same entity names, financial institutions, or investment vehicles.  What happens when the U.S. government already controls these overall, still wants MORE investments from the public in the same institutions (completely with real estate, buildings, maintenance, insurance, employees, related service industries (food, transportation, security, books, administrative supplies …)

Investments of ANY kind are always about the return on the collective assets (not just one individual holding, such as in a school-transforming nonprofit or for-profit), so when you see the tears for the sad condition of any school, or the violence in them, or the drugs, teenaged pregnancies, or simply under-achieving, take a look at where the money already is IN the area, and (I dare you) ask why so many nonprofits and their big backer foundations, are so enthusiastic about this particular model of school transformation — as opposed to an “open ALL the related books and actually look at the balances” model.

And I do have a question:  HOW MANY NETWORKS OF TAX-EXEMPT 501©3S, WITH RELATED (OR OPPOSING) REFORM MODELS DOES IT TAKE FOR EFFECTIVE SYSTEM CHANGE THROUGHOUT, AND ERASE THE MEMORY OF OTHER OPTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC CONSCIENCE?  One I keep thinking of is, were all the pooled assets of all the spinoff, networked, or public/private run nonprofits for a single year lined up, totaled, and divided by the number of entities (separating the private from the public) – what would those be?  IF those assets and cash flow were retained instead by the parents and residents rather than being extracted up front to go into the schools (discouraging the formation of hundreds of ever-evolving nonprofits), how much better off would the “low-income” households and people be in the first place?

At the bottom of this posts are several links to interviews in the Financial Times (and elsewhere) with Sir Ronald Cohen (whose name came up in the Harvard/Bain/Bridgespan discussion — with Omidyar Network Entity involvement (when Omidyar’s report on a 3-month pilot conducted in 2013 referenced it).  He’s called the father of British Venture Capitalism, founded and led an association by the same name (“BVCA”) and is speaking of reducing tax-exemptions on mega-funds, but retaining them on smaller investment funds.  Like the ones he and friends have been forming.  What’s happening in Social Impact Funding in the US seems to relate closely (to mirror) what was happening, this century, in the UK. (See towards the bottom of this post, and some on the continuation one).  A lot of what passes for altruism and concern is, in fact, money seeking to retain power and influence through reduced taxation.  Keeping this up requires continued influence on governments which decide what is and is not taxed, and how much.

Whatever the solution there should be schooling options which don’t penalize individual families or the public either through forced support of failing schools, or through forcing their kids INTO those failing schools.   Again, if you pay even just income taxes, you are per se on the opposite side of most ledgers to almost any nonprofit, tax-exempt foundation, or government entity.  They pay taxes for their employees, but not on the entity’s revenues (as I understand it).
“Let’s Get Honest” Monday, April 3, 2017.”

From an earlier (11/18/2016) post, (I’ll reference it again below) a theme to remember:

Meanwhile, high position in the highly politicized public education (K-12 and college/university both) system apparently is also part of the gateway to (and from) political power.  And money.

For example:

Constantly demanding more funding for the schools, to put “Communities in Schools“* or to improve them, or expand them, and attempting to close off the exit ramps to something better for low-income parents, as the NAACP submitted a position statement on just this past October, is inappropriate until proper account for what IS going in and HAS gone in is provided in coherent form to the public.  

Speaking of the phrase “Communities in Schools,” here’s another post sub-section for another networked organization and ITS high-powered (more than) subcontractor.**  What, really is going on here? On taking a closer look, I found out that part of that answer is to be found in the organization’s choice of independent subcontractors, a recurring theme in understanding how nonprofits network with power, and how subcontractors sometimes obtain that power.

[Quoting from my own post, https://familycourtmatters.org/2016/11/18/connected-mpr-associates-inc-gary-hoachlander-wested-and-the-us-dept-of-ed-with-help-from-james-irvine-foundation/,  “sub-section” in the quote refers to that post]

*CIS banner (including “Donate”) and Affiliates (in 25 states, whose websites also say “Donate”)

CIS home page viewed 3-26-2017

**Comments on the high-powered (more than) subcontractor [Bridgespan] continued below, right after a light-blue background section on James Irvine Foundation Blog 2006 interview ConnectEd leader Gary Hoachlander…..

This interview having been in 2006 alongside proof that ConnectEd didn’t register as a charity until 2011 (which I provided in the earlier post) proves that the James Irvine Foundation was promoting ConnectEd years before it registered in California, which seems to be a symptom of the field and the in-general arrogant attitude that goes with it:  “when saving the world, or the nation’s children, or engaged in any of (our many) great philanthropic causes “normal rules of accountability– and state laws — don’t apply to us, OR our friends and chosen partners.”

The Bain/Bridgespan “consulting/management/implementation/turnaround We OWN you (until we sell it off)” model (and its Harvard connections), and how many others are following — here, into SCHOOL TRANSFORMATION via DIGITAL-BASED, often TRADEMARKED PROGRAMMING — is important to “get,” to understand.  To study it is to see some of the scope and trends of these times as previously engineered in the 1980s, 1990s and of course first decade of the 21st century, 2000-2010.

We are now 2017, and all this “might” be good to keep in mind when (a) voting, (b) donating (to ANY group), and, if a choice remains, (c ) deciding where your children should go to school, and (d) in general when listening to politicians or reading about great causes and the work of “philanthropic” organizations.

In general, regardless of the application, the reality will be a combination of those now holding significant assets, typically privately — that is the OWNERS of those assets, boards director, family scions or second- third-generation heirs — building partnerships which have in mind power and control:  profits, tax-reduction, and propaganda especially about the long-term and short-term good of the public further ceding control of public institutions, but without full awareness of where we (the public) stand versus where the various or collective “change agents” stand,  to the same.  In general, it’s good to have a few ways to withstand propaganda, or at least recognize it when it’s all around.

If you’re in the habit of looking whether any business or group name is operating as public or privately registered entity (and since when, and where, and, ideally, how large and where are (have been) its assets and revenues coming from and going to), a habit I wasn’t raised with, but did develop under duress and curiosity, it will become easier and easier to detect in any grouping of names (one promoting the other), which is functioning in which capacity.

So, https://familycourtmatters.org/2016/11/18/connected-| mpr-associates-inc-| gary-hoachlander |-wested-| and-the-us-dept-of-ed-| with-help-from-james-irvine-foundation/, among these names, which is which, and who’s who? (I added some dividers in the filename):

  • That 11/18/2016 post title names some parts of the school-transformation network:  “Connected..” (nonprofit, that’s a partial name, but obviously conveys a sense of digital, on-line, connections),
  • MPR Associates (its subcontractor),
  • Gary Hoachlander (running both of the aforesaid and until I believe it was MPR that moved) out of the same address too),
  • WestEd (a Joint Powers Agency, not “Authority”) governed by public entities in several states,
  • …the U.S. Department of Education (federal agency) with help from
  • the James Irvine Foundation (major tax-exempt foundation, considered with the corporation behind it, here “The Irvine Company”).

The parts are public and private.  In the private, the parts come tax-exempt and not tax-exempt (non-profit and for-profit).  Within tax-exempt (and obviously from the for-profit too), they also come older and newer, and larger and smaller.  When they are collaborating on a single project, or a nationwide project, it is a force to be reckoned with and typically an intricate funding trail. I’m still looking for WestEd’s financials.

The older and/or larger can easily set up (fund, or work with colleagues to fund) other entities which will still be impressively large to the common man.  That clout combined with “friend and associates” is impressive also.  Being impressive in that matter, however, doesn’t make it right, legal, or morally or logically justified.  It only makes it highly persuasive, and a force to be dealt with, should they be heading down a path NOT in the public interest, or one that the public might have reason to object to, such as being built on a foundation of inappropriate secrecy (“failure to file”) and violation of basic state law to register timely.

Just found from the James Irvine Foundation blog (dated in 2006) — An Interview with Gary Hoachlander of “ConnectEd…” showing that this foundation was funding an nonprofit entity which didn’t register with state of California as a charity until 2011, speaking in glowing terms of ConnectEd as a “consulting firm.”  In fact, it was a nonprofit and subcontracting to the consulting firm MPR Associates (also run by Hoachlander) in related-entity transactions acknowledged in their first Form 990 filing of 2006 [See annotations on next image].
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