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What and Who is EdVoice?

A group called  EdVoice filed a lawsuit to compel the teachers of Los Angeles to comply with 40-year-old legislation (the Stull Act), requiring that student performance be part of teacher evaluation. The Los Angeles teachers’ union has opposed the suit, and they are currently in litigation.

The issues are supposed to be resolved in December. There are many ways to demonstrate pupil performance, not just standardized test scores.

There are so many of these “reform” groups that it is hard to keep track of them.

What and who is EdVoice?

Here is an answer from Sharon Higgins, an Oakland parent activist who is a relentless researcher, and who maintains two websites, one called “charterschoolscandals,” the other called “The Broad Report.” Higgins is an example of the power of one voice, devoted to facts:

Here are a few more specifics about EdVoice, the education lobbying group.

EdVoice was founded in 2001 by Reed Hastings (CEO of Netflix, Microsoft board member, Green Dot founding funder) and John Doerr (venture capitalist, investment banker), along with and former CA state Assembly members Ted Lempert and Steve Poizner. Eli Broad and Don Fisher (deceased CEO of The Gap and major KIPP supporter) once served on EdVoice’s board.

EdVoice has received a ton of money from all of the above as well as from Carrie Walton Penner and Fisher’s widow, Doris. Penner lives in the Bay Area and is a Walton Family Foundation trustee. She also sits on KIPP’s board, as does Reed Hastings, and the Fishers’ son, John.

Back in 1998, Hastings also co-founded Californians for Public School Excellence with Don Shalvey. This is the organization that pushed for the Charter Schools Act of 1998, the law that lifted the cap on the number of charter schools in the state.

Don Shalvey was involved with starting the first charter school in California, just after the passage of the California Charter School Act of 1992 (CA was the second state to pass a law). He is also founder and former CEO of Aspire Public Schools. Reed Hastings has been a major source of Aspire’s financial backing, including its launch. In 2009, Shalvey stepped down from his post at Aspire and went to work for the Gates Foundation, but for a while he stayed on Aspire’s board. The Gates Foundation has given generously to Aspire.

In 2011, Hastings and Doerr pumped $11M into DreamBox Learning, an online education company started by a former Microsoft executive and the CEO of a software company. It was acquired by Hastings with help from the Charter School Growth Fund.

BTW, EdVoice co-founder Lempert is currently president of an Oakland-based org called Children Now; he occasionally teaches at Cal. Poizner, a conservative Republican and wealthy Silicon Valley high tech entrepreneur, was defeated by Meg Whitman in the June 2010 gubernatorial primary, and is now the State Insurance Commissioner. For several years he worked for Boston Consulting Group as a management consultant.

More conniving fun and games.

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Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education. She is the Co-Founder and President of the Network for Publi...