The Malloy administration is implementing a new Common Core PR extravaganza.
Initially Malloy and his team wanted to run a $1 million Connecticut taxpayer funded pro-Common Core advertising campaign.
But when a political firestorm forced them to back down, the Malloy team came up with a different publicly funded campaign to sell the Common Core. This time the brainchild is from an out-of-state company hired by Commissioner Stefan Pryor to manage the effort.
The company hired to lead Connecticut to the Common Core Promised Land is called Learnzillion.com.
Learnzillon.com will train teachers on how to persuade their fellow teachers to better appreciate the Common Core and become proficient at utilizing the Common Core to prepare students from kindergarten to high school to become “college and career ready.”
According to Learnzillion, the Common Core Dream Team is;
“…a group of extraordinary teachers from around the country. They represent district, charter, and private schools, and bring with them a diversity of experiences and backgrounds. This group is united in their goal to develop themselves and each other, through a collaborative process of creating, curating, and sharing high-quality resources for use with students.
But being on the Dream Team is about more than creating great content—it’s about being a member of a vibrant and enthusiastic community of educators who are eager to help others and hopeful about the future.
We’re currently recruiting talented teachers of math and ELA in grades 2-12 to join the 2014 Dream Team. Dream Team members are selected through a highly competitive application process. We’re looking for teachers who are not only content-area experts, but also those who are eager to share and collaborate with others, hungry for feedback, and excited about growing their leadership skills.”
Dream Team members will be trained and then paid to bring the Common Core to Connecticut’s public schools.
In this case, 97 Connecticut public school teachers have been recruited.
In addition to the taxpayer funds, LearnZillion has been raising funds on Wall Street. According to Techcrunch.com, just a year ago, “To help it scale and continue to add content to its free resource, [LearnZillion announced] that it has raised $7 million in Series A financing.”
According to the company, “Teachers and parents can get access to the LearnZillion platform for free, while schools and districts are required to subscribe to a paid, enterprise-level plan, which gives them access to premium professional development content, teaching insights and analytics, among other things.”
So Learnzillion is collecting money from the state taxpayers so it can train public school teachers to better appreciate the Common Core. Then company, in turn, can then cash in by getting school districts to subscribe to a “paid, enterprise-level plan” to access their information paid for my Wall Street investors.
And what gives Learnzillon.com the skills to take on this herculean task?
Just take look at the classroom experience the company’s Board of Directors brings to the effort…
Robert J. Hutter is a Managing Partner of Learn Capital. Rob is chairman of Edmodo, a leading social learning network for K12, and he also serves on the boards of several Learn Capital portfolio companies including Schooltube, BloomBoard, MobLab, and LearnZillion. Rob was co-founder of Edusoft (acquired by Houghton-Mifflin).
- Commissioner Pryor not only retained the services of Learnzillion.com but Hutter’s Learn Capital Portfolio Company, BloomBoard, also snagged a lucrative Connecticut contract.
- Mark Jacobsen has advised companies and entrepreneurs for over 25 years. According to his website, “He loves working closely with entrepreneurs and helping them build their companies.” Mark was a co-founder of O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures in 2005. Mark is currently a board member of AMEE, Betabrand, CollabNet, Planet Labs, Fast.ly, LocalDirt, LearnZillion, OpenSignal, O’Reilly Media, Path Intelligence and SeeClickFix.
- Andrew Klingenstein has over 15 years of experience investing in and providing legal and business assistance to start-up companies in the DC area. For many years, he was a principal and co-founder of Fairfax Partners, a Virginia-based venture capital firm specializing in IT and healthcare companies.
- Peter Moran currently focuses on Digital Health (Augmedix, Covered, Rayvio) and Tech Enabled Education (LearnZillion). Over the past 15 years, he led DCM into new sectors including interactive Gaming (Trion Worlds), altering Consumer Experience (FreedomPop, Slice), and a diverse array of Enabling Technology including novel energy storage solutions (Enovix), companies focused on improving energy efficiency via LED lighting (Bridgelux), and next gen semiconductors (Analogix).
- Joanne Weiss recently resigned her position as United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s Chief Staff. She was in charge of Race to the Top Funding. Before joining the Department of Education, Weiss was Partner and Chief Operating Officer at NewSchools Venture Fund, a venture philanthropy firm. Prior to her work at NewSchools, Weiss was Chief Executive Officer of Claria Corporation, “an e-services recruiting firm that helped emerging-growth companies build their teams quickly and well.
The whole scam is a dream come true for the corporate education reform industry and they have Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy and Commissioner Stefan Pryor to thank for the business opportunity.
Check back for more about Malloy’s use of taxpayer funds to persuade us that the Common Core is the “solution” and the array of out-of-state consultants the Malloy administration has hired to “educate” us about the benefits of the Common Core.