Op-Ed by ARLENE GLANTZ
Before we “Follow the Money” some background information is required. The Federal government and state governments have delineated K-12 students into subgroups ranging from majority students to minority students: white, black, Hispanic, low income, etc. Each minority group’s academic score performance is then measured against the white subgroup’s academic score performance. The difference/variance between the white subgroup’s academic score performance and a minority group’s academic score performance is called the “Achievement Gap” or “Equity Gap.”
Federal and state governments are very anxious to “Close” the Achievement/Equity Gap. However, it is an impossibility to “Close” the Gap because students are individuals, as are adults. Even within a subgroup, e.g., the black subgroup, there are students with differing degrees of ability, talent, and effort. Students are not homogenous, they are individuals, different from one another, even within a subgroup. So, really, we should be looking to “Reduce”, if anything, the Achievement/Equity Gap. Is there a normal distribution, a numeric goal, a quantitative end game to be reached? Shouldn’t we be looking to “Reduce” the Achievement/Equity Gap before it becomes a major problem, look to the early grades, or even pre-school? Why wait for high school?
“Today there is a misconception that every time we find disparity in outcomes that it is somehow due to racism. Sometimes, this is true. But not all the time.” … “It is a tried-and-true maxim in medicine that the first step toward treatment is the right diagnosis. This is no less true for societal ills. When we have an error in diagnosis, then the prescribed “treatment” will be a costly misadventure from which we may not recover.” (The Roanoke Times, August 31, 2021, Chuck Harris, Harris: Disparity of Outcomes Does Not Always Stem From Racism.)
In governments’ misplaced efforts to “Close” the Achievement/Equity Gap they are “Throwing” huge sums of money at school districts all across the United States. The school districts are lapping up these huge sums of money, eager to spend, spend, spend, without real analysis of diagnosis or treatment.
The Hernando County School District (the School District), using Federal “free” money, approved, purchased, and uses a program, (the Collaborative Agreement”) purchased from the company Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS). Eager to spend the Federal money, the School District embraced and brought Critical Race Theory (CRT)/Equity into the School District. CRT and Equity are two sides of the same coin. The program, Collaborative Agreement, that the School District is using, places lesser proficient, lower-performing minority students in high school advanced AP, IB, and AICE classes. EOS claims this will “close” the Achievement/Equity Gap. In essence, it replaces Merit: ability, talent, effort; with skin color, income level: equity, diversity, and inclusion. The content of the EOS Collaborative Agreement support programs: Equity Teams and Equal Opportunity school Teams; the support training programs and training manuals – Franklin Covey Equity in Education (the Equity manual); the professional development programs, and the in-service programs (training for teachers, faculty, and staff) scream CRT/Equity.
The Equity manual calls minority students “Minoritized” students. It claims “Minoritized” students receive mistreatment and prejudice from outside their control and have less power and representation than other groups. This is clearly and plainly “Oppressed” and “Oppressor.”
The Equity manual proclaims “Merit” and “Meritocracy” must be discarded and not valued, because “Only a narrow range of intelligence is honored” and it “underminds growth mindsets, collaborative instructional practices, and emotional belonging.”
The Equity manual unequivocally states “Assimilation” must be “Rejected” because “Minoritized” students’ cultural identity is not recognized and when “Assimilation” is successful “Minoritized” students are seen as “overcoming their culture.” No more melting pot for America.
The Equity manual unambiguously states “Color-Blindness” must be “Combated” because it “Allows the dominant race to ignore the inequalities, racism, and adversity “Minoritized” races experience and because “Color-Blindness supports the idea of “Meritocracy.”
The School District purchased the Collaborative Agreement program from EOS for well over ¼ million dollars. EOS has found a very lucrative niche. Who is EOS and where is it getting its money besides government? Is EOS receiving money to spread CRT and Equity in our schools? Who is funding EOS?
II. Follow the Money
Disclaimer: The research on financial backers of and donators to EOS is a cursory investigation. The research is only meant to highlight the millions of dollars of private money being poured into EOS; demonstrate the invasive far-left progressive high-tech influence in education; show the Machiavellian interlocking connections among and between technocrats and high-tech companies and EOS; most importantly to stimulate awareness of the insidious nature of CRT/Equity funding in American schools.
Equal Opportunity Schools (Seattle-based) was incorporated in 2010. The EOS literature claims that EOS is in 30 states and over 600 schools, this in little more than 10 years. EOS is using the same CRT/Equity program in all of the states: placing lesser proficient, lower-performing minority students in high school advanced AP, IB, AICE classes. This program will have minimal effect on reducing the Achievement/Equity Gap because it takes mid-range performing minority students (grade C or better?), not those minority students most in need of reading, math, and science help. It does not tackle those who would reduce the Achievement/Equity Gap most with help, and who need the help most. We strongly support spending the hundreds of millions (billions?) of Federal and state monies to “Reduce” the Achievement Gap to help minority and all students falling behind, but spending where it can do the most good, at the early or pre-school grades, and without CRT.
EOS’ leadership team, Board of Directors, and financial sponsors are dominated by the far-left progressive technocrats and tech companies from the states from the Pacific West Coast, California, Oregon, and Washington. Oregon’s education is very much infused with CRT/Equity. The State recently passed and signed into law the REMOVAL of reading, writing, and math, as requirements for high school graduation. As of 2020, there are only 11 states that have graduation tests for high school students, Florida is one of them. The amalgamation of self-serving, self-interested persons belonging to, supporting, and promoting EOS is truly astounding.
EOS states “the generosity of our foundation supporters makes our work possible. Our sponsors, individual supporters, and donors are integral to the success of Equal Opportunity Schools. Their generous financial support enables us to make a greater impact by expanding the number of districts and schools we serve.”
Who are these sponsors and individual supporters? Let’s name a few to start.
Mark Zuckerberg and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI): The CZI gave EOS an award of $1.5 million in its first round of grant awards. The Initiative gives to organizations that support advancing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion. It supports the work of communities of color and focuses on cultivating leaders, tackling outcome disparities, shaping policies, and advancing instructional change. The Initiative seeks to enable changemakers, movement builders, and community members to help shape CZI strategies and actions; clearly self-serving. Zuckerberg IS Facebook and Instagram, and a far-left progressive. Zuckerberg is part of the high-tech group of technocrats supporting EOS.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Gates Foundation): We couldn’t find a dollar amount given to EOS, but we are still working on it. It appears to be substantial and over a number of years. The Gates Foundation states it supports, partners with, and backs EOS to make a change in schools, end racial disparity, end income disparity, and serve action for equity. Bill Gates is a far-left progressive, and part of the high-tech technocrats supporting EOS. The Chairman of the EOS Board of Directors, Dr. Deborah Wilds, worked for the Gates Foundation as a senior program officer and helped launch equity programs for the Gates Foundation.
Jeff Bezos and the Bezos Family Foundation (Bezos Foundation) The Bezos Foundation is a financial supporter and donator to EOS. Bezos has entered the realm of public education with large support for EOS. While Microsoft, Apple, and Google have intervened in public K-12 education for their own ambitions for some time now, Bezos and Amazon are just now strategically investing in public education. Bezos’ vision is for Amazon to “become the underlying infrastructure that commerce runs on.” Public education is the next strategic move for billionaire Bezos and Amazon and CRT/Equity/EOS is the way to achieve it. More to come on Jeff Bezos.
The Google Foundation (Google): Google funds Bay Area’s STEM Initiative with EOS, University of California, etc. to ensure equitable access for low-income and students of color to rigorous courses – EOS is focused on Equality in School, education in ‘EQUITY”. The point is Equity is not MERIT, nor is it a substitute for Merit. Equity removes individualism, promotes skin color and income standing. Google awarded $1.8 millon to EOS. Google hopes to impact and foster digital skills with its donation and support of EOS. Vested interest?
The Tableau Foundation (Tableau): Tableau partners with and donates to EOS to drive a culture change with data – measuring students’ experience of belonging to improve EQUITY. Tableau committed nearly $2 million to EOS’ commitment to “closing” the achievement gap. More research definitely needs to be done to determine Tableau’s self-serving, vested interest in EOS.
M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust (Murdock): Chairman of the Board of EOS, Dr. Deborah Wilds, worked for the Gates Foundation, she now serves as a senior fellow for the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. Surprise, surprise, Murdock is a financial supporter and avid promoter of EOS. Will the incestuous relationships ever cease?
The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation (Schusterman Foundation): awards EOS grants and foundation support. The Schusterman Foundation is enhancing pathways to future economic opportunities through targeted investments. It awards educational grants to EOS to promote diversity of school staff and provide better support for teachers of color. In general Schusterman Foundation’s education agenda focuses on supporting teachers and school diversity. What are Schusterman Foundation’s economic opportunities by investing in EOS? More research is needed.
Raikes Foundation (Raikes): connected with the University of Washington. Raikes partners with EOS and awards EOS grant monies. Raikes’ quest is to advance equity in education. Through EOS, Raikes works to increase access, support, and economic empowerment for black high schoolers. As with the other foundations and EOS supporters and partners, merit is completely left out. Definitely connected to the high-tech companies and technocrats.
Peery Foundation (Peery): Peery is a supporter of and investor in EOS. Peery claims its mission in local schools is to ensure equal access to standards and school success for English learners. Peery’s investment in EOS is to create educational opportunities for deserving students. Peery is very involved in changing California education. Not much more known about Peery because its website was down.
New Profit: New Profit “announced that it will support Equal Opportunity Schools with $1 million in unrestricted funding and additional strategic support to help CEO Byron V. Garrett and his team expand the organization’s impact.” New Profit awarded EOS unrestricted funds and a four-year investment. New Profit claims that EOS is a data-driven framework that advances inclusion for students of color and low-income students by placing those students in advanced AP, IB, and AICE classes. New Profit is part of the far left high-tech group, advancing skin color and income level above merit.
NBA Foundation (NBA): NBA celebrated its first anniversary by announcing $6 million to 22 new grant recipients, to “help create employment opportunities, further career advancement and drive greater economic empowerment for Black youth.” NBA partnered with and financially supports EOS and works in collaboration with Kingmakers of Oakland, “a leadership development and systems change organization committed to fundamentally transforming the education system and building the capacity of people to design and sustain thriving and liberated systems, structures, conditions, and culture to improve educational and life outcomes for Black young men.”
Much more information can be culled and investigated regarding these EOS supporters, and other supporters not as of yet researched. Let us hear from you if you want additional information on the “follow-the-EOS-money” trail.
The next two parts, parts 3 and 4 will briefly highlight the interconnectivity between technocrats, tech companies, and EOS private funding. Part 3 looks at the management/leadership team of EOS, who they are, who they worked for, and their involvement in the Pacific Coast States’ organizations and each other. Part 4 looks at the EOS Board of Directors and gleaming the same information as in Part 3.