Influence Peddling: Education Research and Development Institute (ERDI)
Ohanian Comment: Even though superintendents being paid as "consultants" to meet with vendors is an old story, it is well worth exploring the updated vendors' list. And more. Vendors pay big bucks to meet with superintendents from large districts.
Take a look at the vendors who are exerting all matter of sales pitches for test prep, for data management, for delivering solutions, solutions, solutions. I didn't bother to provide hot links for outfits such as Minute Maid and Coke. But I didn't leave many out. The sites are well worth exploring--to see what they have in mind for schools. For example, did you know about the Microsoft Certified Partner Program? And the Gold Certified? Spend some time exploring that site. And then think about Bill Gates vulture philanthropic meddling in school policy, bringing us such outrage as the Common Core Standards and Assessments. Think about the Common Core as you click on the hot links below. Nearly every vendor promises to deliver Common Core solutions.
Blackboard, Inc. went public in 2004. It wasn't until 2009 that Michael Chasen made his first political contribution, $5,000 to the Blackboard Political Action Committee. In August 2010, he donated $1,000 to Friends of George Miller Congressional campaign. At the time, Miller was chair of the House Education Committee. Chasen also gave $5,000 to the Blackboard PAC. Here are some of the company's priorities in selecting recipients:
* Demonstration of a firm commitment to education and the belief that every child deserves access to a high quality complete and competitive education
* Understanding of the vital role technology plays in educating and training AmericaÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s students and workers
* Position on Congressional Committees relevant to education and technology
* Voting record or stated position on specific issues of interest to the company, its employees, its clients and end users- students and faculty
* Location of company employees and/or facilities in the candidateÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s state or district
* Financial need and chances of being elected
Blackboard contributions were small potatoes. Here are some other donors to Miller's 4009-10 campaign:
ITT Educational Services: $19,950
Apollo Group, $17,250
Princeton Review, $12,000
Miller received $128,061 from donors labeled as being in the education sector.
Here are a few other items of interest:
Peter Arnstein of Micrcosoft contributed $387,975 to Democrats; 0 to Republicans. Here are some other heavy htters from Microsoft.
Take a look at Cisco 2010 political campaign donations.
Of course, all this is small potatoes compared with the fine levied against the school choice group, All Children Matter, that pumped millions of dollars into helping get its candidates elected in Ohio, Wisconsin. In March 2011, the Associated Press reported the group has yet to pay a record $5.2 million fine imposed three years ago by Ohio election officials, according to the state attorney general. And then there's Stand for Children which jumped into Illinois politics as the best funded political action committee (PAC) in the state, having gone from zero to more than $3 million in its coffers. . . all to influence legislators on changing teacher tenure and evaluation. Members of the famed billionaire Pritzker family kicked in a total of $250,000 to Stand for Children.
And so on and so on. So much to investigate, so little time.
How ERDI Works For You
ERDI exists to allow educational leaders the opportunity to influence the development, refinement and delivery of the products and services entering the educational setting in the USA so that those products and services can best meet the needs of children.
We are grateful to our corporate partners who are committed to excellence in education and ERDI is proud to work with them in that pursuit. Here are some of our many corporate partners we have served...
A+ Choice Solutions, Inc [dead link]
Advanced Academics, Inc
America Online (AOL)
Assured Indoor Air Quality
Bank of America
C Innovations [bad link]
Carson-Dellosa School Divisione [hot link provided listed as "untrusted"]
Celt Corp. [Gates Grant] another Gates Grant
Change Forward [no hot link given]
Classroom Connect [Houghton Mifflin]
The Coca-Cola Company
Cognite Concepts [Honest: This is the right link.]
CORE K12 Education [not who you think it is. This outfit used to be K-12 Services Division of The Princeton Review]
Durham School Services
Dynamic Technology Systems
DynaVox Mayer Johnson
East Side Entrees
Educate Online [has an esylvan.com url that won't load]
Education Networks of America
Educational Services of America
Edusoft [Riverside Publishing]
EduTrax Elevate Learning
ESC Region 4 [a school district selling materials to help bubble kids get those needed few points.]
Evans Newton Inc.
Fourier Systems, Inc.
The Futures Health Core
The Great Books Foundation
Holt, Rinehart and Winston
The Hope Foundation NOTE: Willard Daggert is an available speaker
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Look at what they own and you'll see why no matter how independent you think you are, you're part of a giant squid.
I Can Learn
Interactive Speech Solutions [bad link] International Software Solutions
Online High School
Lightspeed Technologies Inc.
Literacy First Process [site no longer works]
Major Saver Fundraising [inoperative]
Marriott [go to the link given and you get 'find a hotel.']
The McGraw-Hill Companies [one of their headlines is white paper they wrote that NY Times featured.]
The Menta Group
The National Institute for School Leadership (NISL)
National Training Network Inc. (Algebraic Thinking)
Newton Learning/Edison Schools [Edison Learning]
Northwest Evaluation Association
NOVA Southeastern University
NTI Group [now Blackboard Connect Inc]
Pearson Achievement Solutions
Pearson School Systems
Pitsco Star Academy
PowerSchool [another Pearson company]
ProActive School [Note the Microsoft partnership ]
Proctor & Gamble
Project Seed Inc.
Psychological Software Solutions
Riverside Publishing Company
The Safe Side
Saxon Publishers (Rigby)[Houghton Mifflin]
School District Online
Sodexho School Services
Spectrum [a Microsoft Gold Partner]
Sound Reading Solutions
Steck Vaughn [Houghton Mifflin]
Strategic Listening Institute [bad link]
TRW Inc [Maybe you can figure out why they're here.]
Voyager Expanded Learning Inc.
Wide World at Harvard
Xerox Global Services
ERDI Home For More Information ERDI Sitemap
Education Research & Development Institute (ERDI)
15447 Gougar Road
Homer Glen, IL 60491
Phone: (815) 588-1112
Fax: (815) 5
ERDI Education, Research, and Development Institute