Educational CyberPlayGround ®☰ Menu Ex US Secretary of Education Bill BenneTt and president bush's brother Neil Bush

Bill Bennett of


Bill Bennett teamed with a Virginia company backed by the education firm Knowledge Universe that is Michael Millkin's money to start up his home / cyber learning for profit school which is also commodisizing educational products.
Bill managed to cut a deal with the Governor Ridge of Pennsylvania to be allowed into the state and because of his political connections has managed to secure business relationships with several other states.

In 1999, Bill Bennett's educational venture K12, Inc. received $4M of taxpayer NCLB funding. The controversy is documented here:

Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education, drug czar, and conservative author and pundit, founded K12 in 1999 as an option to traditional brick-and-mortar schools.


The publication also reported that ED awarded the grants despite the fact that the Arkansas project scored lower on a series of independent reviews than at least one other program that wasn't funded -- a highly unusual occurrence, ED insiders said, and one that raises the question of whether the program received preferential treatment as a result of the political ties among Bennett, Arkansas state officials, and Bush administration officials.

1999 is the year that the American election is stolen in Florida from Gore and the Democrats.

Just like the industrial revolution, the factory model of education is over, we all learn very differently now, and Ex Secretary of Education Bill Bennett took it to the next step. The business model

Censorship / Publishers / The Money -- How to Stop Censorship in the educational system

CONTRACT: K12.COM an Internet-based elementary and secondary school providing online curriculum for families and schools, won approval for its first virtual charter school in Norristown, Pennsylvania. The company, whose chairman is former Education Secretary William J. Bennett, will receive a five-year charter to provide curriculum for and run an Internet-based Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School.

The Candid Bennett By Tom Hoffman on October 4, 2005 in Federal Funding & NCLB, in IT Infrastructure.
On the occasion of the resignation of Bill Bennett (moral scold, compulsive gambler and former Secretary of Education) from his positions as Chairman and board member of K12 Inc., I'd like to point out this little anecdote from Intel director and former FCC Chair Reed Hundt:
...I asked Bill Bennett to visit my office so that I could ask him for help in seeking legislation that would pay for internet access in all classrooms and libraries in the country... He told me he would not help, because he did not want public schools to obtain new funding, new capability, new tools for success. He wanted them, he said, to fail so that they could be replaced with vouchers,charter schools, religious schools, and other forms of private education. Well, I thought, at least he's candid about his true views.

Bill Bennett's Bad Bet The bookmaker of virtues.Slipping into the vice slot By Michael Kinsley May 4, 2003
Sinners have long cherished the fantasy that William Bennett, the virtue magnate, might be among our number. The news over the weekend — that Bennett's $50,000 sermons and best-selling moral instruction manuals have financed a multimillion dollar gambling habit -- has lit a lamp of happiness in even the darkest hearts. As the joyous word spread, crack flowed like water through inner-city streets, family court judges began handing out free divorces, children lit bonfires of The Book of Virtues, More Virtuous Virtues, Who Cheesed My Virtue?, Moral Tails: Virtue for Dogs, etc. And cynics everywhere thought, for just a moment: Maybe there is a God after all.
If there were a Pulitzer Prize for schadenfreude (joy in the suffering of others), Newsweek's Jonathan Alter and Joshua Green of the Washington Monthly would surely deserve it for bringing us this story. They are shoo-ins for the public service category in any event. Schadenfreude is an unvirtuous emotion of which we should be ashamed. Bill Bennett himself was always full of sorrow when forced to point out the moral failings of other public figures. But the flaws of his critics don't absolve Bennett of his own.
Let's also be honest that gambling would not be our first-choice vice if we were designing this fantasy-come-true from scratch. But gambling will do. It will definitely do. Bill Bennett has been exposed as a humbug artist who ought to be pelted off the public stage if he lacks the decency to slink quietly away, as he is constantly calling on others to do. Although it may be impossible for anyone famous to become permanently discredited in American culture (a Bennett-like point I agree with), Bennett clearly deserves that distinction. There are those who will try to deny it to him. They will say:

Neil Bush ignites education software firm.

George W. Bush may have left Austin amid much fanfare, but the president's younger brother quietly is heading a local startup that's raising at least $10 million in second-round funding. Neil stands to make 60 million per year off of his company Ignite.

Neil Bush's Ignite! Inc., which develops educational software, is hoping to raise a second round in the near future, says Pamela Richardson, chief operating and strategic officer for Ignite! The company raised more than $5 million in first-round funding last year, she says.
Richardson declined to name previous private investors, but documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission indicate the company raised $7.1 million from 53 investors and is seeking $10 million in additional funding, according to online newsletter Private Equity Week, which covers private equity filings with SEC.
Ignite!, whose offices are at 11044 Research Blvd. in Northwest Austin, is developing multimedia software that lets students in kindergarten through 12th grade learn standardized curricula based on individual learning methods.
"I've been working with him [Neil] for two years, and he's focused on education," Richardson says. "Neil had some struggles with his own educational experience growing up, which made him have a passion for making a difference. And his mother has had a focus on literacy and education."
His mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, formed the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy in 1990. The foundation supports family literacy programs.
Initially targeting middle schools, Ignite!'s Adaptive Learning Engine software -- which it obtained in November by acquiring Austin Technology Incubator company Adaptive Learning Technologies Inc. -- is designed to help teachers and administrators teach in a more fun, effective way, Richardson says.
At 30 employees, the 2-year-old company still is forming a board of directors. It recently brought on Kevin Moran as chief technology officer. Moran is founder and former chief technology officer of Baleo Inc., a venture-backed Austin startup that folded late last year.
So far, Ignite! doesn't have any customers or partnerships.
Bush was a director of the Savings and Loan association when it collapsed in 1988. The S&L's failure cost taxpayers $1.3 billion, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Customer Support
Toll Free 1.866.GoIgnite, Option 2
Toll Free 1.866.464.4648, Option 2>

Neil Bush selling state FCAT Software
Tallahassee Democrat October 28, 2002 original source not there
A software company run by Neil Bush, a younger brother of Gov. Jeb Bush, hopes to sell a program to Florida schools that students would use to prepare for the test that is key to the governor's education policy.
Texas-based Ignite Inc. makes software being used in a pilot program at an Orlando-area middle school to help students prepare for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, which the governor has championed as a yardstick for school performance.
Ocoee Middle School, which has received millions of dollars in state grants to study ways of lowering costs, is using the software for free. But a company spokeswoman said Saturday that Ignite soon hopes to sell its early American history course to other Florida schools, at a cost of $30 a year per student.
Ignite spokeswoman Louise Thacker denied the company had an unfair advantage because Bush, its founder and CEO, is a brother of Florida's governor.
A spokeswoman for the state Department of Education said Friday that Ignite officials had not approached the state about its product. Mike Eason, formerly the top technology official for the department, is a member of an Ignite advisory board.
Katie Muniz, a spokeswoman for Jeb Bush, said the governor has never talked with his brother about the business.
Gov. Bush's use of the FCAT complies with a law supported by another brother - President George W. Bush. The president's "Leave No Child Behind" law forces states to use testing as a measuring stick for schools.
Jeb Bush's education agenda has been criticized by Democratic gubernatorial nominee Bill McBride, who has attacked the governor for his reliance on the FCAT to grade schools.
Ryan Banfill, spokesman for the state Democratic Party, called Ignite's marketing campaign in the state problematic, saying it creates a strange appearance.
"I don't know where the money's going to come from for this," Banfill said. "These districts are hard pressed to pay for chalk, let alone to put money in the pocket of the Bush family."
Neil Bush gained notoriety as director of the Silverado Savings & Loan in Colorado, whose failure cost taxpayers $1 billion and led to a grand jury investigation during the term of his father, President George H.W. Bush. Neil Bush was never charged.

The point I was really trying to make was that changing the terminology in the state law is necessary to free money up for technology based materials.  Texas has been known as a major purchaser of textbooks and has been said to be a big influence on what publishers provide.  The change has been an issue although I'm not quite sure why.
Apparently politics is a major part of this issue just as highways, gas pipelines, and tourism are.  Lobbyists play an important part in getting changes made in laws. Money is a big factor.  Regular text books have been a political issue in Texas for many years. Teachers need to be involved in the political system if they want to effect change.

Here is the first paragraph of a story about what is happening to a technology program in Fort Worth:
"Three-quarters of the way through an eight-year contract, school officials in Fort Worth, Texas, have suspended service and maintenance agreements for a controversial technology-based math program whose efficacy is supported, at least in part, by research bearing the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) coveted "double-check" validation."

A company headed by President Bush's brother and partly owned by his parents is benefiting from Republican connections and federal dollars targeted for economically disadvantaged students under the No Child Left Behind Act. With investments from his parents, George H.W. and Barbara Bush, and other backers, Neil Bush's company, Ignite! Learning has placed its products in 40 U.S. school districts and now plans to market internationally.


May 10, 2002 Plato Learning Buys NetSchools for $25M By Ryan Naraine Minneapolis-based Plato Learning (Quote) has shelled out $25 million in cash and stock to acquire Web-based e-learning software firm NetSchools, Corp. Under terms of the acquisition Plato Learning would pay $6 million in cash and 800,000 shares of its common stock for the assets of NetSchools, which includes the Constellation product, an e-learning system that includes hardware, software and Internet access. The transaction also involves the payment of 200,000 warrants for shares of Plato's Learning stock; assumed liabilities and transaction expenses; and additional consideration of up to approximately $6.0 million, contingent on NetSchools' revenues generated through October 2004. Plato, which hawks computer-based instruction products and services, said the transaction would create the first company in the K-12 e-learning space to provide a complete standards-based, e-learning platform. When the deal closes on May 17, the plan is to marry the core platforms of the two companies -- Plato's TeachMaster and NetSchools' Orion and Constellation - to create an open architecture education delivery platform that is fully correlated with local, state and national school standards. Plato Learning CEO John Murray said the integration of the two technologies would give the company a large chunk of the market for electronic learning products and services. "(This acquisition) creates a powerful suite of integrated CD-ROM, LAN and web-based curriculum and instructional management products that are capable of fully supporting a school district's investment in meeting accountability demands," Murray said, nothing that the addition of the NetSchools Constellation and Orion platforms would add strength to the company's position in the in local and web-based supplemental and core curriculum software for K-12 education. The company said NetSchools generated revenues of approximately $16.0 million in 2001, including $4.0 million from sales of software and services.Plato said NetSchools CEO Scott Redd would remain as a consultant to the combined firm.
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