What is Achieve, Inc., and why should you care?   22 comments

What is Achieve, Inc.?


The information is available on Achieve, Inc.’s official website: http://www.achieve.org/AboutAchieve.


Achieve, Inc.,  is a Washington, D.C. group formed in 1996 by a group of corporate leaders and some governors who wanted “standards-based education” across states.  (See http://www.achieve.org/AboutAchieve)

“Much of Achieve’s work has focused on English Language Arts and mathematics standards, most recently around the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).”

Achieve takes boasts about releasing the CCSS standards:

“With the release of the Common Core State Standards in June 2010, states now have a clearly defined set of expectations in English language arts/literacy and mathematics.” http://www.achieve.org/achieve-applauds-final-k-12-common-core-state-standards

 Achieve openly admits that it developed the Common Core and that the organization’s goal is to alter states’ policies:

“Our work doesn’t stop with the publication of reports; we have developed tools that help states change policies and practices.  Chief among these are benchmark expectations – model K-12 academic standards – in mathematics and English…  which served as a pre-cursor to the Common Core State Standards.”  (See http://www.achieve.org/AboutAchieve)

The Race To the Top grant funded two testing arms of the Common Core Initiative: SBAC and PARCC.

PARCC’s project manager is Achieve, Inc.  (See http://www.parcconline.org/project-management-partner). This means that Achieve, Inc. not only wrote the Common Core State Standards that would be turned into currriculum and tests, but they also are writing the tests themselves. The tests will   “signal whether students are on track to graduate ready for college and the workplace” as defined by that small D.C. group.

 Achieve “provided Common Core ‘boot camp’ to a number of states… to support implementation efforts.”  http://www.achieve.org/AboutAchieve

In a June 2, 2010 press release by Achieve, Inc., the company praised itself, the NGA and the CSSSO for providing “a clear path – from kindergarten to high school graduation” and “encourages states to adopt and fully implement the Common Core State Standards” released the day of that press release, June 2, 2010. http://www.achieve.org/achieve-applauds-final-k-12-common-core-state-standards

Full implementation of Common Core “means aligning graduation requirements, curriculum materials and instructional tools, educator preparation and professional development, assessments, accountability indicators and data systems with the Common Core State Standards so that the whole system – down to every classroom – is geared toward the same end goal” according to the press release.

Leadership of Achieve, Inc:

Michael Cohen has been president of Achieve, Inc. since 2003. Before that, he was a career-long federal education officer:

Michael Cohen has been Director of Education Policy at the National Governors Association (1985-90) and Director of Planning and Policy Development at the National Association of State Boards of Education (1983-1985). During the Clinton Administration he served as Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, Special Assistant to President Clinton for Education Policy, and Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley.

Thus, Michael Cohen went from a career in the U.S. Department of Education to leading Achieve, the national-standards group that wrote the CCSS, to then working for the national standards’ testing arm, PARCC, as its project manager, thus writing the tests for those standards which his group had written, that now will be federally directed and overseen* by the Department he long worked for.

 (*See Cooperative Agreement with SBAC for requirement statements about coordinating and reporting to the federal government and sharing project status and research data collected on students from that test “across consortia”.)

Posted April 6, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

22 responses to “What is Achieve, Inc., and why should you care?

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  1. Pingback: Common Core Science Standards Launch | COMMON CORE

  2. Achieve is also an affiliate of Pearson. While doing my own research I found a brochure for Achieve’s American Diploma Project and noted that if you had any questions you were supposed to contact “ADP@support.pearson.com” and the copyright notice reads: “Copyright 2008 Pearson Education, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved.” So when they say Achieve helped write the Common Core standards for which Pearson conveniently sells books, tests, teacher prep and data collection services, it’s just a thin cover for a glaring conflict of interest.

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  5. You guys rock. So many people don’t realize the grip corporations like Achieve and Pearson have on our education system; how much money they’re wasting and how much damage they are causing. I am trying to make people aware of this through my documentary (I’m a former teacher with 28 years’ experience. Can you help me get the word out about this? http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hear-our-teachers–2 Thank you for speaking out!

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  9. In this article “What is Achieve, Inc., and why should you care?”
    there is a statement…
    “Achieve “provided Common Core ‘boot camp’ to a number of states… to support implementation efforts.” http://www.achieve.org/AboutAchieve

    When I go to the link you provide I get “Page not found”

    The new “About Us” info on Achieve has no info about “boot camps”
    Can you send me info about these “boot camps”
    I live in Colorado and I have suspected that something like this occurred but have not been able to find specific info .
    Thanks so much for your help
    Carol K.

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  12. Some of your links are broken.

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  16. If it interesting that the main developers at Achieve of common core have strong affiliations with the primary book publisher for schools, and that all the contributors to this abomination who believe that they are smart enough to create a better way to learn actually utilized tradition learning techniques that they are now say are not good enough. This is nothing more than a money grab bag. An attempt to monopolize on the education of our population and to make untold amount of profit for themselves and their partners. Endorsed by a corrupt number of “in the pocket” government authorities that have as much to gain as the originators of this perhaps well intentioned action by some to better the lives of people. It is a well organized privatized take over of our school systems for profit, cosigned by greed and supported by ignorance. It’s complexity is purposeful in that any common person could not possible be able to properly analyze its content for effect or purpose in any educational aspect. A person who endorses this program must trust the creators of purpose and effect, All of which are unverifiable for many years. And after our children suffer from the effects and this system is found to not work, the profits will have already been made by all involved and we the people are left with??? Unfortunately it is probably to late to do anything about it.

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