Common Core and the press have pointed out that the Partnership for 21st Century Skills’ staff is made up of people with a lot of knowledge about publicity and salesmanship and almost no knowledge about education. P21 finally has added a staff page to their website, so now you can see for yourself. The page lists eight staffmembers. Seven are pr experts. The eighth is a lobbyist.
The lobbyist position is P21′s newest. They call it “national policy director” but the job description makes its purpose clear:
[R]esponsible for representing the interests of the Partnership’s Strategic Council before the Administration and Congress and to cultivate strategic alliances with other educational organizations in the nation’s capital.
It is surprising to see a lobbyist’s job description rather brazenly appear on a non-profit’s website. The job is occupied by Alan Knapp. According to his bio, Knapp has no experience in education, but he does have a whole bunch of experience (and contacts) on Capitol Hill:
Before joining e-Luminate Group, Alan worked for over 10 years on Capitol Hill, most recently as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to U.S. Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) and before that as Legislative Director to former U.S. Rep. Nick Smith (R-MI).
And, no, neither member Knapp worked for has served on the House’s Education and Labor Committee.
We’re once again reminded that education isn’t P21′s raison d’etre. It is to help create policies at the state and federal levels that will sell the products produced by members of its Strategic Council (Dell, Disney, Apple, etc.).
Perhaps that’s P21′s idea of “content.”
James Elias and Lynne Munson