Nonprofits: Schnur Starts A Hybrid Education Group
Right under your noses, while you weren't paying attention, the ever-present but never quite seen Jon Schnur has created a new school reform organization called America Achieves, and assembled a Seal Team 6 of education operatives to join him. Michele Jolin. Bethany Little. Wendy Kopp. Dave Medina. Mike Johnston as a board member. Melody Barnes as an advisor. My grad school girlfriend. Other people. Bloomberg, Gates, Arnold, and Noyce for funding.
As you may recall, the former Gore education advisor started New Leaders and then served as a policy advisor on the Obama education team. Schnur formally left New Leaders a year and change ago, but wouldn't say exactly what he was up to next. (A book. Family time. I'll call you back, he always said. Or maybe I was supposed to call him back.) For a time, there were murmurings about a new outfit called Proof Points. Then, in less time than it takes a Senegalese street vendor to whip out the umbrellas on a rainy day, there was America Achieves.
America Achieves. What does that even mean? Is it a statement of fact ("America achieves about as well as some small European countries.")? Or is it an imperative ("America achieves, or dies!")? I have no idea. There's a Broad-esque fellowship program for superintendents -- and teachers. There's a Rising Leaders Policy Program (ie, Velociraptors Boot Camp). There's some Common Core, natch. A West Village address with easy access to the PATH train (and, probably, a secret tunnel to the local Equinox).
Worth noting: America Achieves does not look to be set up as a pure advocacy group, and doesn't seem like it's going to be a pure think tank, either. I'd call it a nonprofit consulting firm, with some services and leadership development angles.