*links are in bold print (free blogs, it is hard to distinguish the links from regular text)
Yesterday I wrote about ‘virtual rabbit holes’. Here is a quote from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass: ‘So I wasn’t dreaming, after all,’ she said to herself, ‘unless — unless we’re all part of the same dream. Only I do hope it’s my dream, and not the Red King’s! I don’t like belonging to another person’s dream,’ she went on in a rather complaining tone: ‘I’ve a great mind to go and wake him, and see what happens!’
I’ve no idea what Tom Vander Ark’s dream might be…but I don’t know how very much people are going to like being a part of his dream. I have a feeling that it has a number of dollar signs swirling all around in it.
When I was in college as a non-trad about 7 years back, I found it astounding that in 3 of my classes, they discussed Walmart. (For the record Walmarts have always gagged me out and now even all the more so with their overstepping interference in education). My history and micro-economics textbooks both had very significant entire sections devoted to the chain store; my geography professor loved using his own maps of growth patterns for the retail’s rampant growth. Read an interesting version of Walmart history here and view gif maps of the exponential spread of ‘SamSameness’ everywhere! All three classes spoke to the the unique concept of buying in huge, almost unheard of bulk (warehouses were built even before stores), and starting those stores in Arkansas. Priorly the West Coast or New York and the New England states were where retail chains would spawn from.
So, as I was thinking of the list I have to offer today, the question WHY nagged at me. Why would Tom Vander Ark belong to such a ridiculous amount of Boards. Why would there be such a vast amount of links to links and more links upon links. Why do I cringe the more I read and learn of him. It is an easy answer and one that will be explored throughout this journaling journey. Its ALL ABOUT THE MONEY! Period the end!
What if a person wanted to replicate that level of an entrepreneur’s dream? What if he wanted a virtual TomMart (I made that name up) along with the billions in profit for his family? He’d need connections right? Lots and lots of connections.
Sure that is what one would need. A COLLECTION OF CONNECTIONS. How about these ones? Let’s start at the top and work our way down, shall we?. It’ll never be complete here on these pages; not in 50 blogs – not in 500. And I will run it as a dry list for now…but will revisit many of the connections in their own blog sections.
Was the Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,
Previously he served as President of the X PRIZE Foundation,
he founded City Prep Academies- a for-profit organization intended to create and operate charter schools (Tom said the group was financed by $1.5 million from Revolution Learning ( a venture fund where Tom is a managing partner),
Vander Ark’s for-profit Open Education Solutions,
(and under that OpenPlan and OpenLearn),
treasurer for iNACOL (International Association of K-12 Online Learning),
partner in Vander Ark/Ratcliff ( an education public affairs firm),
Director for Edmodo,
National Association of Charter School Authorizer (NACSA),
on the Board of Directors for AdvancePath Academics,
CEO/Partner and founder of GettingSmart.com., / Founder & Executive Editor of GettingSmart.com
partner in Learn Capital (a venture capital firm investing in learning content, platforms, and services with the goal of transforming educational engagement, access, and effectivenes),
Board Chair for Charter Board Partners (helps great schools find great board members) ,
director of Digital Learning Institute,
Director of Imagination Foundation,
Director of Strive for College,
Director of Bloomboard,
Boston Consulting Group (BCG),
national advisory board member for Communities In Schools,
national advisory board member WITH Wendy Kopp for New Classrooms Innovation Partners ,
Managing Partner Revolution Learning,
invests in Edu-entrepreneurs,
e2venture Education Entrepreneurs,
Partner at Learn Capital, LLC.,
board member of EduInnovation, board of LA’s Promise,
Investment Partner in StudySync,
Advisory Board of Democrats for Education Reform,
recent speaker for Microsoft Global Education Partner Summit,
Jossey-Bass Education (he is their site author)
Founder of Internet Academy (IA or iAcademy) is a public virtual school a part of Federal Way Public Schools
CityBridge NewSchools Education Innovation Foundation – Thought Partner (see other partners)
NewSchools Venture Fund
etc etc etc etc
So, I suppose the virtual furniture department of the TomMart has enough chairs for this blog.
I am quite sure there are way more…..he is like an iconic Coca-Cola sign hanging on the Boards to which he lends his name and plays his game.
I DO NOT WANT TO BE A PART OF THIS MAN’S DREAMS.
I DO NOT WANT MY GRANDCHILDREN PART OF THIS MAN’S DREAMS.
I DO NOT EVEN KNOW YOU AND I DO NOT WANT YOU PART OF THIS MAN’S DREAMS.
Dreams…..shit…..this is the stuff nightmares are made of…….. we may as well go head and exchange out all public school desks for blue shopping carts… the TomMarts are being built everywhere.
‘I’ve a great mind to go and wake [OTHERS], and see what happens!’