Follow the Money: A Handy Guide to Some of the Organizations on the School Choice Gravy Train

By dianeravitch

The One Wisconsin Institute compiled a list of the organizations that have been funded by the far-right Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee. It is a remarkable documentation of the largesse that is showered on advocates for privatization of public schools.

You will notice the relationship with Betsy DeVos’ American Federation for Children, adding more shekels to the school choice honey pot. DeVos’ AFC has pumped millions of dollars into Wisconsin legislative races to assure that its privatization agenda is protected by the legislature. We are reminded again that our Secretary of Education is an extremist who opposes public schools.

Bradley-funded activities work to prevent any accountability or audits for private schools that receive public funds. And they seek every opportunity to siphon money away from public schools to benefit voucher schools.

Among the notable recipients of Bradley funding:

*American Enterprise Institute (where EdWeek blogger Rick Hess is education director) received $4.3 million from their Bradley paymasters.

*Black Alliance for Educational Options (founded by Howard Fuller) got $1,475,000. BAEO sends speakers to black communities to try to persuade them that charters and vouchers are best for black children. You can be sure that BAEO does not tell its audiences that its activities are funded by a rightwing foundation run by reactionary white men.

*Center for Education Reform, run by former Heritage Foundation aide Jeanne Allen, which exists to smear public schools and promote privatization. 620,000.

*Center for Union Facts, led by PR man Rick Berman, whose goal is to defame teachers’ unions: $1,550,000. About 10 years ago, I attended a meeting of the rightwing Philanthropy Roundtable, where Berman gave a pitch for funding, based on his campaign to demonized the New Jersey Educational Association. When I asked him to explain why the top-performing states are unionized, and the lowest are not, he answered: I …read more

Source: Diane Ravitch Common Core