I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Transparency For Thee, Not For Me

Whitney Tilson is sick - sick, I tell ya! - of these paid union shills who won't tell us where they get their money!
I’m going to be writing a lot about the book in future emails, but I want to start with the most important revelation: Diane Ravitch has been getting paid A LOT of money by the unions in the form of speaker fees – Brill estimates $10,000 per appearance and $200,000 over the past year – which by itself isn’t a problem EXCEPT that: a) she’s never disclosed these large payments, which anyone listening to her should know about; and b) she’s a total hypocrite for criticizing reformers like me for supposedly making a lot of money from our activities (when in truth I’ve never taken a SINGLE PENNY and have instead given countless thousands of dollars and hours), while doing precisely this herself.
Wow - not a SINGLE PENNY! You'll forgive me if I'm not very impressed, considering Tilson is yet another wealthy Wall Street hedge fund manager with a penchant for self-promotion sticking his nose into education. Although, considering that things aren't going very well for his fund lately, maybe he could have used the money...

But let's take his indignation to its logical conclusion. I'd like to know the full salaries and other income for the following "reformers," along with the sources of their income:

  • Michelle Rhee of Students First
  • Derrell Bradford of B4K
  • Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children's Zone
  • Joel Klein of News Corp
  • Jonah Edelman of Stand For Children
  • Wendy Kopp of TFA
  • Richard Barth of KIPP

Why are these people - who are hellbent on radically changing this profession - not held to the same standard?


ken said...

Kopp received a salary of $279,525 from TFA in 2009; another $54,000 from related orgs; and another $23,108 in other compensation from related orgs.

Barth received a salary of $301,830 from KIPP in 2009, and an additional $8,142 from related organizations.

Canada received $394,269 in total compensation from HCZ in 2009. (That was $100,000 less than he received in the previous year)

Edelman received a salary of $155,422 in 2009 and an additional $10,236 from related organizations.

SF, B4K are too new to list this info (via 990s available at guidestar.org). Klein supposedly receives a base pay of $2 million/year for his work at News Corp.

Duke said...

Good stuff, Ken - but only 1/2 of the story.

WHERE does this money come from?

Lisa said...

We won't know where the $ comes from thanks to the SCOTUS Citizens United decision that gives corporations "person" status, characterized $ as free speech, and created Superpacs that can accept unlimited monies without disclosing the donors. Virtually all the right wing "grassroots" organizations are actually funded (and demonstrators bussed in) by corporations and billionaires, such as the Koch brothers, through these superpacs. The attacks on unions, teachers and the middle class in Wisconsin, for example, is funded by the Koch brothers' "Americans for Prosperity." This is also the source of the ed reformers' money since the privatization of public education and the disempowering of unions is a key strategy of the Republican party.

We need to fight fire with fire and form our own superpacs that cloak our donors too, as well as flood the airways and net with the same "Show Me the Money" cries, just as you're doing, because their money trail leads straight back to these anonymous corporate superpacs.

We will never know the source and amounts of their funding, but we can expose their gross hypocrisy and maybe shut them up--while employing their tactics to our own ends.

ken said...



KIPP (keep in mind this is about the national foundation - individual KIPP schools and locals receive additional funding, but Barth's salary is paid through the KIPP foundation):


Stand (see their annual reports):


HCZ doesn't list funders on their site (that I can find).

A little better - but I suspect you'd prefer a more thorough run-down of funding :-)

Unknown said...

I'd like for the public to know the salaries of and potential conflicts of interest of the DFER board members advocating for public school reforms.

Kevin Chavous (chair)

Anthony Davis

Charles Ledley

Sara Mead

John Petry

Whitney Tilson

Boykin Curry (IV)

And DFER Advisors:

Joel Greenblatt

Steve Barr

Tom Vander Ark

William Ackman

Cory Booker

David Einhorn

Vincent Mai

Michael Novogratz

Duke said...

Again, Ken - great stuff.

I'm realizing that I really should make a distinction. KIPP and HCZ, no matter what you think of them, are actually educating children. TFA is also more directly involved through teacher training.

SF, B4K, and SFC are advocacy groups - no direct involvement with children or teachers, but lots of telling people how to do their jobs.

More on this later. Again, thx Ken.