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

Friday, August 17, 2012

StudentsFirst & B4K: What's The Connection?

Yesterday, I wrote about how New Yorkers for Great Public Schools is trying to tar StudentsFirst with its connections to Mitt Romney (or is it the other way around?). SF is Michelle Rhee's anti-union, anti-tenure, reformy group which gets lots of support from Rupert Murdoch, Eli Broad, and other wealthy conservative funders.

Today, I read the Rhee/Romney report, put out by a group under the name "Alliance for Quality Education." As a Jersey boy, I was especially intrigued by this (p.11):
StudentsFirst’s involvement with the 501(c)3 Better Education for New Jersey Kids (B4BJKids) is not entirely clear. While the nonprofit is not disclosed as a related entity, StudentsFirst shares two directors with the B4NJKids leadership—Michelle Rhee and StudentsFirst COO Dmitri Mehlhorn. Additionally, Executive Director Derrell Bradford, who has never been publicly identified as a StudentsFirst employee, has attended a Students- First staff meeting and has held the title of New Jersey state director for StudentsFirst. Bradford tweeted about the meeting describing the StudentsFirst national headquarters as the “mothership.”85 The entity has a federal PAC called B4K. [emphasis mine]
You know, I haven't seen a lick of reporting on this. Considering the money that Rhee is throwing around in state elections; considering the high-profile involvement of B4K in the last NJ election; considering the adulation heaped upon its funder, hedge fund baron David Tepper; considering the fanfare surrounding B4K and StudentFirst's "partnership"; considering that B4K has stepped into local fights between superintendents and their school boards...

You would think the press would be interested in this connection. You'd think they'd be pressing Bradford and Rhee and Tepper to tell us how exactly this "partnership" works. Does it involve money? Or are B4K's books completely separate from StudentFirst's? If so, how exactly do they "partner"? Is any money from StudentsFirst coming into New Jersey through B4K?

I think a lot of folks would like to know the details, don't you?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Love this conspiracy chart! I have to say, though, that you're missing Jeb Bush's FEE over by Broad and Cerf. Pearson identified FEE here as working behind the scenes to ensure that red state governors support CCSS. No surprised that Pearson, Florida, etc. are at ground zero for virtual ed (and also PARCC money--all of which goes through Florida as the purchasing agent). Fun stuff!