The blogger also reports that they get public support with deceptively worded polls, but otherwise SFC is not grassroots as advertised. Nashville Stand for Children has a pivotal role as the "advocacy" arm of a powerful friends-of-public-schools organization, but wijeratna's analysis would suggest that SFC's top-down structure is astroturf:
Stand does not have wide support in the communities it serves. As can be seen from its financial statements, the bulk of its funds comes from a few sources – and they are all organizations and individuals connected to wealth. Stand’s 2009 Annual Report shows that out of its total revenue of $5.5 M at least $1.5M (27%) came from three organizations and three individual families. This includes the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the ACCIO Education Grant setup by Helios Education Foundation which itself was formed in 2004 after the sale and acquisition of a student loan/services company by Sallie Mae – the student loan giant.
The organization is thus propped up because this wealthy elite recognizes the advantage in removing the input of teachers from the education process, which then allows this handful of key individuals to make decisions regarding education very simply, without consulting parents or teachers. This creates a vast opportunity for wealthy backers to invest and make substantial profits in the increasingly privatized education market place.
So, there is a natural context here for SFC's endorsement of the elitist Dean administration. Just saying they're grassroots does not make them grassroots. PTO leaders should be wary of Stand for Children's "advocacy" tools.
If I was so concerned with keeping track of what they are doing, I would have removed my name from their mailing list long ago. After watching them for the last nine months, I find their name completely disingenuous.ReplyDelete