Categories
Charters

New NPE Charter School Report Is Deeply Flawed, Willfully Misrepresents Data

Last week, the Network for Public Education (NPE) again revealed that they are incapable of conducting unbiased and well-executed research. In a follow-up to a report they released earlier this year, the new report, Still Asleep at the Wheel, set out to undermine the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) by documenting supposed waste and fraud.

Instead, what they document is their fundamental misunderstanding of how the grant program works, poor research methods, and a willingness to misrepresent data to suit their narrative.

The report uses a database released by the Department of Education in 2015. This database lists the schools that received grant awards from 2006 through 2012. Overall, the report and its conclusions are based on a fundamentally flawed assumption that the awards listed in their database are equivalent to the money charter schools receive.

Charter schools only receive money from the grant as reimbursements for approved expenditures. Therefore, if a school never opens or closes before the grant period, they do not automatically receive the indicated award amount because they may not expend the funds.

The report misrepresents this fact as the basis for their estimate of “waste and fraud.”

 

The original report released in April 2019—Asleep at the Wheel: How the Federal Charter Schools Program Recklessly Takes Taxpayers and Students for a Ride—suggested that $1 billion was potentially wasted on schools that never opened or closed quickly. That assertion was challenged in part due to the fact that NPE was not diligent in their accounting of quickly closed or never-opened schools. For example, there were multiple instances of schools counted as closed that are still in operation.

In response, the updated report suggests that NPE engaged in a “painstaking” process to verify the operation status of their list of charter schools. However, they still didn’t get the list of closed and never-opened schools right.

Perhaps even more concerning is due to their new list of schools, they had to move the goal posts to get back to the original $1 billion estimate. The report now includes all schools that closed rather than only schools that closed quickly. Even if a school was open for 10 years, they still categorize the CSP startup money the school received as waste.

This conclusion is particularly ridiculous, given that a feature of charter schools is that they are closed if they are not serving kids well, a feature district schools do not have.

Closing schools is never easy, but it’s ethically wrong to trap kids in schools that fail to serve them. While we need better understanding around why schools close nationally, some states periodically release their school closure lists. The report leverages closure data for Arizona and Ohio to illustrate reasons for school closures—focusing on one category in particular: mismanagement/fraud.

However, the problem is the report NPE cited doesn’t even use this categorization. Instead, they use “mismanagement”—a different reason entirely. While there are school closure cases that could be considered fraudulent, NPE’s overarching characterization here is deeply misleading. There is almost no evidence that suggests fraudulent use of CSP money as a reason for school closure.

 

The report and its premise prevent readers from truly understanding the nationwide positive and essential impact of the CSP. It is impossible to contextualize the NPE’s findings without understanding the benefits the CSP provides to charter schools that remain open and to the students that they serve. The report blatantly ignores the academic results that charter schools yield for students and the almost 5 million students who would attend a charter school if one were available to them.

With Still Asleep at the Wheel as the perfect example, we know people who feel justified in their cause are willing to create evidence to support what they believe rather than have evidence shape their beliefs. Especially when it comes to the education of children, we must do better. We can’t have honest discourse to create better policies if we aren’t using fact-based reports, and the Still Asleep at the Wheel publication has no place in an honest conversation.

Categories
Charters Reform Unions

Yes, Warren’s Education Plan Would Do Harm To Many Families

Elizabeth Warren is the candidate with “a plan for everything,” including public education. There are some good ideas in there—such as ending zero-tolerance discipline policies and $100 billion in “Excellence Grants” for any public school (including charter schools, believe it or not.) 

But tucked away at the end is a poison pill under the subtitle: “Combating the Privatization and Corruption of Our Public Schools.” Sounds ominous, but is it accurate? 

Not even close. Some of the union-approved talking points found include:

  • “Charters … strain the resources of school districts and leave students behind, primarily students of color.”
    Does Warren realize more than 60 percent of charter students are students of color? And that study after study finds that these students fare better in charter schools than kids who look like them in traditional public schools? Pssst, including the state she represents in the Senate, where “charter schools in the urban areas of Massachusetts have large, positive effects on educational outcomes.”
  • “Ban on for-profit charter schools.”
    First of all, the federal government can’t do this, as charter laws are written by states. Also, only 12 percent of charters are for-profit, and exist only in Wisconsin, California, Michigan and Arizona. This is a favorite red herring of hacks like union shill Peter Greene, intended to mislead the public into thinking that charters are somehow “stealing” public dollars.
  • “Ban self-dealing in nonprofit schools to prevent funneling resources to service providers.”
    This is rich. Yes, there are flagrant cases of charter schools funneling money to for-profit service companies to enrich their leaders. But this problem is hardly unique to charters. Traditional districts and schools are and have always been rife with financial fraud. This is an accountability and oversight problem that curbing charter growth does nothing to prevent. In reality, charters are as good as the laws which create them. Just look at Massachusetts, where Warren praised her home state’s charter laws as “successful, thoughtful, and innovative.”

Parents of Color See Through It

In response, dozens of parents of color called out Warren’s pandering plan and demanded she do better by families who’ve been left out and behind by the very school districts she verbally praises but personally avoided for her son. More recently, she told the NEA that: “If you think your public school is not working, then go help your public school. Go help get more resources for it.”

Many of these parents specifically select charter schools because of generational deprivation at the hands of school districts. For those who can’t afford private schools, there are few other options. Yet, in attacking what little opportunity public education affords these parents, Warren persists.

Naturally, the union-funded status quo defense apparatus sprung into action, calling the parents’ motives and intelligence into question. Worse yet, some on Twitter claimed the fuss was much ado about nothing and the parents “incoherent”:

Rachel Cohen’s since-deleted tweet.

When Warren writes, “as President, I would eliminate this [federal] charter school program and end federal funding for the expansion of charter schools,” this is an imminent threat to families with limited education options. This is a direct threat to what many families consider a lifeline for their children.

No, parents like Warren and Diane Ravitch aren’t concerned about losing charter schools as an option (or relegating them to the same bureaucratic backwater that plagues districts), because they simply send their kids to private schools or (gasp) the ultimate bastion of privilege and segregation in public education: magnet schools.

If only Warren spoke about the entrenched interests of the education blob as she did on a recent NYT podcast about the financial sector:

I just didn’t care about the banks and the big donors. If you thought I was wrong in what families needed, tell me. But nobody ever did. You know what everybody said to me? It’s a great idea, but don’t even try to do it because the banks call the shots—the big money calls the shots. And they’re gonna keep this from getting done.

Replace “banks and donors” with “union leaders and bloated district bureaucrats” and she’s spot on.

Don’t be rope-a-doped by salacious union-talking points disguised as serious public policy. Much of Warren’s plan is driven from a tremendous point of privilege. She shouldn’t be surprised when parents who don’t buy the charades check her and insist on a refresh to her plan that takes into account their lived experiences.

Categories
Reform

Why Is NBC Taking Sides In The Public Education Debate?

Last week, NBC announced it will host a nationally-televised forum for Democratic presidential candidates on December 14th that will focus exclusively on public education issues.

NBC’s Public Education Forum 2020, which is being held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh, will be moderated by MSNBC Live host Ali Velshi and NBC News education correspondent Rehema Ellis.

A string of contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination are scheduled to attend the event, including Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Michael Bennet, and Tom Steyer.

Nevertheless, this won’t be your typical presidential campaign town hall. That’s because NBC is organizing the forum in collaboration with the American Federation of TeachersNational Education Association, and a handful of organizations that the two unions fund. Plus, the event is closed to the general public and press access has been strictly limited.

As a result, those tuning into the forum shouldn’t expect to see a balanced discussion of the myriad challenges facing America’s public schools. Instead, the format of the event suggests that AFT and NEA are using the forum to litmus test Democratic presidential hopefuls on issues like charters, testing, and accountability. Although Velshi and Ellis are serving as moderators, the candidates will be answering questions posed by a select group of teachers, education activists, and community members.

Something tells me they won’t be framing their queries in a way that puts education reforms in a positive light.

The big question is why NBC agreed to participate in – and lend legitimacy to – what is clearly a PR stunt cooked-up by two of the most powerful special interest groups in Democratic politics. Perhaps network executives were fooled into believing that the organizations behind the event represent a diverse cross-section of constituencies and viewpoints, a perception those groups have been trying to create in the media. For example, a recent article (without a byline) in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette claimed the various organizations involved have “different needs” and “often disagree on issues.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. All of the groups have substantial financial ties to AFT and NEA and nearly all sing the same tune when it comes to education.

Although journalists like Rachel Cohen or Ryan Grim are usually quick to point out the funders behind education groups, they have yet to bring attention to the fact that AFT and NEA are bankrolling this coalition. Therefore, I’ve taken upon myself to flesh out the financial and organizational ties between the unions and the groups involved in the upcoming forum below…

Alliance for Educational Justice

The first thing to know about the Alliance for Educational Justice is that doesn’t actually exist, at least in a legal sense.

AEJ is not registered as a non-profit (or for-profit) organization, it has no physical address, and it doesn’t even have its own website. It only has a Facebook page and a Twitter account, both of which churn out a steady stream of anti-charter and anti-reform posts.


Tax filings indicate that AEJ is actually an advocacy campaign launched by the Movement Strategy Center in Oakland, an organization that has received financial support from AFT and other union-funded groups.

Center for Popular Democracy Action

The Center for Popular Democracy is a Brooklyn-based advocacy organization that works hand-in-glove with national labor unions, including AFT and NEA, to advance their agendas in states and communities across the country. They do this by organizing and underwriting a network of state and local “grassroots” activist groups, which now includes 61 organizations in 33 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

As of November, annual filings with the U.S. Department of Labor showed that the Center for Popular Democracy (and its sister 501(c)(4), Center for Popular Democracy Action Fund) have received nearly $4.52 million in funding from AFT and NEA since F.Y. 2013.

AFT president Randi Weingarten previously served on CPD’s board of directors, but now serves on the organization’s Strategic Advisory Council, along with representatives from the AFL-CIO, NEA, SEIU, and the Working Families Party.


Journey for Justice Alliance

Like AEJ, the Journey for Justice Alliance isn’t an actual organization, but an advocacy campaign run under auspices of the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization in Chicago. Jitu Brown, who claims to be Journey for Justice’s executive director, is in fact an employee of KOCO.


AFT, NEA, and the Chicago Teachers Union have given the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization a combined total of $653,000 since F.Y. 2013. KOCO also gets significant financial support from the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation, including $320,000 between F.Y. 2015 and F.Y. 2018.

NAACP

A lot of ink has been spilled about the NAACP’s controversial call for a moratorium on charter schools, so instead of explaining their (hypocritical, illogical) positions on education issues, I’ll simply refer you to this piece from my friend Chris Stewart, which paints a damning picture of the NAACP’s charter school betrayal.


The NAACP has ties with the teachers unions that stretch back decades and the organization has long benefitted from their financial support. According to annual filings from the U.S. Department of Labor, AFT and NEA have contributed more than $1,400,000 to the NAACP and its affiliates since 2012.

Network for Public Education Action

The Network for Public Education is an anti-education reform organization founded by Diane Ravitch, Anthony Cody, and Carol Burris in 2014. NPE opposes standardized testing, charter schools, accountability, and teacher evaluations, while promoting a cult of personality around Ravitch and peddling her books.


Tax filings show that the Network for Public Education has received $340,000 from the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation, which has $53 million in assets and is directly controlled by CTU. In addition, AFT and NEA have steered an additional $95,000 to NPE since 2015.

Schott Foundation for Public Education

The Schott Foundation for Public Education works in lockstep with AFT and NEA on three key areas. First, it provides grants to a network of anti-reform non-profits – from small local groups to national organizations like Diane Ravitch’s Network for Public Education. Second, as I noted in a 2017 op-ed in The 74, Schott organizes and underwrites trainings for its nationwide network of grantees, many of which focus on organizing and communications strategy. Finally, Schott engages in policy development and has published dozens of reports opposing charters, accountability, and standardized testing.


According to U.S. Department of Labor disclosures, Schott has received more than $1.3 million from the national teachers unions in the past five years, primarily from AFT. In fact, I recently wrote a blog post that revealed that Schott’s 501(c)(4), the Opportunity to Learn Action Fund, essentially served as a conduit for union money. Not only did ninety-nine percent of OTL’s revenue come directly from AFT and NEA, but it was used to underwrite several of the unions’ pet projects, including the anti-reform documentary “Backpack Full of Cash,” narrated by Matt Damon.

Voto Latino

Voto Latino is a nonprofit civic media organization that seeks to increase the involvement of Hispanic and Latinx citizens to become involved in the political process through voting and activism. Voto Latino is probably the least partisan group involved in the upcoming forum and hasn’t taken a strong position on education issues. It was founded in 2004 by the actress Rosario Dawson, who happens to be the girlfriend of Sen. Cory Booker, a rare pro-charter voice in the field of Democratic presidential candidates.

Still, Voto Latino has received at least $110,000 from NEA and $117,000 from the AFL-CIO.

Categories
Reform

Explaining Elizabeth Warren’s Charter School Hypocrisy In Nine Tweets

On Thursday, the National Education Association released a video of an interview with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of the leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, in which she was asked about her position on charter schools. In her answer, Warren rejected the idea that charter schools are much-needed options for families (particularly low-income families of color) who have been failed by their traditional public school systems.

Instead, perhaps channeling the plutocrats she so often rails against in campaign speeches, Warren insisted that those parents should essentially pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

“If you think your public school is not working, then go help your public school,” Warren said, ignoring the fact that charter schools are public schools. “Go help get more resources for it. Volunteer at your public schools. Help get the teachers and school bus drivers and cafeteria workers and the custodial staff and the support staff, help get them some support so they can do the work that needs to be done.”

As might be expected, charter supporters are up-in-arms over Warren’s comments, which come on the heels of a widely-publicized protest by black and Latino charter school parents at one of her campaign events in Atlanta two weeks ago.

Warren met privately with the protesters after the event and promised to reconsider the anti-charter positions outlined in her education plan. She also told the assembled parents that her children had attended public schools, which wasn’t actually true, as her campaign admitted in a statement following the meeting.

While her daughter spent most of her K-12 career in public schools, Warren sent her son to an elite prep school outside Philadelphia, as I explained in a thread I posted on Twitter and have included below…


Categories
Charters

Why Are Billionaire-Funded Twitter Journalists Attacking Black and Latino Parents?

You’ve likely seen the powerful social media videos. A collective of pissed off parents from across the country demanding more for their students and communities.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=lAWrNxmwapQ%3Fstart%3D25

Chanting “our children, our choice” the Powerful Parent Network raised money via GoFundMe to attend Elizabeth Warren’s “honoring the voices of Black women” event in Atlanta. What a thought, a cadre of Black and Latino parents demanding their voices be heard at an event aimed at honoring them. The novelty.

In response to Warren’s steaming pile of an education plan, the Powerful Parent Network had a message of their own: Create a new education plan that works for all of us, not just those who can afford to buy houses near schools where kids learn. (Or who can afford the tony private schools where Warren sent her kid. Something she’s been silent about, before then lying about, before then correcting the record on.)

And effective these parents were. Garnering national coverage and forcing Ayanna Pressley to mediate, the parents — along with civil rights champion and former superintendent Howard Fuller — met with Warren and her team after the event, exchanging perspectives in a collegial conversation, where she said, “If I don’t have the pieces right, I’m going to go back and read it. I’m going to make sure I got it right.”

Posted by Sunny Thomas on Thursday, 21 November 2019

Success, right? Black and Brown parents from some of the most historically segregated and under served districts and schools in the country made sure their voices were heard and asked the candidate they may end up voting for to take their perspectives into account in her education plan. That’s democracy in action, but not quite.

Because what would it mean to be a parent of color in America if the Fauxgressives of the Left and their thoughtless media hounds didn’t seize this occasion to question their intelligence and motives, accusing Black parents of being props for billionaires? This was exactly the line of thinking from The Intercept’s Ryan Grim, who’s shoddy internet sleuthing sought to undermine these parents because a similar group of parent activists accepted funds from The Walton Family Foundation. Thankfully, those who know better called out the racist BS:

Alas, this is what we’ve come to expect from the lazy keyboard crusaders and self-aggrandizing Twitteratzi whose aims are retweets and likes rather than truth and understanding. Where is Grim’s expose on the notorious discrimination and criminalization of Black and Brown students via K12 education? Where are the hot takes on the teachers’ union dollars poured into politics, from local school boards to presidential races?

And where oh where are the mea culpas from Grim and Co. declaring their own billionaire funders, Pierre Omidyar of eBay and Bloomberg?  Of course they aren’t actually against taking money from billionaires — just not the “right” ones who happen to write their paychecks.

The blatant anti-Black and parent of color bias from “woke” Twitter pundits such as Grim and Rachel Cohen is par for the course, cynically brokering Jim Crow Black Parents Don’t Know Better paradigms as progressive ideals while decrying those who point out this hypocrisy as “neo-liberal” or “far-right”.

The reality is that we parents of color, forced to navigate an education system which disdains and criminalizes our children for being themselves, have been failed for generations — and then told we are the problem. We aren’t taking it anymore and, yes, we’ll take money from wherever we can get it to do so, because we don’t have much to begin with. But that’s not the catchy clickbait your own billionaire funders want you publish, right Grim?

Categories
Teaching

Former Education Reformer Schools Herself

Look, I know Diane Ravitch is no fan of school choice (anymore)—the educational cause that is my hill to die on. I suspect she disagrees with virtually every tweet I’ve put out, except maybe this one about excessive screen time in schools? 

But I was honestly concerned last week when she decided to respond to me about a report on elementary reading instruction:

First off, she rarely engages with me, so apparently she found this important enough to respond to. But, more worrisome, is she signaling that, when it comes to reading, she is not on the side of science?

While Ravitch may not be a fan of the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) or “right wingers” as she laughably refers to them and their supporters, they are hardly the only ones raising well substantiated red flags about how teachers are being trained to teach reading in America’s teacher preparation programs. 

Emily Hanford of APM Reports is hardly motivated by politics when she asserts that “for decades, schools have taught children the strategies of struggling readers, using a theory about reading that cognitive scientists have repeatedly debunked.” She goes on to say that “as long as this disproven theory remains part of American education, many kids will likely struggle to learn how to read.” 

Even Diane’s BFFs at the American Federation of Teachers are calling for research aligned reading instruction based in science. Despite Ravitch’s metamorphic disdain for testing, she can’t possibly deny the fact that most students in America do not read on grade level and that there is a direct link between illiteracy and incarceration. And the latest “nation’s report card” shows those reading scores aren’t improving

Her outright dismissal of NCTQ’s report that evaluates reading instruction in teacher prep programs is a bit chilling—Ravitch wields great influence in the education space. The last thing students and parents need is for her to use her megaphone against scientifically supported methods of teaching reading.

Categories
Unions

“Bargaining For Common Good” Takes A Backseat To Naked Self-Interest

A few years ago, the St. Paul Federation of Educators was boasting about how it was “bargaining for the common good” by using contract negotiations to advocate for policies that benefitted not only teachers, but parents and community stakeholders.

As then-SPFE president (and current Minnesota Commissioner of Education) Mary Cathryn Ricker explained in a piece for Dissent, the aim of “bargaining for the common good” was to show that the union sought “to improve our teaching and our schools, and not simply file grievances and try to protect our wages and benefits.”

SPFE’s approach was lauded in union-friendly media outlets like The American Prospect and was soon imitated by other teachers unions across the country.

Before her appointment as Minnesota’s Commissioner of Education, Mary Cathryn Ricker led the St. Paul Federation of Teachers.

However, recent events suggest that SPFE has dropped the “bargaining for the common good” schtick in exchange for a new mantra: “Every man for himself.”

Earlier this month, SPFE announced it was unilaterally pulling out of the district’s health insurance plan to join the state-managed Public Employees Insurance Program.

The union’s decision to leave halfway through the district’s two-year contract with HealthPartners means that St. Paul Public Schools will have to pay a $4 million early termination fee to the company.

Ironically, SPFE spent the better part of the past year decrying school funding cuts and protesting corporate tax breaks, which the union claimed had left St. Paul Public Schools chronically underfunded. SFPE was also the driving force behind a tax levy referendum last November that would raise an additional $20 million in annual revenue for schools.

SPFE spent the better part of last year campaigning against corporate tax breaks and urging voters to approve a new tax levy for schools.

“We have enough money in our state to fully fund public schools,” SPFE president Nick Faber told NEA Today at the time. “We just have to have the courage and the will to bring it back to our students.”

To their credit, St. Paul voters stepped up and approved the tax levy by a 2-to-1 margin. Yet now SPFE has the audacity to turn around and throw a $4 million chunk of that new revenue right out the window.

Even worse, SPFE’s decision to pull out of the HealthPartners contract a year early means that the 1500 district employees who remain covered under the plan (a group that includes some of the lowest-paid workers in St. Paul Public Schools) will see their premiums increase by 22 percent next year.

So much for worker solidarity.

SPFE’s willingness to squander taxpayer money and screw over their colleagues makes clear that all of their talk about the “common good” is little more than empty rhetoric. Don’t believe the hype.

Categories
Unions

WTU Turns To Politician With A History of Anti-Semitism In Bid To Upend Evals

The Council of the District of Columbia will consider legislation that could lead to the dismantling of IMPACT, the teacher evaluation system that has been used by D.C. Public Schools for the past decade.

The bill, which was drafted by the Washington Teachers Union and introduced by Councilman Trayon White last week, would make evaluations part of the collective bargaining process, meaning that teachers could only be assessed on criteria agreed upon by both DCPS and WTU.

IMPACT was introduced during the tenure of former DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee.

WTU has been trying replace IMPACT ever since it was introduced by former DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee. While union leaders like WTU president Elizabeth Davis insist the evaluation system “has had a negative impact on students, teachers and principals,” research from the University of Virginia has shown that IMPACT not only improved teacher quality, but raised student achievement.

In any case, what’s surprising about the proposed legislation is not that WTU is pushing it, but that they would ally themselves with Trayon White in an effort to get it passed. After all, most progressive organizations would strenuously avoid having anything to do with White, who has been involved in several anti-Semitic incidents during his tenure on the D.C. Council.

In March 2018, White drew widespread condemnation for a video he posted on Facebook in which he asserted that a D.C. snowstorm was the result of climate manipulation by the Rothschilds, a Jewish banking family that has historically been the focus of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. In the video, White proclaims:

“Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation. We a resilient city. And that’s a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.”

A few days later, another video surfaced of a February 2018 meeting in which White asserted that the Rothschilds control the government. In the recording, top D.C. leaders sit stunned and perplexed while White says:

“There’s this whole concept with the Rothschilds — who control the World Bank, as we all know — infusing dollars into major cities. They really pretty much control the federal government, and now they have this concept called resilient cities in which they are using their money and influence into local cities.”

In response to the uproar over his comments, the 34 year-old councilman apologized, insisting that he didn’t realize his comments were anti-Semitic, and promised to make amends with the Jewish community. Instead, he further insulted the community by ducking out of a 90-minute tour of the Holocaust Memorial Museum that was organized by local Jewish leaders. It subsequently emerged that White used constituent services funds to give a $500 donation to support an event hosted by Louis Farrakhan, at which the Nation of Islam leader proclaimed, “powerful Jews are my enemy.”

At a time when powerful politicians are stoking the flames of intolerance and racism, the Washington Teachers Union should be speaking out against White, not enthusiastically embracing him.

I guess when it comes to the pursuit of the union’s interests, anything goes.

Categories
Reform

The Network for Public Education’s (Union-funded) Friends

The self-described mission of the Network for Public Education, the anti-education reform organization founded by Diane Ravitch and Carol Burris, centers on “building alliances with grassroots groups across the nation” that oppose all the usual boogeymen: standardized testing, charter schools, school and district accountability, teacher evaluation, etc.

Who exactly are the groups in NPE’s coalition? To find out, I took a look at the national organizations listed in their May 2019 Grassroots Education Newsletter.

As I illustrate in the graphic below (click it to get a closer look), nearly all of the organizations highlighted in the newsletter have received funding from either the American Federation of Teachers and/or National Education Association, according to the unions’ annual financial disclosures to the U.S. Department of Labor.

NPE’s national “grassroots organizing” partners primarily consist of groups that receive teachers union funding.

Taken together, the national organizing partners listed in NPE’s newsletter have received over $2.36 million from AFT and NEA since 2013.

So much for being “grassroots” organizations.

At the same time, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that these groups have financial ties to the teachers unions since NPE feeds from the same trough. Tax filings show that the Network for Public Education has received $340,000 from the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation, which has $53 million in assets and is directly controlled by CTU. Plus, AFT and NEA have steered an additional $95,000 to NPE since 2015.

In other words, in spite of NPE’s insistence otherwise, it’s little more than a front for the teachers unions.

What a joke.