That’s the headline above Paul Peterson’s better-than-nifty
essay on the Ed Next blog.
Peterson, director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at
Harvard and Executive Editor of Education
Next (of which I am a contributing editor), uses the Mac the Knife
reference to suggest that loyalties can be bought “for a pittance.” In this
case, it’s the National Education Association (NEA), which can, Peterson
…collect multi-millions of dollars through a check-off system
that generates revenues directly from teacher paychecks (unless a teacher
specifically objects),” and, a la the
villain of Mac the Knife, “invest in the work of less-advantaged non-profits
that ostensibly have entirely different agendas. Even a little bit of money can
produce a valuable ally somewhere down the line.
It’s a short essay, but is packed with evidence (from the Education Intelligence
Agency) of NEA’s multi-tentacled reach, from a $250,000 grant to the Great
Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice (“which has migrated to the
University of Colorado at Boulder, which received another quarter million in
direct funding,” says Peterson) to $100,000 for Media Matters,...