Stand for Cash: Follow the Money

This little turd of a quote from Jason Williams in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette recently caught my eye. When asked about Stand’s big corporate funders, Walmart, Bain, et al, Williams responded with his trademark rhetorical snakeishness:

Mr. Williams, of Stand For Children, noted that the Massachusetts chapter is not funded by the big national foundations. Its major source of funding here is Strategic Grant Partners, a nonprofit educational foundation that has made grants to the state education department, Boston and Springfield school systems, charter schools and other education programs.

Now unlike Mr. Williams I am not a “life-long educator,” nor have I ever been nominated for state Teacher of the Year, yet I am still outstanding enough to know when I’m being hoodwinked. Here’s the document that Stand filed with the state after spending $350 large to run their phony ads on every media outlet in Massachusetts. The edushysters who make up Stand’s Massachusetts chapter like to pretend that they’re independent from their national office–except when it’s time to cash the checks.

To see just how attached Stand is to the corporate teat, check out this TiddlyWiki created by a former activist who broke with Stand after the group came down with a serious case of corporate-funded edu-fever. Stand’s list of 2010 contributors includes not just Walton and Gates, but the Daniels Foundation, created by wingnut Bill Daniels, a right-wing cable television mogul“who achieved success through a combination of perseverance and good fortune.” What are the chances?

Is Jason Williams the Best Teacher in the History of the World?

Stand’s Jason Williams claims to have been nominated as teacher of the year in California after just two years in the classroom. But teachers in California aren’t even eligible for the award until they’ve taught for at least 8 years.

No doubt you are aware by now that Jason Williams, chief of the odious (and misnamed) Stand for Children in Massachusetts, was an OUTSTANDING teacher. For reminders of Williams’ outstanding-ness see here, here, here and here

But now it turns out that Williams is even more outstanding than we previously thought. After teaching for just two years at an Oakland, CA middle school, Williams claims to have been nominated as California’s Middle School Teacher of the Year. Pretty impressive, yes? Well, Williams’ accomplishment is even more dazzling when you consider that the California Teacher of the Year program is only open to teachers who’ve been in the classroom for at least 8 years… 

I know–I had the same thought. I bet Williams was SO effective that 2 of his years in the classroom were worth 4 years with your average teacher. (That seems to be Williams’ own view—he repeatedly refers to himself as a “life-long educator.”) In other words, surely the state of California had to make an exception when confronted with the sheer force of Williams’ outstandingness. But when an enterprising Boston teacher called the California Department of Education to inquire, he got the predictable response: laughter. Turns out that rules are rules, even for someone of Williams’ outstandingness. 

It’s fitting when you think about it. Stand for Children poses as a grass roots group while receiving millions from Walmart, JP Morgan and Bain Capital. Meanwhile Stand’s Massachusetts chief is a charlatan who has exaggerated his own teaching credentials in order to peddle phony edu-reform.