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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Education Reform Now, or ERN, With Chairman Joel Klein of the NY POST, Advocates An End To "LIFO"

I remember Joe when he worked for the Daily News, and refused to do stories on the disaster we now know as the Mike Bloomberg/Joel Klein public education "reform". Then, he wrote a book about cheating the kids....

something wrong here. Oh, it is also said that The Robin Hood Foundation pledged $1,000,000 to ERN and The Robertson Foundation $250,000. Mike Bloomberg's daughter works for the Robin Hood Foundation, and the mission is to help those who are too poor to help themselves. how does giving money to ERN  fit into this focus?
Betsy Combier

TV blitz to keep better teachers

By FREDRIC U. DICKER in Albany and CARL CAMPANILE in NY, February 11, 2011

An education-reform group is launching a multimillion-dollar TV ad blitz to persuade the state Legislature to repeal the "last in, first out" law requiring schools to lay off teachers based on seniority rather than merit.

The 60-second ad financed by Education Reform Now -- featuring three public-school teachers -- will air starting today in New York City and Albany.

"The last-in-first-out policy is bad for teachers, bad for schools and, most importantly, bad for kids," said ERN President Joe Williams.

"Reckless layoffs that aren't based on a teacher's effectiveness have the potential to destroy a school's culture and derail all the progress that's been made to improve student achievement," Williams added. "Our lawmakers can't say they want to improve schools and protect great teachers on the one hand and support this antiquated policy on the other."

State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Nassau) yesterday endorsed curbing LIFO.

"If a person is found, whether in a rubber room, or if they're found that their grading has been such that they're not in a classroom, I think that those people should go first before the younger teachers that are doing a good job," Skelos said at a Crain's breakfast.

ERN has emerged as a formidable advocacy group chaired by former Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, now a top exec at News Corp., which owns The Post.

The group is bankrolled by financiers interested in school reform, including billionaires Bill Gates and Eli Broad and a network of hedge-fund managers who pushed Albany to lift the cap on charter schools.

Close allies of Mayor Bloomberg are chief strategists in the bid to repeal LIFO. Among them is consultant Bradley Task, a political adviser to the mayor who ran Bloomberg's successful 2009 campaign for re-election to a third term.

United Federation of Teachers President Mike Mulgrew said he's fighting to prevent layoffs, but skirts questions about whether LIFO should be changed. The union has long opposed any changes.

NYPOST Comments (1)
Nuff Said
02/11/2011 4:30 PM
Educators reform now, Educators for excellence--ALL FUNDED and Headed by JOEL KLEIN and backed by Eli Broad and Bill Gates. But why after 8 years of Kleins experiments and failures is anybody listening to them? Kleins last major move was to siphon off $1 Billion dollars for IZone schools (virtual online). And who are the direct beneficiaries of his conflict of interest largess--well 1st is NYS Chancellor Meryyl Tisch--her husband owns K12 one of NYC major Izone school suppliers , then there is Klein and Murdock who just bought the company that provides ALL of NYC's educational technology--student/teacher/school report cards and the ARIS system. Bill Gates, who certainly doesn't need any more money ,microsoft that will provide all the programming and tech no-how including online curriculum.So how does following Kleins lead as an utter data manipulating failure help kids. Honestly with enough truth and bad press i expect Murdoch and Gates to hang him out to dry on his own---they really don't need this destruction of their legacies.

Education Reform Now, Inc.

Education Reform Now, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization based in New York. Their political arm is a related 501(c)4, Education Reform Now Advocacy Committee, Inc.

ERN recorded $92,500 in revenue during their first year (2005)[PDF]. Their President at the time, Amy Wilkins (now at Ed Trust), made $16,329 and an additional $2,017 in benefits. John Petry and R Boykins Curry IV are listed as unpaid directors. Their primary exempt purpose is to “develop policy alternatives in education”. They reimbursed Education Reform Now Advocacy Committee, Inc $83,099 for “labor costs and operating expenses based on timesheets and other contemporaneous accountable plan arrangements.” ERN ended the year with $59,584 in the bank.

The nonprofit brought in $80,000 in 2006 [PDF]. Amy Wilkins saw her salary jump to $65,731; Curry and Petry were still listed as directors. They spent a total of $118,829 in 2006, most of it on salaries ($83,594) and “other expenses”($24,525). Professional fees and occupancy accounts for the rest of their operating budget.

ERN recorded $173,500 in revenues during 2007 [PDF]. Joe Williams replaced Amy Wilkins as President, and Sidney Hawkins replaced R Boykins Curry IV as a director (Petry remained).

Revenues rose to $1,280,081 in 2008 [PDF]. A full $1,070,023 went to program services. According to their 990:

The organization sponsored public awareness events – “Harlem Charter School Night”, “Brooklyn Charter School Night”, and “ED Challenge for Change” at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in 2008. We also conducted outreach to the press on polling results.

ERN also spent $612,000 in “awards and grants” (no money trail?) and over a quarter million in “consulting services”. Joe Williams’ salary jumped to $114,545 (with $32,455 from a related organization).