"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, August 23, 2010

Backing Basil

One important race to keep an eye on is the battle for a NY State Senate seat between Basil Smikle and Bill Perkins. Earlier this year, Perkins drew the ire of the pro-charter crowd for his hearings on various issues related to charter schools. Opponents promised to raise funds to unseat him.

They have a candidate (Smikle), and they've provided him with over $100,000 in donations. Carl Campanile of the NY Post reported that "hedge fund managers and other charter-school financiers have donated about $60,000 of the $150,000 raised by Smikle." Well, Campanile is off by only $40,000 or so. Need proof?

I tallied the donations to Smikle's campaign over at DFER Watch. You'll noticed a number of DFER supporters are tossing in some cash, a donation from a Scholastic VP/Deputy General Counsel, a thousand dollars from the Executive Director of TFA-NY, and a donation from Jonathan Sackler. If the name Sackler rings a bell, it's because Jonathan's daughter, Madeleine, is the director of "The Lottery" (Jonathan is also on the board of directors of Achievement First). Another $25k or so comes from real estate moguls. Norm Scott over at EdNotesOnline says only $4,100 has come from people residing in the district.

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