Valerie Strauss has a fascinating column about executive pay at some of our major education “nonprofits.” It is hard to see the difference between nonprofits and for-profits when you look at executive compensation. I hope she next takes a look at the compensation of charter chain executives.

According to the latest publicly available 990 tax forms filed to the IRS by the three organizations, which operate under 501(c)3 tax exempt status because of their declared educational missions:

Kurt Landgraf, now the former president and chief executive officer of the Educational Testing Service, earned for the 2013 fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2013: $1,307,314 in reportable compensation and $42,210 in estimated other compensation from the organization and related organizations. [See the ETS 990 here.]

Jon Whitmore, the chief executive officer of ACT, earned for the 2013 fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2014: $672,853 in salary, plus a bonus of $150,000, and other reportable compensation of $12,949, plus retirement contributions of $57,152, plus other nontaxable benefits of $18,109. That’s a total of $911,073. [See the ACT 990 here.]

David Coleman, the president and chief executive officer of the College Board, as well as a trustee, earned for the 2013 fiscal year ending June 30, 2014: $690,854 in reportable compensation plus $43,338 in other compensation from the organization and related organizations. Total: $734,192. (Coleman, a co-author of the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts, joined the College Board in 2012, and was new in his job). [See the College Board 990 here.]

Go to her column to see the links to the tax forms.

ETS paid some members of its Board of Directors at a rate up to $103,000 a year for what is reported as approximately two hours of work a week, about $1,000 an hour. And more than three dozen top executives received more than $300,000 in total annual compensation; seven of those topped half a million dollars. For example, Philip Tabbiner, senior vice president for business innovation and growth, earned $655,055 in reportable compensation. Randy Bennett, Frederiksen Chair for assessment innovation, earned $316,450 in reportable compensation and a total of $489,758. Donado Yvette, vice president and treasurer, earned $422,793 in reportable compensation.

At the College Board, senior vice president Peter Negroni earned a total of $811,873 — the majority part of a severance package. That total was more than what was listed for Coleman, the College Board president.

The College Board itself claimed total assets that topped $1 billion, and its “assessment” programs — mostly the SAT and PSAT — took in $333 million but spent $289 million, for a net of $44 million. ACT’s total assets were $530,638,419 for fiscal 2013.

The College Board spent $1,768,295 on lobbying Congress and other public officials, the form says. ACT’s 990 form reported $674,485 in lobbying expenses, and the ETS, $40,851.

Fairtest, which criticizes the misuse of standardized tests, reported total revenue of $145,332.

Average teacher pay: about $50,000.

Who adds more value to society?