If ever you needed a reminder that the corporate reform movement is led by the super-rich, not by public school parents or teachers, this is it. The rephormer group called “Education Reform Now” is throwing a poker party to support privatization by charter and testing for other people’s children. Doesn’t that sound like fun, and it is all for a cause that will damage public schools.


Jonathan Pelto writes about the poker party here.
“For $250,000 you can nab 10 seats at the poker tournament, 10 rebuys (a technique for expanding your winnings), 10 cocktail tickets for non-poker players and the honor of having not one, but two, “special guests” sit at your table. [Education Reform Now hires famous people, usually sports stars and actors, to attend the event and sit and play with the wealthy donors]


“For $100,000 you get the same benefits, but alas, the company of only one “special guest.”


“Other Sponsorship levels include a $50,000 package, a table of 10 poker seats for $20,000 or a single poker seat for $1,000.”


Pelto includes a short and valuable glossary of the leading players in corporate reform circles.


Peter Greene commented on the poker game here. He notes that one seat at the table is equivalent to five years of a typical teacher’s income. He has an interesting idea:


” Frankly, I like the idea of the Network for Public Education or BATs buying a table or two, then sitting there making rude comments about charter schools, common core, and testing all night. But I’m afraid that my exclusive tailor, Jean-Claude Pennee, could not whip up something appropriate in time. And I’m sure it takes a certain level of wealth to set up and participate in an event like this without feeling a twinge of shame or irony. On the website for the event we can find information like this:



*Mississippi’s average per pupil expenditure is $7,890 per year while New Jersey’s is $17,620, a disparity reflected across the nation. There is a ceiling, however, on what can be achieved through traditional approaches to resource re-allocation.*



“These are exactly the same people who declare that we have to get teacher pay under control and that you cannot improve public education by throwing money at it. Yes, throwing money at the education of children across America is a waste of money, money that could be spent on much more valuable and important things. But when the rich want to spend an evening throwing money at each other– well, that’s just good sense and great fun.”