Archives for category: Democrats for Education Reform

In response to challenges from Elizabeth Warren about his funders, Mayor Pete Buttigieg released a list of his major donors, including his “bundlers,” the people who raise money from others for him.

The list included some interesting names.

One of them was Wall Street hedge fund manager John Pertry, who serves on the board of Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy charter chain in New York City.

Petry was one of the original founders of DFER (Democrats for Education Reform), the organization of hedge fund managers that funds charter supporters across the nation.

While Buttigieg published a list of bundlers on his website last week, the campaign privately circulated the names of people in its “Investors Circle” — fundraisers who had raised at least $25,000 — in a finance update this summer. The 20 people and couples on that document who weren’t on Buttigieg’s public bundler list last week are: Andrew Tobias of New York; Barbara and Rodge Cohen of Irvington, N.Y.; David Winter of New York; Didem Nisanci of Washington; Eli Cohen of Chevy Chase, Md.; Eric Schieber of Chicago; Freddy Balsera of Miami; Genevieve and Robert Lynch of New York; Hamilton South of Cornwall, Conn.; Jack Connors of Boston; John Petry of New York; John Phillips of Washington; Jordan Horowitz of Los Angeles; Kelly Bavor of Atherton, Calif.; Kyle Keyser of Atlanta; Nicole Avant of Los Angeles; Stephen Patton of Chicago; Ted Dintersmith of Charleston, S.C.; Tom Gearen of Chicago; and William Rahm of New York.

Buttigieg has combined the power of low-dollar online fundraising and big events with wealthy supporters to become one of the most successful fundraisers in the Democratic field. He has raised $51 million in his bid for president as of Sept. 30, the most recent fundraising deadline, with 47 percent of the contributions coming from donors who gave less than $200.

But as Buttigieg’s poll numbers have risen in Iowa and New Hampshire, critics on the left are accusing the South Bend, Ind., mayor of failing to live up to Democratic Party ideals. Protesters picketed outside a Buttigieg fundraiser in New York last week, chanting “Wall Street Pete.” Warren, who is competing with Buttigieg for the top spot in February’s Iowa caucuses, has been particularly critical, calling out Buttigieg for offering donors “regular phone calls and special access.”

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Buttigieg recently began allowing media access to his campaign fundraisers in response to some of that criticism.

Buttigieg, who like other candidates is racing to bank millions of dollars to spend on television and field staff in Iowa and other early voting states, has continued hitting high-dollar fundraisers at breakneck speed between his campaign stops. On Monday morning, the families of several of Silicon Valley’s biggest executives — including spouses and relatives of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg — assembled in Palo Alto, Calif., for an event supporting Buttigieg.

The night before, Buttigieg was in Napa Valley, where Buttigieg and donors dined under a chandelier adorned with 1,500 Swarovski crystals in cavernous room known as a “wine cave.” “Needless to say, we will never have a fundraiser at a wine cave,” Sanders’ campaign wrote Monday in a fundraising email to supporters.

Speaking to the crowd in Napa, Buttigieg urged his donors to redouble their work.

“I’m asking to you to work to share whatever it is that brought you here to those that may have gotten a little more cynical about the whole thing,” Buttigieg told the donors. “If we do that, as bleak as things are in our country circa December 2019, my hope and my faith is that, in a few years, we’ll be able to look back on 2020 with pride.”

Every blogger who has written about MSNBC’s Public Education Forum expressed gratitude that a big cable network paid attention to our most important democratic institution.

Nancy Bailey is angry about the issues that were ignored, the ones that threaten the future of students, teachers, and public education.

She is also streamed that the program was not on live TV. Public education not important enough for live TV? 50 million children are in public schools. They have parents. Quite an audience to overlook.

Good work, Nancy!

She writes (in part, read it all):

Candidates talked about making the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes to help schools, but no one mentioned Bill Gates, the Waltons, Eli Broad, Mark Zuckerberg or any of the corporate reformers who are taking control of public schools.

They didn’t mention Common Core or the failure of the initiatives funded by the Gates Foundation and taxpayers. Nor did they speak about portfolio schools, the latest corporate endeavor to push choice and charters.

No one mentioned using Social Impact Bonds or Pay for Success to profit off of public schools. See: “Wall Street’s new way of making money from public education — and why it’s a problem” by Valerie Strauss.

CEO Tom Steyer mentioned corporate influence towards the end, but it was brief, and no moderator attempted to explore what he said.

Ed-Tech

No one mentioned what might be the biggest threat to public education, the replacement of teachers and brick-and-mortar schools with technology.

Disruption was initially described by Clayton Christensen and Michael Horn in their book Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns. This is seen as the revolution by those in business and the tech industry and is being played out in online charter schools like Summit and Rocketship. Summit also has an online virtual school.

Many students across the country get school vouchers to be used for substandard online instruction like K12 and Connections Academy.Preschoolers are subjected to unproven Waterford UPSTART.

The candidates might want to review Tultican’s “Ed Tech About Profits NOT Education.”

Wrench in the Gears is another blog good at describing the threat of technology.

Teach for America

Teach for America corps members with little training have taken over classrooms, and they run state departments of education!

Do Democratic candidates have Teach for America corps members as consultants on their campaigns? It’s troubling if they do. They should not be wooing teachers with professional degrees and experience while relying on TFA behind the scenes.

Other insidious reform groups are also about replacing education professionals. Relay Graduate School, The New Teacher Project, New Leaders are a few.

This needs to be addressed, sooner, not later.

Betsy DeVos et al.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy hearing Democratic candidates say they’re going to boot Education Secretary Betsy DeVos out.

But President Obama had individuals from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other corporate reform groups, working in the U.S. Department of Education. Arne Duncan was no friend to teachers or public schools.

So, while applause against DeVos are justifiable, now’s the time to address the role Democrats have played (and continue to play) in corporate school reform.

The fact is, many groups and individuals are working to end public education, who wear Democratic name tags. It’s imperative that Democratic candidates address this.

 

Twitter lit up this morning with news of a disruption of an Elizabeth Warren rally by charter school “parents” in matching T-shirts. Hovering in the background was Howard Fuller, whose Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) received millions during its lifetime of advocating for vouchers from billionaire foundations such as Bradley, Walton, and Gates.

Peter Greene has gathered the story of the funders of the “parent” disruption of the Warren rally. 

The usual billionaire-funded suspects. The disrupters came from Walton-funded organizations, representatives of DFER, and other pro-charter groups, whose purpose was to embarrass Warren for having the audacity to propose a massive increase in funding for poor kids and kids with disabilities and a cutoff of Betsy DeVos’s slush fund for corporate charters known as the federal Charter Schools Program (which currently spends $440 million annually).

He writes:

As [Ryan] Grim [of The Intercept] tweeted, “A group funded by some of the richest people in the world, the Waltons, just disrupted an @ewarren speech on the 1881 Atlanta washerwoman strike. Can’t make this stuff up.” It’s not a new game; charter advocates have often loaded up parents and students, made them some t-shirts, and deployed them as citizen lobbyists.

There’s a lot of money and power behind the charter school movement. Expect more of these shenanigans if Warren continues to lead the Democratic pack. The charter industry is not gong to let her go without a fight.

 

Politico Morning Education reports that charter advocates are furious in response to Warren’s K-12 education plan , especially her intention to cut off federal funding for charters. They are especially frustrated because she is not accepting corporate donations for her campaign, and they can’t buy her support.

CHARTER ADVOCATES BLAST WARREN’S PLAN: While drawing praise from teachers unions, Warren’s hard-line approach to charter schools in a new K-12 plan is under fire from a Democratic group that says her stance is “out of touch” with voters and will hinder opportunities for black and brown students.

— The plan, which would cost some $800 billion over 10 years, would ban for-profit charter schools, end the main source of federal funding for all types of charter schools, and end federal funding for their expansion.

— “While we agree with the Senator that for-profit charters should be banned and that public charter schools should be held to high standards, limiting high-quality options that have been proven to increase equity within the public school system is the wrong plan for Democrats,” said Shavar Jeffries, Democrats for Education Reform’s national president, in a statement

In case anyone from Politico reads this, the Network for Public Education isnot funded by unions and is not a union front. DFER is funded by Wall Street and should be identified as such.

 

Hedge fund managers decided in 2005 that the best way to advance the charter school idea was to create a faux organization called Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), then to funnel campaign cash to Democratic candidates who promised to support charter schools. This worked for a time. Senator Barack Obama spoke at the inaugural meeting of DFER at a penthouse in Manhattan filled with Wall Street types. When Obama was elected, DFER recommended Arne Duncan to be Secretary of Education, and Obama picked him over the highly qualified Linda Darling-Hammond, who had been his spokesperson during the campaign.

But some Democrats realized that DFER was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The Democratic Party of California passed a resolution demanding that DFER drop the D because it was a front for corporate interests. The Democratic party of Colorado also passed a resolution denouncing DFER.

In 2016, DFER supported a referendum in Massachusetts to expand the number of charter schools, in company with the Waltons and big Republican donors. The charter campaign went down to a crashing defeat, after charters were denounced by the state Democratic Party and almost every school district committee in the state. The only demographic that supported the expansion of charters was members of the Republican Party.

Today, the loudest champion of charter schools is Betsy DeVos. The biggest allies of the charter movement are Republican governors and legislatures.

Sensing the change in the air, recognizing that charter schools now belong to ALEC and DeVos, almost every  Democratic candidate for President has steered clear of charter schools. Bernie Sanders endorsed the NAACP call for a moratorium on new charters.

But wait! DFER has commissioned a poll to demonstrate that Democrats actually favor charters!

Peter Greene says the poll is baloney. He explains it here. His advice: Ignore it.

 

Every year since 2014, Democrats who fervently support the privatization of public schools have gathered at a conference they pretentiously call “Camp Philos.”

https://campphilos.org/

Check the agenda of meetings present and past.

There you will see the lineup of Democrats who sneer at public schools and look on public school teachers with contempt.

These are the Democrats who support the DeVos agenda of disrupting and privatizing public schools.

They are meeting again this year, and they will slap each other on the back for supporting school closures, charter schools, high-stakes testing, evaluating teachers by the test scores of their students, and hiring inexperienced teachers.

They have the chutzpah to call themselves “stakeholders,” although none of them are teachers, parents of public school students, or have any stake in the public schools that enroll 85-90% of all American students. Exactly what do they have a “stake” in?

 

The Denver school Board is up for grabs, and a battle looms between progressives supporting public schools and a slate controlled by Stand for Children, Democrats for Education Reform, and groups controlled by Wall Street and billionaires. The “reformers” support school closures, disruption, charter schools, and high-stakes testing. The powerful, who control the board, say that any challenge to their total power is “divisive.”

Denver Public Schools at a crossroads: 3 new board members will help decide district’s direction

The Denver Public Schools board will welcome three new members next year, but voters will have to decide whether it also has a new direction.

Board president Anne Rowe, who represents District 1, and at-large member Allegra “Happy” Haynes are term-limited, and District 5 representative Lisa Flores opted not to run again. Each of the three open seats seat has attracted three candidates.

A vocal group of teachers and activists are looking to “flip” the board, putting the majority that has favored tactics such as closing poor-performing schools and opening new charters into the minority. Two current members of the nine-person board have been skeptical of the so-called “reform” movement, though votes don’t always break down along ideological lines.

Fundraising numbers suggests that candidates aligned with the current majority on the reform side may not go easily, however.

Wendy Howell, deputy director of the Colorado Working Families Party, said the overriding issue is reducing corporate influence in education. The party hasn’t released its endorsements yet, but Howell is been active in the online Flip the Board community, which is attempting to turn energy from February’s DPS teachers strike into a political force.

Charter schools started with good intentions, but they’ve become a way to privatize public education services without improving students’ results, Howell said. Districts also have had to add extra administrative staff to deal with compliance issues for different types of schools, which diverts money from classrooms, she said.

“We want to get Wall Street out of our school board,” she said.

The flip community supports candidates who want to pause the development of new charter schools and to examine other ways of improving education, Howell said. They also want to see new board members take a critical look at DPS’ finances, she said.

“This experiment (with reform) has gotten out of control,” she said.

The Denver Classroom Teachers Association has endorsed candidates who aligned themselves with the Flip the Board movement: Tay Anderson, Scott Baldermann and Brad Laurvick. Students for Education Reform and Stand for Children have backed candidates who gravitate toward the reform side: Alexis Menocal Harrigan, Diana Romero Campbell and Tony Curcio.

Now look at the rhetoric of the privatizers. Only they care about children. They have been in total control for years and accomplished nothing other than disruption of schools, communities, and families. But they will call upon their billionaire funders to keep the disruption gang in power. Questioning their failure is “divisive.”

Krista Spurgin, executive director of Colorado Stand for Children, said the emphasis on flip versus reform candidates is “divisive,” and that the focus should be on working together to improve education. The parent volunteer committee that made the endorsement decisions wasn’t focused on ideology, but on whether candidates had a record of commitment to have students reading by third grade and on-track to graduate high school, she said.

“It’s about them having the experience and the knowledge to make improvements for families,” she said. “They also have the ability to push the district to improve.”

The candidates they endorsed also support school choice, which is valuable to parents, and giving schools autonomy to figure out what will work for their kids, Spurgin said.

Christian Esperias, national director of campaign strategy of Students for Education Reform, said the questions their student leaders considered when making their endorsement decisions weren’t focused on issues like charter schools and school closures, but on how candidates would close the opportunity gap for underserved groups like students of color and low-income kids. They also looked for candidates who support higher pay for teachers, he said.

“I would frame it as putting kids first versus focusing on the bureaucracy and the special interests,” he said.

Krista Spurgin, executive director of Colorado Stand for Children, said the emphasis on flip versus reform candidates is “divisive,” and that the focus should be on working together to improve education. The parent volunteer committee that made the endorsement decisions wasn’t focused on ideology, but on whether candidates had a record of commitment to have students reading by third grade and on-track to graduate high school, she said.

“It’s about them having the experience and the knowledge to make improvements for families,” she said. “They also have the ability to push the district to improve.”

The candidates they endorsed also support school choice, which is valuable to parents, and giving schools autonomy to figure out what will work for their kids, Spurgin said.

Christian Esperias, national director of campaign strategy of Students for Education Reform, said the questions their student leaders considered when making their endorsement decisions weren’t focused on issues like charter schools and school closures, but on how candidates would close the opportunity gap for underserved groups like students of color and low-income kids. They also looked for candidates who support higher pay for teachers, he said.

“I would frame it as putting kids first versus focusing on the bureaucracy and the special interests,” he said.

 

In an insightful article in the Washington City Paper, Rachel Cohen describes how the charter industry in the District of Columbia has organized campaigns to prevent any accountability, and has arranged that taxpayers fund their lobbying efforts, with the help of a few billionaires.

It takes money to persuade politicians to vote your way, and the charter industry has figured out how to get the public to foot the bill.

She writes:

Lobbyists mobilized quickly when they learned the D.C. Council would be proposing legislation to subject the city’s charter schools to freedom-of-information laws. The day before the bill was released in mid-March, charter leaders were armed with a list of talking points divided into two categories: “soft response” and “harder-edge messaging.”

The “soft response” included points like: “this bill cares more about paperwork than school performance” and “devoting schools’ resources to yet even more compliance will divert from more important student needs, such as mental health counseling.” The “harder-edge messaging” went further, charging the legislation with “bureaucracy-building and political playback masquerading as watchdogging.”

The legislation is intended to let parents, teachers, and journalists access more information about the schools’ internal operations, and it comes on the heels of a series of scandals that fomented public distrust. But the talking points encouraged charter advocates to tell their councilmembers that it’s insulting to suggest that the schools need additional oversight. “We resent the implication that the hundreds of community and parent volunteers who serve on charter schools’ boards are not putting students’ needs first,” the talking points read. “The real agenda that needs uncovering is the union strategy to force charter schools to behave exactly like the school district bureaucracy.”

This coordinated pushback didn’t come out of thin air. In fact, D.C. taxpayers might be surprised to learn they helped fund the lobbying themselves. Every year D.C. charter schools collectively funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars from their budgets to private organizations that then lobby government agencies against efforts to regulate the schools. Between 2011 and 2017, for example, local charters paid the DC Association of Chartered Public Schools, which calls itself “the collective voice of DC’s Chartered Public School Leaders,” more than $1.2 million in membership dues for its advocacy services, at a rate of $8 per student annually.

While most D.C. charters contribute to the Association, nearly all also pay $8 per student annually to a second group called Friends of Choice in Urban Schools, better known as FOCUS. Last year all but three charters kicked over FOCUS’ “voluntary student payments,” totaling more than $340,000…

For those who envision public-school politics as frazzled parents huddled in middle school gymnasiums, the world of D.C. charter advocacy might come as a strange sight. It’s a place where philanthropic money, revolving political doors, high-dollar galas, and a bevy of well heeled organizations have all been deployed to help charter schools shape their own regulations—or, more preferably, keep regulation away. Now, in the face of questions and community frustration, lawmakers are again under pressure to act. But if city leaders are going to bring newfound transparency to the charter world, they’re going to have to overcome a formidable influence machine with a long history of winning fights in D.C.

Cohen explains that the initial push for charter schools began with Newt Gingrich.

Many D.C. residents balked at Congress’ actions. When Clinton signed the School Reform Act into law in the spring of 1996, it was over the strong objection of D.C.’s non-voting Congressional delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, who protested Congress’ interference in the city’s local affairs.

Josephine Baker, board chair and executive director for the city’s charter authorizer, the DC Public Charter School Board, from 1996 through 2011, reflected on this process in her 2014 memoir: “The way [D.C. charters were established] left a terrible taste in the mouths of many life-long and civically engaged Washingtonians. It also represented a selling out of sorts to some community members who felt Republicans in Congress were acting as political imperialists.”

These misgivings over home rule did not stop charters from claiming legal independence, however. Professional advocates worked for years to convince the public and elected officials that D.C. lawmakers were legally unable to regulate their city’s charter sector if doing so conflicted in any way with the letter or spirit of Congress’ law. As Baker put it, “We used the charter law, deemed one of the best in the nation by the Center for Education Reform, as our shield.”

FOCUS, the charter advocacy group, has been the driving force behind these efforts. FOCUS was founded in 1996 by Malcolm Peabody, a Republican real estate developer who had strong political relationships in Congress and the local business community. A quarter-century earlier, Peabody helped pioneer the very idea of housing vouchers for low-income renters, when he served a stint under his brother, the governor of Massachusetts, and then later at HUD under President Richard Nixon. Peabody’s belief in vouchers for housing paved the way to supporting vouchers for schooling, but he understood the lack of political support for the concept in D.C., so limited FOCUS’ focus to charters.

FOCUS insisted that charters should not be regulated and that the District had no authority to hold them accountable.

FOCUS’ lobbying efforts were enhanced by millions contributed by the Walton Family Foundation. Other players included Democrats for Education Reform, Education Reform Now, and City Bridge. Money was plentiful, and the goal was to make sure that charters remained unregulated and unaccountable. Cohen is surprised that many of the charter lobbyists never bother to register as lobbyists. They operate in a zone where laws do not apply.

Advocates for public schools have been underfunded and lack the infrastructure of the charter lobby.

Now a new battle is brewing. D.C. charter schools are not subject to public records laws. They are not transparent and zealously defend their lack of transparency. They claim that transparency equals bureaucracy, and they need freedom from oversight.

Imagine if any public school made such a ridiculous claim!

This past spring, Education Reform Now, DFER-DC’s affiliate, funded a text-message campaign against the proposed transparency bill, using the same internal talking points endorsed by FOCUS and the Association. “The D.C Council is considering legislation that would divert resources in quality public charter schools away from helping students achieve to completing onerous paperwork and bureaucracy,” one text read. Another encouraged recipients to click on a link, which provided them with a pre-drafted email to send to their local representatives opposing the legislation. “I am writing to express disappointment in your recently introduced bill to unfairly target public charter schools,” the form email read. “Our kids need teachers and resources not more legal burdens.” DFER-DC did not answer City Paper’s inquiries regarding how many residents received the texts.

At the June hearing some charter leaders made similar points against additional oversight.

“I see this Council and others moving in a direction that troubles me, treating public charter schools as public agencies,” testified Shannon Hodge, the executive director of Kingsman Academy, a charter located in Ward 6. “We are not public agencies and we are not intended to be.”

Royston Lyttle, an Eagle Academy principal, agreed. “We don’t need more bureaucracy and red tape.”

Interesting that the executive director of Kingsman Academy insists that her charter is “not a public agency.” She is right.

Any organization that receives public funds should be subject to public oversight. Clearly the charters are private schools that use their powerful friends to get public money.

No oversight, no transparency, no public funding.

In this fall’s school board elections in Cincinnati, one of the candidates will be a TFA alum who is trying again after almost being kicked out of the Democratic Party three years ago.

Ben Lindy is the director of Teach for America in Cincinnati. He attended elite suburban schools, then graduated from Yale College and Yale Law School. After he taught in rural North Carolina, he tried to start his  political career by running for state representative in Ohio. He was nearly censured and booted from the Democratic Party at that time when union officials discovered that he had written a law journal article that was anti-union and that was cited in a Supreme Court case to hurt the cause of collective bargaining. In that paper, he argued that collective bargaining agreements raise the performance of high-achieving students and lower the performance of “poorly achieving students.” On the face of it, this claim is absurd, first, because there are many different variables that affect student performance, especially in the state he studied, New Mexico, which has one of the highest child poverty rates in the nation. Consider also that the highest performing states in the nation–Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey–have strong teachers’ unions, while the lowest performing states in the nation (mainly in the South) do not.

The 2016 effort to oust him from the Democratic Party failed by 26-21. When he was questioned about this stance on organized labor, he claimed to be pro-union but claimed that he hadn’t give much though to union issues.

Lindy showed a lack of knowledge about some labor issues. When asked his stance on prevailing wage, he said: “This is an issue I’d like to know more about.”

“I’m not hearing how you’ve evolved,” said Pat Bruns, a committee member who sits on the state board of education.

Lindy is a prodigious fund-raiser, which is enough to recommend him to some party leaders.

But party leaders should check where Lindy’s campaign cash is coming from. If it is coming from “Democrats for Education Reform,” bear in mind that these are hedge fund managers who are anti-union and anti-public schools, who favor TFA and merit pay. If it is coming from “Leadership for Educational Equity,” that is TFA’s political arm, which is anti-union and pro-charter school.

Be informed before you vote.

 

 

 

Cory Booker has a long and well-documented record of disparaging public schools and enthusiastically supporting charters, even vouchers. Now, he says he will dedicate himself to public schools and stop privatization, as if he had not been one of the leading cheerleaders for both charters and vouchers for the past two decades.

Valerie Strauss wrote here about his deep ties over the years to Betsy DeVos. 

Booker began his advocacy for vouchers twenty years ago.

“In 1999, Booker was a member of the Municipal Council of Newark and worked with conservatives to form an organization that sought to create a voucher program and bring charter schools to New Jersey.”

He helped Dick and Betsy DeVos try to sell vouchers in Michigan in 2000. Fortunately, they were unsuccessful. As Jennifer Berkshire pointed out in her article about Booker’s help for the DeVos voucher campaign, the DeVos family spent millions, but the people of Michigan rejected vouchers by a vote of 69-31%.

When Booker ran for mayor of Newark in 2001, the DeVos family contributed $1,000 to his campaign. Cheapskates.

Veteran journalist Dale Russakoff wrote a book called The Prize about Cory Booker’s alliance with Republican Governor Chris Christie and their determination to turn Newark into the “New Orleans of the North” by privatizing as many public schools as possible. Booker was a favorite of Wall Street and philanthrocapitalists, and he and Christie persuaded Mark Zuckerberg to put up $100 million to spur privatization in Newark.

Regular readers of this blog have read the many posts by blogger Jersey Jazzman (Mark Weber) about the statistical legerdemain that Newark charters play, the cream-skimming they do to get the students they want and exclude those that might pull down their test scores..

If you open the link at NPE Action, you will see that Booker’s campaigns have drawn the campaign funding of the usual billionaires and Wall Street hedge funders who have done their best to undermine public education.

Booker was feted by rightwing think tanks like the Manhattan Institute and named a “champion of charters” by the National Alliance for Public [sic] Charter Schools in 2017.

But his support for vouchers was not long, long ago.

In 2012, he endorsed Governor Chris Christie’s voucher proposal.

In 2016, he addressed Betsy DeVos’s American Federation for Children to express his support for their mission of replacing public schools with charters and vouchers.

Due to his contempt for one of our most important public, democratic institutions, I cannot support Cory Booker.

If he is the Democratic candidate, which seems unlikely, I will hold my nose and vote for him, because any Democrat is better than Trump. Even Cory Booker.