October 06, 2017

Last Saturday I noticed a lot of tweeting from dark money front Stand for Children, which was holding some sort of gathering in Massachusetts. They were quiet during the 2016 ballot campaign so I tried some friendly banter (by appending my Stand for Children related posts to their tweets). They blocked me. Was it something I said?

Stand for Children was the brand name rented out by Strategic Grant Partners for a 2012 ballot measure against teachers unions (settled before the vote) and the 2013 Boston mayor’s race. But then in 2016, Stand didn’t spend a dime on Question 2 (that we know about). SGP instead leased the Families for Excellent Schools brand but FES is now banned in Boston.

And I’m banned by Stand for Children. What better occasion to introduce Your Dark Money Reader, Special Edition: Stand for Children. I highly recommend the “Dark Money Sharks” pieces, they explain a lot.

Dark Money Sharks Devour Mass. Education Policy April 11, 2017 The conspiracy of Boston billionaires to commandeer Massachusetts education policy didn’t start with Great Schools Massachusetts/Families for Excellent Schools in 2015-16, but with Stand for Children and another union busting ballot question in 2011.

Dark Money Sharks Circled 2013 Boston Mayor’s Race April 12, 2017 What a coincidence! It looks like the same dark money Boston billionaires behind the proposed 2012 ballot question opposing union interests and the 2016 charters ballot question also secretly backed John Connolly in the 2013 Boston mayor’s race.

School Privatization: Upstream Money and Downstream Money August 1, 2017 How Strategic Grant Partners perfected the techniques that they used with Families for Excellent Schools from 2014-2016: they practiced with Stand for Children from 2010-2013.

Why Political Media Need to be More Aggressive Reporting About “Dark Money” May 17, 2017 If you thought most of the major media outlets treated Families for Excellent Schools with trusting deference, the Globe in particular fawned over Stand for Children (there are some Lawrence Harmon columns that actually make me laugh).

The Intersection: Dark Money and Philanthropy Stand for Children is just one of many privatization dark money operations funded by Strategic Grant Partners over the years.

The Hidden Money Behind Great Schools: Strategic Grant Partners. August 2, 2016. This post argued that the Great Schools campaign began several years ago, through a Boston non-profit named Strategic Grant Partners. Before Families for Excellent Schools and Great Schools Massachusetts, there was Stand for Children.

I suppose that Stand for Children blocked me because I’ve pointed out that its business model in 2010-2013 is the exact same one used by Families for Excellent Schools from 2014-2016, and it appears the two groups are funded by the same handful of Massachusetts plutocrats. And we know what happened to Families for Excellent Schools. In fact, I’ve written that the Office of Campaign and Political Finance should conduct an investigation into SfC, just as it did with FES. And while we’re at it, Attorney General Healey, why wait for an OCPF referral? Recidivists should get special attention.

That’s the sort of thing that will get me blocked.

The Washington Post recently adopted a new slogan: “Democracy dies in darkness.” I agree.

[Full disclosure: as an educator in the UMass system, I am a union member. I write about dark money (and other things). I don't write about education policy.]

Office of Campaign and Political Finance, Stand for Children, Strategic Grant Partners, Families for Excellenct Schools, Maura Healey

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