In 2013 , my brother wrote some more about “our friend,” Lamar.

Alexander Lamar

The National Education Association is presenting its 2016 Friend of Education award to Democratic Senator Patty Murray and Republican Senator Lamar Alexander.

In a previous post I looked back on the role of Alexander in the first Bush administration as Secretary of Education and his work with Chris Whittle and the Edison Project. Whittle was an early pioneer in school privatization and worked closely with Alexander.

In 2013 my brother Mike Klonsky commented again on Lamar Alexander. This time he wrote some comments to a post about Alexander on Diane Ravitch’s blog. Ravitch had been an under-secretary of education when Lamar Alexander was the first Bush’s Education Secretary a quarter century ago.

…Yes some people did get rich on holding Edison stock (back then it was Whittle Communications stock), those that bought it cheap and sold it dear. Take Lamar Alexander (and Mrs. Alexander) for example.

Former Department of Education employee and writer Lisa Schiffren says that, “His fortune is founded on sweetheart deals not available to the general public, and a series of cozy sinecures provided by local businessmen. Such deals are not illegal…” Schiffren further notes that, in 1987, Alexander helped found Corporate Child Care Management, Inc. (now known as Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc.), a company that – via a merger – is now the nation’s largest provider of worksite day care. While businessman Jack C. Massey spent $2 million on this enterprise, Alexander co-founded the company with only $5,000 of stock which increased in value to $800,000, a 15,900 percent return within four years.

Also in 1987, he a wrote a never-cashed investment check for $10,000 to Christopher Whittle for shares in Whittle Communications that increased in value to $330,000. In 1991, Alexander’s house just purchased for $570,000 was sold to Whittle for $977,500. Alexander’s wife obtained an $133,000 profit from her $8,900 investment in a company created to privatize prisons. Alexander frequently shifted assets to his wife’s name, yet such transfers are not legal under federal ethics and security laws.[24] In his 2005 U.S. Senate financial disclosure report, he listed personal ownership of BFAM (Bright Horizons Family Solutions) stock valued (at that time) between $1 million and $5 million dollars. He taught about the American character as a faculty member at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

And so it goes. Great thinker & leader? I don’t agree. Clever investor with other people’s money. Yes.

Friend of Education?

Not really.

4 Replies to “In 2013 , my brother wrote some more about “our friend,” Lamar.”

  1. “In 1983, Alexander implemented his “Better Schools” program, which standardized basic skills for all students, and increased math, science and computer education.[23] A portion of this plan, known as “Master Teachers,” or “Career Ladder,” called for income supplements for the state’s top teachers. Due to staunch opposition from the Tennessee Education Association, which derided the plan’s method of teacher evaluations, the bill initially died in the state legislature. Later that year, Alexander convinced House Speaker Ned McWherter to support an amended version of the bill, which passed.”
    – From Wikipedia
    Lamar Alexander has spent the last 33 years pushing his agenda, the underpay-teachers-but-overpay-a-few-to-show-them-how-worthless-nearly-all-teachers-are agenda.
    Shame on Lily for awarding a man who has spent a third of a century attempting to belittle teachers and undermine public education.

  2. I don’t know whom I detest more: Alexander or Lily? It didn’t take long for Lily, as the new NEA leader, to take a nose dive.

  3. Chicago property owners will take a far bigger hit for teacher pensions, but their aldermen will escape another difficult vote, thanks to the legislative compromise approved Thursday to ease the financial crisis at the Chicago Public Schools.

    When Mayor Rahm Emanuel offered more than a year ago to raise property taxes for teacher pensions, the amount he talked about was $170 million.

    1. Only good thing is the tax for the Chicago teachers pension fund is going to go straight into the pension fund, and not into a position where Rahm and others can steal it. Pension theft by the city is the only reason the fund is in such an underfunded position today. Not too long ago it was fully funded.
      No one likes higher taxes, but if I have to pay higher taxes, teacher’s pensions is exactly where I would want the money to go. Teachers and other public employees have earned their pensions.

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