Tuesday, October 25, 2011

PACs for Gordon and Vialle

I got a mailer from Stand for Children today.

In it they encourage us to "change the odds for Washington students" by voting for Dexter Gordon and Karen Vialle.  The mailer assures us that Gordon is an "acclaimed policy expert."  They don't make clear who has proclaimed him so.  His web site professes that he's been "sought out by academic journals and The News Tribune" to write pieces on education.  At the bottom of his "Media" page on his web site, you can find a link to one TNT piece.  That's all I've ever found (by my own searches), and that's all I can find on his own web site.

Karen Vialle is portrayed as offering a fresh start for education in our city.  Big order, but at least we know how to evaluate her performance in 6 months or a year.

Stand for Children, of course, is a political action committee.   That means they take money from big donors then leverage it in political races in the fashion they see fit.  Perfectly fine thing to do.  Please understand, though, that SFC is financed primarily by people who have little involvement in Tacoma.  Their names are Amazon, Microsoft and Genie Industries.  (Top 4 donors--Bezos, Ballmer, Partovi and Bushnell.)

Communities in Schools (the organization Scott Heinze is connected to) actually serves students.  This web site is for the local branch, and they participate in the Find an Hour program that connects tutors to students in Tacoma.  By contrast, Stand does not participate in Find an Hour, and searching for Tacoma Stand for Children connects you to the state office.

Communities in Schools celebrated these accomplishments last year:

  • We served more than 800 kids in our after school programs
  • We helped 77 percent of the students served reach grade level in reading
  • Served more than 4,000 family members at our school sites
  • Provided backpacks to more than 3,000 kids in our community

Stand for Children, by contrast, invites you to Join (give them your e-mail in order to get their mailers), or make a donation.  Not quite the same thing.

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