Wednesday, December 16, 2015

All in the Family | EduShyster

All in the Family | EduShyster:

All in the Family

Has Massachusetts Secretary of Education Jim Peyser been lobbying himself?
Reader: having now corresponded from the wilds of education reform land for some three years now (!), I’ve grown more or less inured to the conflicts of interest that seem to bloom like algae wherever homo reformus sets up shop. But when a tipster contacted me, asking if I was aware that Massachusetts Secretary of Education Jim Peyser sits on the board of a charter school advocacy group, but also directs its lobbying arm, even I was agog. So I followed the trail of breadcrumbs that the tipster helpfully provided to the Secretary of State’s corporations division where I typed in Peyser’s name, and voila, there Peyser was, or rather is…

Lobby Hobby

Now conflicts of interest are nothing new in the clubby, chummy circles ofmanyhats (1)Massachusetts education policy. Consider, for example, the many hats of our own Commissioner of College and Career Readiness, Mitchell D. Chester. But even these overlapping lids seem like not-such-a-big deal when compared to the case that is before us today. As the Secretary of Education, Jim Peyser sets education policy for the state and also votes on said policy. And as a director for the charter school advocacy group Families for Excellent Schools, and its 501 (c) (4) lobbying arm, Peyser is seeking to influence the very state policy that he is then voting upon. In other words, he is lobbying himself.
All in the Family
But who is this Family of which the Massachusetts Secretary of Education appears to All in the Family | EduShyster: