Lisa Macfarlane with WA DFER wins the Walton Award for privatization.

Walmart 1%

According to the PR Newswire, Lisa Macfarlane, formerly with the League of Education Voters (LEV) and now Director of Washington State Education Reform Now/Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), received a $10,000 grant from the Walton’s as an “Education Reformer to Watch” for her work on pushing charter school initiative 1240 in the state of Washington.

And what does Ms. Macfarlane plan to do with the cash? Ensure that charter schools open in the state of Washington of course.

Per DFER Watch:

Democrats for Education Reform is a political action committee supported largely by hedge fund managers favoring charter schools, merit-pay tied to test scores, high-stakes testing, school choice (including vouchers and tuition tax credits in some cases), mayoral control, and alternative teacher preparation programs.

Alice Walton supported charter school initiative 1240 in the state of Washington by providing $1.7 M to the cause.

According to  The WalMart 1%:

The Walton Agenda

While they haven’t given very much of their wealth away, a great deal of what the Waltons have spent has been focused on funding right wing causes.

The largest of these causes has been the movement to privatize public education.

Beyond this, the Walton Family Foundation has also given to a host of other right-wing organizations, including:

  • The Cato Institute
  • The Heritage Foundation
  • National Right to Work Foundation (anti-union)
  • Americans for Tax Reform (Grover Nordquist’s organization)

Dora Taylor

Next up, see: Lisa Macfarlane and Her Conspiracy Theories.

13 thoughts on “Lisa Macfarlane with WA DFER wins the Walton Award for privatization.

  1. Lisa McFarlane’s organization- Democrats for Education Reform- had contributed $10K to a PAC to support Suzanne Dale Estey for Seattle School Board and attack Sue Peters for School Board. The name of the PAC was Great Seattle Schools.

    Other contributors to Great Seattle Schools were Matt Griffin, Christopher Larson, Seattle’s Chamber of Commerce and Nick Hanauer. The PAC was funded at $105K. Shameful.

    Great Seattle Schools sent out FOUR dishonest mailers to tens and tens of thousands of voters.

    McFarlane’s behavior is rather unattractive and she should not be considered an educational “leader”.

  2. Ken, I agree with you about Lisa having had promise. I would very much love to understand what pulled her in the direction she’s gone. First cause, usually, for parent activists, is massive frustration with the system. Then begins the drooling over reformers’ bypass-the-painful-democratic-process-and-get-what-you-want-today! program. And then comes the money, the hob-nobbing, the echo-chamber…. Good people end up on this level of Hell.

    By the way, her name’s spelled McFarlanE.

    1. Interesting. I spelled Lisa’s name the same way that a friend of mine in school spelled her name. As many times as I have seen Lisa Macfarlane’s name in print, I never noticed the difference.


    1. What happens with mayoral control is that the mayor listens to his or her financial backers rather than the people. It worked out nicely for Eli Broad in LA with both the present and past mayors and in Chicago as well as NY with Bloomberg. The mayor also selects the school board which is comprised of those who are owed favors. It becomes nothing more than a political circus and the children are forgotten.

      See: Diane Ravitch: Mayoral control means zero accountability.

  3. Worked with Lisa on simple majority and some other things. That was before she went to work for LEV and then DFER. It’s really sad to see her working on this side of the aisle. She had such promise.

  4. Disgusting—but predictable. For a while now, people have stopped using the word “sellout”.

    Well, it’s time to bring it back, particularly when it fits certain people, like LIsa MacFarland, so perfectly.

    This woman was against the privatization of our public schools. Then, she was offered money to switch sides. She lunged at the chance, leaving all ethics, morals and decency by the wayside…

    How could the word “Sellout” NOT apply to her awful and shameful actions?

    1. Unfortunately it’s greed that has fueled the education reform movement and kept it going. Greed and for some the idea that they can quickly climb the social/political ladder to other successes.


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