DFER’s Lisa Macfarlane : “Concerned Citizen”

Lisa Macfarlane, Concerned Citizen of the Year
Lisa Macfarlane, “Concerned Citizen” of the Year

There was another person who testified at the House hearings this week regarding mayoral control House Bill 1497 but this time in favor of the bill, Lisa Macfarlane.

Ms. Macfarlane is so concerned about House Bill 1497 that she took time off from her job as Executive Director of  Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) to share with our state legislators as a “Concerned Citizen”, ON HER OWN TIME, about the importance of the Seattle School Board having five elected Directors instead of seven.


This tactic was used during the time that the charter school initiative was being debated and Shannon Campion with Stand for Children, posing as a concerned citizen, argued for the charter school initiative during a televised segment on the issue and later when she did an online debate in support of charter schools with Wayne Au during that time.

Amazing, isn’t it, how devoted these people are to mayoral control , charter schools and an apartheid Seattle and all for the sake of the children?


The WalMart Waltons think Macfarlane is amazing too. According to the Walton Foundation, she is the “Education Reformer to Watch”.

Here’s an excerpt:

About Lisa:

Lisa Macfarlane is the first Washington state director for Education Reform Now/Democrats for Education Reform (DFER). Lisa co-founded the League of Education Voters and LEV Foundation…

Wow, and in our own backyard.

And what has she received, besides a hefty paycheck, for being so concerned about the children?

Lisa Macfarlane 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 former Director of External Affairs with the League of Education Voters (LEV)…

For more on our very special “Concerned Citizen” see:

Lisa Macfarlane with WA DFER wins the Walton Award for privatization 

A look back at the League of Education Voters.

For more on mayoral control, see:

Mayoral Control

Dora Taylor

Post Script:

The reason why the Seattle school district has seven school board Directors rather than five like all of the other school districts in the state, is because it was determined, due to the size of Seattle, two additional board members would be needed to adequately represent the entire district.


  1. Mayoral control of public education does not have a ground-swell of support. This is another top-down initiative- similar to charter schools.

    Testifying in favor of mayoral control of education was Lisa McFarland and Eric Pettigrew- the same people that brought us charter schools.

    There was a long list of individuals and/or organizations that testified in opposition- including the League of Women Voters.

    McFarland and Pettigrew fail to provide argument that includes research- just hope. in 2000, there were 40 cities with mayoral control. The achievement gap widened and there are now 12 cities with mayoral control of education.

    There is NO reason why a candidate can not run for office. Running for office is an opportunity to vet a candidate.

    Mayoral control of education is just an end-run around democracy.

  2. Wonderful. We have the Walton Foundation -Walmart owners- recognizing McFarland.

    As I recall, DFER was paid to support I 1240. This information is easy enough to access on the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission.

  3. This seems to be a strange pattern among people who testify publicly in favor of one or another education “reform” fad — they portray themselves as ordinary people speaking up out of sheer concern — volunteers — and conceal the fact that they’re simply playing the role they’re well paid to play. In other parts of the country, Parent Revolution — promoting the “parent trigger” is notorious for that. In Chicago, a busload of people was hired to pack a meeting to pretend to support “reformers’ ” closing schools. The mainstream press caught onto that and started interviewing the people, who either had no idea what was going on or actually opposed closing the schools.

    Charter schools routinely require (require, not request) parent to put in “volunteer” hours at the schools. Here in California, that’s illegal, but they have so much political cover they do it anyway. (I don’t know the case in other states.) One way parents can burn off those “volunteer” hours is to show up at meetings posing as “concerned citizens” there all on their own volition.

    If the policies the “reformers” were pushing had any merit, wouldn’t ACTUAL concerned citizens and volunteers be flocking to speak up for them, and no one would have to pay hired actors, or pressure parents under duress (illegal duress here in California) to play those parts?

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