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What did Caroline Kennedy actually *do* for the NYC school system?

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Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:17 PM
Original message
What did Caroline Kennedy actually *do* for the NYC school system?
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 07:42 PM by PaulHo
Not much , it seems. At least if Wayne Barrett can be trusted... and he almost always CAN be trusted.

I post this not to beat a politically dead horse( sorry, Caroline), but to prompt rumination and discussion about public education and the propensity for malefactors and misfeasants of all varieties to eye it as a potential playground where the risks are few and the rewards are many.

From the Jan 13 Village Voice:



>>>Both Klein and Kennedy also tried to hype her role at the Fund for Public Schools, a nonprofit set up to receive private donations to the system that is chaired by Klein. Kennedy has stretched her less-than-two-year DOE "job" into six years in her recent media interviews, without mentioning that she's counting the four years since she left the department only because she's continued to serve as one of two vice chairs of the Fund. The other vice chair, Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman, made a $1.5 million grant to the Fund, but Lara Holliday, the Fund's director, told the Voice that Kennedy, personally worth at least $100 million, "has not contributed financially" at all to the city schools.

One of Kennedy's principal assignments when she worked at DOE was to oversee the Fund, yet its 990 forms, which are filed by law with the IRS, indicate that she only worked an hour a week in 2003, and two hours since, a calculation that Holliday dismissed as merely "a reporting procedure." The same forms, however, require the Fund to estimate the worth of Kennedy's "donated service," and, though the Fund typically listed hundreds of thousands in that broad category of non-cash donations, Holliday concedes they never claimed a cent for Kennedy. "We have not placed a dollar on Caroline's service, as her contributions to the Fund and the DOE would be very difficult to value," said Holliday. Both the Voice and Politico.com have cited unnamed DOE sources who say Kennedy was rarely there, consistent with both of these submissions on required federal forms. The Times finding that she was curiously exempted from the financial disclosure requirements that came with her high-level executive post adds to the evidence that she has a less Senate-worthy service record than Klein has suggested.

Kennedy told the Times that the Fund was a mere "pass-through," collecting "an average of $2 million a year" before she got there. "We kind of re-launched it and revitalized it, you know. Now, we've raised $238 million since then," she said. Klein's CNN article said that Caroline "took over an office that previously oversaw donations to PTAs and alumni associations and re-created it around a model of a public/private partnership," claiming that "under her leadership, the Fund has raised more than $240 million." But the Fund's tax forms show that the $11.2 million it raised in Caroline's first fiscal yearwhich ran from July 1, 2002, to June 30, 2003 (she started the job that October)was very similar to the $10.7 million raised the year before. The total actually dropped to $10.9 million in 2003-2004, the only full fiscal year that Kennedy was on staff. It grew to $14 million when she left, and then exploded nearly two years after she was gone, to $39.6 million. Kennedy and Klein's figures of $238 million and $240 million credit her for everything the Fund raised for the four years that she was merely a board member, an absurd exaggeration.

Holliday notes that the Fund's IRS filings do not include the $81 million raised separately for the Leadership Academy, which are collected by a related entity. Klein did include those contributions in his $240 million Fund figure and has variously attributed $65 million or $70 million of it to Kennedy personally. That, too, is dubious, since corporate giants like Jack Welch and Richard Parsons led its board, and the Partnership for the City of New York was by far its largest donor ($30 million). Partnership president Kathy Wylde hardly needs Caroline Kennedy to get her organization's bluebloods to give to a venture it helped create, especially with Time Warner's Parsons an officer of both the Partnership and the Academy. (Holliday e-mailed at press time, saying the Fund was "speaking with our auditors and lawyers" to resolve "inaccuracies" in the IRS submissions.)

While Klein has his own relationship with Kennedy, who went to college with his wife, his inflation of the Kennedy bio is unmistakably Bloomberg-sanctioned, since the mayor himself has pointed to her DOE achievements when he salutes her readiness for the Senate. No one, meanwhile, seems to mind that Bloomberg and Kennedy have combined to politicize a chancellor in a way that has not occurred in years, feeding the critics of mayoral control of the schools who regard the office as an anti-democratic concentration of school power.>>>

Here's the whole story:
http://www.villagevoice.com/2009-01-14/news/bloomberg-m...
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rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. Interesting read
Thanks for sharing
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MarjorieG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
2. Whatever her skills might have become, Paterson and Schumer didn't want her, let her twist in the...
wind, to be eaten alive by compliant media, at their prodding. Unnecassary trashing and way to get her out of the race.

They push through Cuomo, wherever, and no doubt Schumer would like a hand at creating the governor opportunity for him. More beholden. And Cuomo is not that worthy, certainly not worth the kissy-face of the press, and compared to the trashing of Kennedy.

This should have been handled differently, if they knew from the get-go they didn 't want her, as Paterson admitted.
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Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Perhaps. But I'm more interested in what it says about public school administration.
In other words, CKS gets a made-up, no-show job ( ok , a "little-show" job)for ....which she is singularly unqualified..... owing to political considerations and personal connections.

Paperwork is fudged, regs are skirted, bureaucratic strings are pulled, and stats are skewed to make it work. THIS is much more the story ( or OUGHT to be)then the "you know, as a mother, you know, I feel I can contribute something, you know, since we were all taught to give, you know, something back," that the MSM keeps harping on.

She's a lightweight, sure, but the machinations and corruption her candidacy briefly exposed at DOE are INFINITELY more consequential than the ill-conceived candidacy itself.
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