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Answering a Challenge for “Full Disclosure” of My *Secret Funding*

March 6, 2015

On March 4, 2015, I wrote a post about a Louisiana teacher promoting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in the op/eds and who happens to be under contract with the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) as a paid “common core expert.”

The teacher did not disclose that she is being financially compensated specifically for promoting CCSS.

money money

I took issue with both the compensation and the failure to disclose.

On March 6, 2015, I had a comment connected to the above post awaiting approval. It was written under the name, SickOfYourNonsense.

Here is what Sick had to say:

I think it’s time for full disclosure from you.

Who has been paying you under the table to keep our children tied to low standards and the worst curriculum in the nation,

Who has been paying you at all?

Setting aside the spitting-lizard tone of the above comment, allow me to offer “full disclosure” of my finances related to my advocacy for public education.

Let me begin with this: I am under contract with no entity, neither public nor private, nor with any individual for financial compensation for this blog, which is my primary, sustained means of communicating my research on the systematic privatization of public education.

I charge no fees to any readers of this blog. Any and all can read it for free.

To date, I have not sold the rights to any of my blog posts to any third parties.

My primary income is my teaching salary. It was slightly less in 2014 than in 2013. Our district allows teachers three days per year for “personal” absences. These I have used toward events related to education reform for the past three years (2012-14). Once I exhaust the three days, I must record my absence as “unexcused,” which means my teaching pay is docked. From 2012 to 2014, I collected no speaking fees for speaking engagements; I only asked that organizations pay for my travel, and in cases in which I needed to take an “unexcused” day from school, that the organization reimburse me for the teaching pay that I lost.

In February 2015, I collected my first speaking fees (in addition to travel expenses and docked pay reimbursement). I did not function in any capacity in which failure to disclose remuneration could be construed as manipulating my audience.

I have written two books. The first was published in April 2014. The publisher only pays its authors once per year, in April. So, as of this March 2015 writing, I have not yet received any money for my first book.

The second book is due to be published in May 2015. The publisher was willing to pay for having the book indexed (approx. $700)  and for copyright permission to use a Gates interview in the Washington Post ($784). This would have meant taking these fees out of future profits from the book. However, one of my colleagues held a fundraiser in January 2015, and she and others raised the money to pay for both index and WP permission.

She also donated the $100 annual fee for my blog, and others donated an additional $300 just because they appreciate my research.

Every cent of these donations will be reported on my 2015 taxes.

My accountant decided in 2013 that what I have with my writing and speaking actually constitutes a “business,” so he filed the necessary tax forms. For 2013 and 2014, my “business” garnered no profits.

Just as I have no contractual arrangements to advocate for a particular position, I have no “under the table” arrangements.

Therefore, to be clear regarding the latter, here is my table:


Notice that there is nothing under it.


Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.

  1. Only a dishonest and amoral person is unable to believe there are altruistic people, such as yourself, I this world. The real question is who is paying “Sick” to troll your blog? I will not hold my breath waiting for an answer from this person.

    • Good choice of words. Fortunately, there are a few “altruistic” folks left in our state who haven’t bought into our shining Randian Paradise on the Bayou farce.

  2. Thank you for all that you do. We are all fortunate to have the benefit of your knowledge, research and passion.

  3. Use For CC permalink

    You’re the best!!!! As a warrior in the trenches, I am so grateful to you!

    Can you imagine if we got paid an hourly rate for what we do?!

    I’d be happy if someone covered my gas once in a while, maybe printer ink- that adds up!

    Thank you again!


  4. Thank you for exposing all the corruption attached to Common Core et. al. Your research is excellent and thorough. When you hit a nerve expect a vile reaction, as the “lizard” just showed you and us.

  5. Laura chapman permalink

    What curriculum is she talking about. The spitting lizard seems to think that the standards came with a curriculum and had something like a virgin birth The shill is overpaid

  6. As said in above posts…THANK YOU SO MUCH for all YOU DO! I love reading each and every one of your posts!

  7. What? No bribes, no kickbacks, no sleazy propaganda machines masquerading as “think tanks”? Mercedes, it’s people like you who keep me believin’ in this country of ours. You ROCK! Keep it up.

    • 2old2tch permalink

      “… it’s people like you who keep me believin’ in this country of ours.”


  8. Lord do I wish you could run for president. Thank you for all you do!!

    Sent from my iPhone


  9. Derek permalink

    M, I haven’t read for a while ( humbled by the greatest teacher ),but would like you and your readers to know that a recap of the ills in laymen’s terms would benefit many who may not realize what they have been paying for in the way of “the same old greed and back scratching” with the new CCSS name and face. These people love it when you talk about them good or bad,it’s like one more pay per click or free ad for their greedy agenda. Those people have no true contentment and will always be in need of a way to continue to support their selfish hearts desire like the gambling addicted ex-ed secretary Bill Bennett. That is why they spend so much money ( our money, even if it comes from, on the government tit, Bill Gates), muddying up the truth about what is really behind ther efforts. They only care to keep their tenticles in education to create a continuous stream of casino, yacht buying, tax raised cash that comes from the liberal brainwashing corporate corriculum they can trick or scare us in to spoon feeding our children. People, God wants you to wake and resist these evil greedy worldly people. They will be humbled by what drives them the most, but do not let them at the expense of our children and grandchildren again ( ie,700 billion stimulus ) We know what is right, do not continue this fight without Him in your heart. Thanks Mercedes, and I ask? that He continue to bless you with understanding.

  10. Sissy West permalink

    Here’s my theory: they expect everyone who speaks out against to be as unethical as are they. People behaving in an honest, above-board manner are foreign to them.

    • John in Tennessee permalink

      Yep. It’s officially called “projection”.

  11. dolphin permalink

    Reblogged this on Dolphin and commented:
    Go Mercedes!

  12. I am officially in love with you! Even when I disagree with you on many things you have gained my respect and admiration for the role you play in intelligent and informed debate on the future of education. May your light continue to brighten our present and our future.

    • I’m with Gabriel about the respect and admiration despite disagreements on many issues. If we had more people like you with integrity on both sides of the ed reform debates, maybe we could actually get somewhere.

    • And I really like the flooring under your table. Pine?

  13. Bravo, Ms. Deutsch. When I finish typing this I am off to Amazon to buy your book. Thank you for making the efforts to help people understand the scam that’s going on where education is concerned in this country. I appreciate our perspectives and for allowing us to know the substantive facts we need to combat the capitalist takeover of what’s left of education.

  14. Ken Watanabe permalink

    Perhaps the best way to share a spiteful comment of troll is to identify its username and IP address for the record before you put it into a spam bucket.

    • Ken, I traced the IP address to a specific residence in Shreveport, La.

      • Lisa Smith permalink

        Hmm, a member of your fan club, I am sure!

  15. Reblogged this on Education Talk New Orleans and commented:
    Attention: Not everyone is in this for the money. Get over it. Some of us have personal convictions that fuel us, not philanthropists.

  16. LAEducator permalink

    Thanks, Mercedes for once again proving that universal truth: No one likes Common Core unless they have been PAID to like it!!

  17. Gee Mercedes, it sounds to me like Michelle Rhee, or Campbell Brown, are very angry with you. THEY have financial backers. THEY get huge fees for speaking; they, perhaps, were jealous of the generous deals that you get, to fund your ideas, thoughts, PR, rhetoric, and pushing of the reform agenda. Oh, wait a minute…NONE of that happens here, right? You truly are grassroots, not astroturf. GOD BLESS YOU, and others like you who speak the truth, but because it is the right thing to do. I am so happy that you are not bought and sold like the others.

  18. KrazyTA permalink

    “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” [Eleanor Roosevelt]

    Keep the candle of compassion and decency and honor alight in a time when the self-styled “education reformers” try to shroud in darkness their mad dog pursuit of $tudent $ucce$$—

    When they curse you, wear their opprobrium as a badge of honor.


  19. Bonnie Wilder permalink

    Bravo, Mercedes! Our opponents just canNOT believe that we do this type of thing for nothing=$ 0.00 compensation, but out of the love of children and just wanting to save them from mal-education and to assist great teachers and parents in making good education happen.

    I have fwd this to a former Tech Educator above, just met at a Colonial Dames meeting where he spoke on GWashington, Spymaster. I told him of your work, which goes way beyond “just” Common Core fiasco.

    G. Washington would be very proud of the work you are doing, too. Recall: GW accepted NO compensation as either Commander in Chief of the Army or as President of the Union. He just LOVED the country, and wanted to see it succeed as a Republic.

    Bonnie Wilder

  20. Just catching up on all this. Pretty funny. I hope “Sick” recovers soon and realizes that we all do this for the children – and the children do not have corporate backers. Working for stakeholders rather than stockholders is a foreign concept. Mercedes, your fearlessness is admirable, your research impeccable, your moral high ground unquestionable.

  21. Reblogged this on Crazy Normal – the Classroom Exposé and commented:
    Why hide behind the anonymous name of “SickOfYourNonsense”?

    SickOfYourNonesene should be totally transparent and have the courage to reveal who they are and avoid alleged accusations without any valid and reputable evidence to support those unsupported claims.

  22. How come the good guys are always poor and the bad guys rich? Throughout history? Is this etched in stone somewhere? Congratulations on fighting the good fight. I can’t be easy.

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