I think, when it comes to schools, it's important that the body involved be public, transparent, self-sustaining (not fiscally dependent on a private body), and as close to those affected as reasonable.
We also might want to consider that what we see as a clash of interests is really just a clash of ideology.
As long as we don't tackle "learning" democracy with as much seriousness as math and literacy it's hardly puzzling why in times of real or imagined crises the first victims will over and over again be democratic norms.
Add to your goals for students some aspirations that cannot be the basis for graduation, but are perhaps just as important.
Armed with convincing data, our movement will earn a larger seat at the education reform table.