The Indianapolis Star has belatedly ran a rather bland story discussing who is bankrolling the campaigns of candidates for the three unpaid school board positions up for election in this November's election. As I previously reported, the campaigns of three Stand For Children-backed candidates, who are also backed by the Indy Chamber, are getting most of their funding from out-of-state education profiteers who are seizing effective control of schools all over the country to use as profit centers for their businesses. Previously, I discussed at-large IPS board candidate Mary Ann Sullivan's long-term work as an education consultant and District 5 candidate LaNier Echols' job as dean of students at an out-of-state managed charter school, Carpe Diem, both of whose employment raises serious conflict of interest concerns. It turns out that District 3 candidate and former IPS board member Kelly Bentley has a serious conflict of interest as well.
According to the Star's story today, Bentley is employed as a consultant for GreatSchools. This is a nonprofit education organization financed, in part, through generous grants from folks like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation. High-tech entrepreneur Bill Jackson is the founder and CEO of Great Schools. The purpose of the organization is to inform parents about their choices in educating their children. To that end, its most important function is evaluating and assigning ratings to schools. At-home learning opportunities are also important to the organization. Its board is largely made up of wealthy high-tech entrepreneurs like Jackson who benefit from e-learning investments. It's not a stretch to conclude that Bentley faces a serious conflict of interest in her paid role as a consultant to GreatSchools rating area schools, including IPS schools. Voters need to take into account the fact that all three of these Stand For Children-backed candidates are trying to serve two masters in assuming roles as board members for IPS.
Has anyone compiled a list of good (citizen friendly) candidates?
watch this space for a list of approved candates for all offices
Isn't the "Stand For Children" organization the same folks that support Common Core?
Ask the Reason Foundation (Lisa Snell) for suggestions on good educators in Indiana.
But, Gary, ISTA has backed candidates for years & there's arguably just as much of a conflict of interest when a public school teacher (or a spouse of one) is on the school board.
So what are you trying to tell me, Carlos? That Republicrats are hypocrites? After all, that's all I've heard since I moved to Indiana in 1990 what a great threat the ISTA was to the state. I can think of quite a few who pose a much greater threat to all of us than the ISTA.
When I worked for the Illinois legislature, Democratic and Republican lawmakers competed to see who could cozy up more to the Illinois Education Association. Now those same people are competing to throw the teachers union under the bus for all of the money these education profiteers are throwing at them.
Well, as long as government is in the schools business, this type of cozy relationship will continue. However, the teachers' union was always for centralization and fought charters and vouchers for decades. The new educational profiteers at least are advocating for a type of radical DEcentralization. neither approach is ideal, but at least the latter tends to disperse power.
I'd like to hear what all their ideas are for improving education for the kids.
The status quo is not working and the excuses are too numerous to list.
Mary Ann Sullivan's number one priority will be a big capital spending plan in hopes of helping out her husband's construction business. Sheil-Sexton gets a piece of the action on all publicly-funded construction projects in Indianapolis by hook or crook.
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