St. Elmo’s Fire or Pivot Point?

Important report out today from The Mind Trust* about school governance and organization in Indianapolis.  Indy Star with some ins and outs here and a thoughtful take by Matthew Tully here. Significant for a few reasons.  Indy is a large city, overall the 12th largest in the country, the report raises issues that other cities are thinking about, and it shows how various third-party non-profits are impacting the state and local education conversation in some powerful ways.  Check it out yourself at the link above.  *I was a founding board member at the Indy-based Mind Trust and am still on the board.

7 Replies to “St. Elmo’s Fire or Pivot Point?”

  1. Something Andrew will be proud of:
    IPS voters would lose their say under Mind Trust reform propose

    Any plan to transfer control of Indianapolis Public Schools to the mayor and City-County Council would require the support of Indiana lawmakers — and their willingness to strip power from the voters who live in the district.

    Therein lies a big — though experts say not insurmountable — obstacle for proponents of the Mind Trust’s sweeping reform proposal for IPS: Lawmakers must be convinced that the proposal is so persuasive that it is worth telling voters who live in IPS that they are the only ones in the state who will not be allowed to elect their school board.

    Reminds me of Richard Whitmire’s attack on the African American residents around Sousa Middle School in DCPS as being too ignorant to know the wonderful things Michelle Johnson was doing for them.

    As for Andy’s involvement with Mind Trust and their “selection” by Superintendent Bennett, it doesn’t take long for incest to come to the high minded ones.

  2. Barely anybody votes in school board races now, with unions selecting their management negotiating partner most of the time.

    Putting the power into the mayor would heighten awareness, interest, and participation in education matters. And don’t even start on the politicizing schools, you clearly do that in every one of your comments.

  3. More positive takes on the MindTrust grab for IPS:

    Indianapolis, Indiana, home of the Hoosiers, is getting ready for the fight of a lifetime. The Crossroads of America will need us to rally and support them as a corporate education takeover makes its way into their public schools.

    Mind Trust is preparing to overhaul the Indianapolis Public Schools using strategies similar to those used in New Orleans and New York. Mind Trust proudly states, “We have invested over $5 million to bring Teach For America, College Summit, The New Teacher Project, Stand for Children, and Diploma Plus to Indianapolis.”

    Mind Trust CEO states in the Indy Star, “”If we’re going to be serious about doing something transformational, we need an aggressive plan…”

    The plan is to create a total choice system in which schools “compete for students and make their own decisions about how to allocate resources formerly managed by IPS.”

    The red flags are numerous. The word CHOICE really implies choice for some, not for all. The word COMPETE means some children will be left behind, as not everyone can win a competition. As schools compete, students who don’t make the grade will be sent packing. Students with special needs may be turned away at the door. Schools will be shut down and communities will be destroyed.

    Minority students account for 76% of the IPS student population; will they have a voice in the decisions being made about their neighborhoods and their schools as the restructure of IPS takes place?

    When we can allocate resources independent of the school district one can guarantee that resources will not be allocated equally and profit will take precedence. We need only look to New York, Detroit and New Orleans to see how such a system is playing out.

    Indianapolis: The New Feeding Ground for Corporate Education Reformers

    And more incest:
    We know that the CEO of The New Teacher Project is on the board of directors for Mind Trust.

  4. I think it’s a fairly safe assumption that when you refer to one leader of an organization sitting on the board of another (a very common practice, regardless of political preference) as incest, you’ve lost all credibility.

    Just google “Randi Weingarten board member” and you will she that she is a board member of numerous organizations, both directly related to education and some with broader purposes. I, however, refuse to sink to your level and I will just call it what it is, which is like minded people working together to achieve a goal through the means they see as most viable.

    It’s also funny that you reference tntp and, in the article you reference above, talk about students having a voice. I’m pretty sure they are ONE OF THE ONLY organizations willing to put students voice front and center by including it in their teacher evaluations.

  5. Thank you for taking the time to spank someone who has lost all credibility.
    As for TNTP being ONE OF THE ONLY organizations willing to put students voices FRONT and CENTER, don’t forget StudentsFirst

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