Saturday, June 24, 2017

Schools Matter: PROTEST: Mind Trust’s IPS and the Almighty Dollar

Schools Matter: PROTEST: Mind Trust’s IPS and the Almighty Dollar:

PROTEST: Mind Trust’s IPS and the Almighty Dollar

by Doug Martin

Please see the poster above for details on Tuesday’s public demonstration protesting the closing of 3 IPS schools.  

The $200,00 the Silicon Valley based-NewSchools Venture Fund (see my recent article here) gave to Phalen Leadership Academy in October 2015 helped with the takeover of IPS Francis Scott Key 103, now known as PLA@103, a blended learning school.  The Mind Trust and Bellwether Education Partners had worked behind the scenes to plan the takeover, according to documents released to the Indiana Department of Education (see page 28).  

Bellwether is led by former Mind Trust board member and former Clinton Administration official Andrew Rotherham, who appears in Hoosier School Heist.  Co-partner Andy Smarick, who was an official at the U.S. Department of Education under George W. Bush, is now the president of the Maryland State Board of Education.  He still is a partner at Bellwether, according to the Maryland State Board of Education. 

Funded by the Walton Family Foundation, the Gates Foundation, and numerous consulting gigs (clients include the Friedman Foundation, among many others), Bellwether is smothered in money, too, from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. 

Besides the gift of $11,075,000 to the Mind Trust and the $1,256,250 to the Indianapolis Public Schools Education Foundation, Inc., the Arnold Foundation has recently given the Mind Trust-spinoff Education Cities, Inc. $1,900,000 and has promised Bellwether Education Partners over $1.5 million for sustainable public finance grants from 2013-2018.
In 2015, when the Mind Trust handed Christel House International $250,000 in grant money, Education Cities $500,000, KIPP Indianapolis $300,000, and Phalen Leadership Academy $200,000 (page 20), Mind Trust CEO David Harris pulled in just over $238, 000 in just base compensation (page 31).

Bellwether did very good during this period, too.

From September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2015, Andrew Rotherham made almost $264,000 at Bellwether and Andy Smarick close to $216,000 (page 7).

Bellwether lately has been pumping out propaganda on how to spread blended/personalized learning into schools. The Schools Matter: PROTEST: Mind Trust’s IPS and the Almighty Dollar:

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