By Doug Martin
(This first appeared at Schools Matter, under a slightly different form here. Hear Doug Martin on the War Report on Public Education radio show tomorrow, July 20, at 5 pm California Pacific Time and 2 pm Indiana Eastern Standard Time. You can tune in at this link.
In an attempt to privatize more schools and train students for future jobs that don’t exist, the Indy Chamber of Commerce wrapped up its Pancakes and Politics education panel event yesterday in Indianapolis with the Mind Trust and Teach Plus.
US neoliberal Democrat Andre Carson’s wife highlighted the event. Andre, as I mention in Hoosier School Heist, is friends with school privatizers and Gulenists, regardless of what the Indy Star claims and despite the many standing ovations he gets at Indiana Party conventions.
Carson’s wife, Mariama, not surprisingly, was recently awarded a $250,000 Mind Trust award and is now starting a charter school in Indianapolis. Mariama’s sister, Camilla Shaheed Diallo, is thevice president of development and engagement at the Mind Trust. Later in the month, Carson’s wife will speak at the corporate-theocratic school privatizing event sponsored by the Koch Brothers/Walmart/racist Bradley Foundation-funded Milton Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice (reserve a seat here.
Another main speaker at the Chamber/Mind Trust/Teach Plus event was Caitlin Hannon, a current IPS board member, a princess of conflicts of interest, and a special “guest” in my book Hoosier School Heist.
Hannon’s IPS board win was a shoo-in, for she was funded by Walmart husband Greg Penner, Mitch Daniels operative Al Hubbard, and Republican New Jersey hedge fund manager and Michelle Rhee friend Alan Fournier.
Detailed in my book, Teach Plus was founded by Mind Trust education fellow, Celine Coggins. Its board includes, among others, neoliberal Mind Trust leader David Harris, who raked in $208,000 in 2012, with an additional $43,000 in other compensation (see page 7 here).
Harris is a handsome corporate celebrity. A writer for the US Chamber of Commerce last year even called him one of the leaders of the “Silicon Valley of Education” in Indianapolis.
The Mind Trust’s Patrick Herrel also spoke at the Chamber/Mind Trust/Teach Plus event. Besides appearing in Hoosier School Heist, Herrel is best known for being a North Carolina tennis coach and a past Teach for America leader.
Sadly, the neoliberal anti-worker and anti-public school mentality is alive and well in Indy.