Doug Martin’s Abecedary of Indiana’s Corporate Education Pirates

The Flag of Edward Teach (Blackbeard)

Below are the main groups involved in destroying Indiana public education. Many of these outfits have a national reach, as well, and their main goal is to hand our schools over to for-profit companies.  Vouchers are used as a smokescreen by many of these groups, since vouchers drain the schools of money and set them up to fail.

Below each group, you will find the people who are currently, or have been in the past, associated with these groups. When you see any of these mentioned or quoted in the press, you know they do not have the best interest of children, workers, teachers, or the public schools in mind.

The in-text links take you to articles or websites which expose the people and/or groups mentioned.

The corporate school reform movement is vast and very connected, not only here in Indiana but all across the U.S.  More names and connections will be added in the future, so visit back to see updates. If you know of any other connections, please leave comments so we can add them.  And please pass this link on to teachers, community members, and parents.  Put pressure on the media, your legislators, and union leaders to start fighting this right now. It is only going to get worse.

Also, to read daily posts from around the web concerning the corporate school reform movement in Indiana and elsewhere, visit B-Town Errant and Indiana Government Exposed.


Achieve Indiana:

     Lumina Foundation, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Mitch Daniels, Derek Redelman.

Agudath Israel:

     Jewish group associated with the State Policy Network, the right-wing organization which funds and supports the Indiana Policy Review Foundation and the Sagamore Institute.

Aiming Higher:

     Mitch Daniels,’ PAC, Brian McGrath, LaNier L. Echols.

American Diploma Project:

     Mitch Daniels, Vince Betram, Christel DeHaan, Jo Blacketor. This group is part of the business roundtable/governors reform group, Achieve, Inc.

American Family Association of Indiana:

     Micah Clark.

American Federation for Children/All Children Matter:

     Betsy DeVos of Amway, Terre Haute lawyer James Bopp Jr., and John M. Mutz from the Lumina        Foundation.    The national board of this group includes former Hoosier Kevin Chavous, Joel Greenberg, John Kirtley (two hedge fund owners), and Carrie Walton Penner from the Walmart Family.

American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC):

     Mitch Daniels, Tony Bennett, David Frizzell, Jim Buck, Jim Banks, Brian Bosma, Eric Koch, Robert W.  Behning, David Wolkins.

Annie E. Casey Foundation:

     Michael L. Eskew.  Run by former UPS officials.

Tony Bennett’s Transition Team:

     Derek Redelman, Jeff Abbott, Don Willis.

Black Alliance for Educational Options:

     Kevin Chavis, John Williams, Jackie Cissell (works for Indiana Family Services office, Daniels campaign staff). Funded by Walton Family, Bradley Foundation, and others.

Bradley Foundation:

     Mitch Daniels; funds Black Alliance for Educational Options, Bill Bennett, Charles Murray.

CELL (Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning):

      University of Indianapolis: Funded by Lilly Endowment, Knowledge Works Foundation, Lumina Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Central Indiana Corporate Partnership Foundation:

     Mark Miles.  Board of Directors include members of JP Morgan, WellPoint, Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, Lumina Foundation Eli Lilly, and a host of others.  The Mind Trust also includes members of CICPF.

Charter Schools USA:

     Jeb Bush’s friend, Jonathan Hage.

Chiefs for Change:

     Jeb Bush, Tony Bennett.

Conexus Indiana:

     Steve Dwyer, David Holt, Carol D’Amico, Mark Miles.  

Democrats for Education Reform:

      Larry Grau, Mary Ann Sullivan, former Hoosier Kevin Chavous, hedge fund operators.

Education Action Group (EAG):

     Kyle Olson; Tony Bennett appeared in their movie, Kids Aren’t Cars. This group is behind the website.

Eli Lilly and their foundations:

     Mitch Daniels, Bart Peterson, Rob Smith, John C. Lechleiter, John M. Mutz, Gordon St. Angelo, Randall Tobias, Theressa Wright, Michael L. Eskew.

Greater Educational Opportunities (GEO) Foundation:

     Kevin Teasley, Nina Rees,  IndianapolisColts’ Tom Zupancic, Rollin M. Dick.

     Operated by CELL, this website has tons of corporate school reformers on its editorial board.

Ice Miller: lobbyists for Stand for Children.

Imagine Schools:

     Dennis Bakke, Don Willis, Barry Sharp (all have ties to Daniels and/or Bennett).

Indiana Chamber of Commerce:

     Kevin Brinegar, Derek Redelman.

Indiana Charter School Board:

     Claire Fiddian-Green, Jamie Garwood, M. Karega Rausch, Scott Jenkins, William Shrewsberry, Todd Huston.

Indiana Council for Economic Education:

      Harlan Day (Purdue), Suellen Reed (former Indiana supt. of public ed).  Promotes “Play Dough Economics,” free-market propaganda for elementary school students on how to grow up and steal your kindergarten teacher’s pension.

Indiana Department of Education:

     Dale Chu, Carol D’Amico, Heather Neal.

Indiana Non-Public Education Association:

     A voucher supporting fundamentalist Christian group.

Indiana Policy Review Foundation:

     Jeff Abbott, Andrea Neal.

Indiana Public Charter School Association:

     Tina Bennett, LaNier L. Echols, Jo Blacketor, David Holt, Gwen Adell, Theressa Wright, Vicki Snyder.

Indiana State Board of Education:

     Neil Picket, Jo Blacketor, David Shane, Daniel Elsener, Vicki Snyder, Gwen Adell 

Institute for Justice:

     Angela C. Erickson.

K12, Inc.:

     Bill Bennett founded. Funder of Tony Bennett

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Kern Family Foundation:

     Ryan Olson, IU Indy’s Joshua Smith.

Lumina Foundation:

     John M. Mutz.

Marian University:

     Tina Bennett, Teach for America,  David Elsener, Charles Schlegel, Kern Family Foundation, Sagamore Institute.  This is where Jamie Garwood (Urban League) obtained her advanced degree.

Milton and Rose Friedman Foundation:

     Gordon St. Angelo, Robert Enlow, Patrick Byrne of, Emmis Media.

Mind Trust:

     Bart Peterson, David Harris, David Brooks, Jane Pauley, Claire Fiddian-Green, Anne Shane, David Shane, Andy Rotherham (TIME magazine), William Shrewsberry.

Mitch Daniels Education Roundtable:

     Christel DeHaan (owns Christel House Academy charter schools), Carol D’Amico, Steve  Dwyer, Kevin Brinegar, Amos Brown III, Tony Bennett, American Diploma Project, Business Roundtable, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Lumina Foundation, National Governors Association, Thomas Fordham Foundation.

Project Lead the Way:

     Vince Bertram, Bill Bennett, Kern Family Foundation.

Purpose Built Communities/ Strategic Capital Partners:

     Warren Buffett, Julian Robertson, Shirley Franklin, Albert Gore III, Gene Zink, Bart Peterson.

Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation:

     Claire Fiddian-Green, Central Indiana Corporate Partnership Foundation.  

Sagamore Institute:

     Ryan Streeter.

School Choice Indiana:

     Heather Neal, Luke Messer, Carol D’Amico, Fred Klipsh, John  F. Ackerman, Rollin Dick, James Dora.

Stand for Children:

     Jonah Edelman, M. Karega Rausch, Linda Erlinger, hedge fund managers.

Students First:

      Michelle Rhee (a consultant for Mitch Daniels).

Teach for America:

     Tina Bennett, Dale Chu, Patrick O’Donnell.

Teach Plus:

      Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mind Trust, Casey Patterson, Celine Coggins, Paul Reville.

Urban League:

     Jamie Garwood (see her comments on Indiana Government Exposed claiming there is no conflict of interest in the corporate school reform movement in Indiana).

Walton Family of Walmart:

     Funds Kipp Indy charter school, Indiana Public Charter School Association, Gulen Charter School in Indy.  A big national player.

Western Governors University (WGU Indiana):

     Scott Jenkins.  

Wireless Generation:

     Funded Bennett’s campaign; Rupert Murdoch, Joel Klein.

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  1. Tammy Scrivner December 19, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Many of these organizations have names that sound like they are really trying to help education. 1. Do you think they start out that way or are they started purely to profit? 2. It is very easy to see why the general public might be swayed just by their names.

    1. Doug Martin December 19, 2011 at 9:46 am

      Hi Tammy. Yes, you are right. The point of their innocent names is to deceive the public. Some like Stand for Children started out well, but were soon co-opted by rich people. Most of these, though, have had privatization of schools on their mind from the get-go. The current manifestation goes back to the late 1980s and the Business Roundtable, and even earlier under Reagan’s “Nation at Risk” report, which was an attempt to start scaring the public into believing the schools were failing.

  2. Pingback: Boycotting the Indiana Press's Corporate School Reform Agenda

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