Monday, July 29, 2013

Bennett Emails Show Grade for Donor's Charter School Changed From C to A

The same enterprising investigative journalist who exposed Mitch Daniels emails about Howard Zinn has uncovered what might be a worse scandal involving former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett actually falsifying his patented A-F letter grading system for schools to move a Republican donor's charter school from an earned C to an A. Christel House Academy charter school is funded by Christel DeHaan, who "has given more than $2.8 million to Republicans since 1998, including $130,000 to Bennett and thousands more to state legislative leaders," according to the AP story. When Bennett learned that the school would receive a C grade, he wrote to Gov. Daniels' chief of staff, "They need to understand that anything less than an A for Christel House compromises all of our accountability work." (Think about the Alice in Wonderland logic of that statement!) Later he wrote to her, "This will be a HUGE problem for us." Finally Bennett wrote to his staff as follows:
“I am more than a little miffed about this. I hope we come to the meeting today with solutions and not excuses and/or explanations for me to wiggle myself out of the repeated lies I have told over the past six months.”
And lo, the system was somehow manipulated so that Christel House Academy got the A rating that was HUGE to Bennett. Read more from the Journal and Courier here.