"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Take Action Now Against Mike Pence's Public Education Power Grab

By Doug Martin
UPDATE:  Fellow Schools Matter blogger Douglas Storm spoke with Vic Smith, Phil Harris, and Gary Crow (IU School of Ed) last night on his radio show.  You can now listen to the podcast at WFHB. 

Just what exactly is the recently announced ‘Center for Education and Career Innovation’ created by Indiana Governor Mike Pence? It is a power grab from the governor and state board of education leader Dan Elsener.  It must be stopped. It is undemocratic and it seeks to take power from Glenda Ritz, the supt. of public ed. who was elected by Indiana voters. Essentially, it sets up a shadow Department of Education for Indiana, so Pence, Elsener, and their wealthy cronies can run the public schools.
 Vic Smith, observing the state of affairs at the statehouse, writes: 
The Governor has created a new bureaucracy to make the State Board independent of State Superintendent Ritz.  This has never been done before in the history of the State Board of Education.
 Past governors have imposed their will by influencing the votes of their appointees on the State Board.  That approach was not sufficient for Gov. Pence.  He now has a new bureaucracy to run things that for years have been run by the State Superintendent. 
As I’ve mentioned before, the corporate-theocratic assault on the public schools in Indiana were not be halted just because we have elected a public school-friendly supt. of public ed. If Hoosiers want to slow down the attacks of the corporate-theocratic-government school movement against public education in Indiana, we must take action.  Pence's new Center for Education and Career Innovation should be the first target.

Members of the media need to hear from teachers, professors, parents, students, community leaders, and everyday citizens that the quest to privatize our schools must end now and Pence's power grab needs stopped. 

Find below links to newspaper and TV stations in Indiana and take action: write  a letter to the editor, pass this information on to a teacher, bring it up at a local community or church meeting.  Hoosiers must become aware of what is going on in the Pence/Elsener anti-democratic regime concerning our children’s schools. 
Info on Pence’s new education agency:
More on Pence and Dan Elsener from Doug Martin:
Media Email Database

A database of Indiana newspaper contact information can be found here.  Simply find the paper you want to contact and click on the (A) next to its name.  This will take you to the paper’s contact form or email addresses to members of the editorial board or publishers.
You can find TV station contact information here, and a radio list at this link.

Here are a few selected to target.

1. Bloomington Herald-Times

Bob Zaltsberg:
Editor, rzaltsberg@heraldt.com

2. Boots’ Newspapers: The Paper of Montgomery County and the Noblesville Times

These two papers are co-owned by Indiana Republican Senator Phil Boots and must be extensively targeted.  Both papers are unavailable online without a subscription, but the editor, Tim Timmons, can be contacted at The Paper of Montgomery County at ttimmons@thepaper24-7.com. At the Noblesville Times, you can email him at ttimmons@thetimes24-7.com or use their contact email, which is news@thetimes24-7.com.

3. Courier Press (Evansville)

This paper had a fluff piece concerning the Indiana Republican legislators and ALEC and often quotes from groups like School Choice Indiana.
Eric Bradner (statehouse chief reporter): http://www.courierpress.com/staff/eric-bradner/contact/
Mizell Stewart III (Editor): StewartM@Courierpress.com

4. Emmis Communications

J. Scott Enright, who is the secretary of the corporate school reform group, the Friedman Foundation, also is vice president at Emmis Communications, the mega-media outfit with radio, digital, and publishing outlets in Los Angeles, St. Louis, New York, Austin, and Bulgaria. Emmis received $118,750 last year from Friedman to “educate the public” on school vouchers. In fact, Emmis did the Why Not Indiana? ads which appeared on-line and in newspapers across Indiana.

In Indianapolis, Emmis owns ESPN 1070 the Fan, Country 97.1 Hank-FM, WIBC 93.1 FM, Soft Rock B105.7, each with a market revenue of $75 million. Their Terre Haute stations include Hi-99 Radio and 105,5 the River., each worth revenue of $7.1 million. Emmis also operates Network Indiana, which is a state network with revenue of $1.5 million which feeds news programming to stations across Indiana. In Indiana, the company also owns the 45,000 circulating Indianapolis Monthly.

You can contact Emmis at IR@emmis.com

5. Indy Star 

President and Publisher: karen.crotchfelt@indystar.com
Matthew Tully: matthew.tully@indystar.com (falls over backwards to support Bennett and others)
Scott Elliott: scott.elliott@indystar.com
Russ Pulliam: russell.pulliam@indystar.com

6. Inside Indiana Business

A multimedia outfit, IIB has been in love with the Mind Trust and other corporate school reformers from the get-go and main TV star Gary Dick has interviewed and praised several corporate school reformers.  He can be reached at http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/gi_contact_us.asp.

7. News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne)

This paper is NOT the Journal Gazette, which does outstanding work calling out the corporate school reformers.

Mike Christman: Publisher:  mchristman@fortwayne.com
Elbert Starks III: estarks@news-sentinel.com
Leo Morris: Editorial Page Editor: lmorris@news-sentinel.com

8. NPR/State Impact Indiana

Ben Skirvin: bskirvin@imail.iu.edu
Kyle Stokes: kdstokes@indiana.edu

9. Post-Tribune (Merrillville)

Paulette Haddix: Executive Editor: phaddix@post-trib.com
Rich James: Editorial Page Editor: rjames@post-trib.com

10. Wane TV

A member of the LIN Media Corporation, Channel 15 Fort Wayne, WANE refuses to point out conflicts of interest in people like Jamie Garwood who appears on their channel.
Contact Form Page: http://www.wane.com/subindex/About_Us/Contact_Us
Reporter Megan Reust: megan.reust@wane.com
LIN Media: http://www.linmedia.com/contact-us/B




  1. What is happening in Indiana in terms of the Governor's power grab over publicly elected officials is a precursor of things to come. It must be be defeated, and Indiana citizens have the power to do it, as you have so ably pointed out.

  2. Candidate Mike Pence was for smaller, leaner government.

    But GOVERNOR Mike Pence created a duplicate Board of Education,
    a duplicative bureaucracy to usurp Dept. of Ed. authority, and new expenditures -
    all to ignore and circumvent the voters' choice of State Supt. This is a wasteful,
    expensive power grab.

    If the legislature doesn't stop this useless extravagance, then voters need to elect
    legislators who will.

  3. We can't allow this slippery slope to erode democratic representation continue. If this power grab in education is successful, then it will happen in other agencies. As a parent who chooses public schools for my children, my choice is basically being spit upon.