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

Friday, January 03, 2014

National Threat Alert: The Mind Trust’s CEE-Trust, George Bush, and Bill Gates

The Indianapolis-based Mind Trust plays a major part in my forthcoming book Hoosier School Heist, but many people don’t realize that the group founded by former Democratic mayor Bart Peterson and David Harris is a national leader in the school privatization movement through its CEE-Trust (Cities for Education Entrepeneurship). Loaded with Bill Gates/Joyce and Carnegie Foundation money, CEE-Trust actively works for charterization not only in Indianapolis but in Kansas City, Cleveland, Detroit, Memphis, Dallas, Denver, and New Orleans.  In fact, CEE-Trust boasts of 33 affiliates and members across the U.S.*


Joe Robertson and social justice group More2 recently exposed CEE-Trust’s secret political agenda in Kansas City, Missouri, where shady backdoor dealings, cronyism, an Edison Schools administrator, and government officials helped CEE-Trust land almost $400,000 to help privatize the  school district.

According to released emails, CEE-Trust, funded by the charter school promoting Kauffman and Hall Family foundations, connived with Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro and her operatives to get the gig, which Kansas City superintendent Steve Green rightfully calls a “conspiracy.”

Aware of a backlash over the inside deal, Nicastro even fed media talking points to Mind Trust-CEE-Trust’s Ethan Gray on how to downplay charter schools for fear that public school supporters would “try to paint" CEE-Trust “as the outsiders, funded with private money, determined to privatize all public education, yada yada.”


Besides being in bed with E3, whose Rochester, NJ, branch is now led by Rupert Murdock’s corporate buddy Joe Klein, CEE-Trust loves rightwing pseudo research groups like the Fordham Foundation, one of its main partners, which awarded former Indiana supt. of education Tony Bennett a major award a few years ago. 
The CEE-Trust/Fordham plan (besides eliminating local and democratically-elected school boards) is to breed Bill Gates-inspired for-profit blended learning schools across the country, as they discussed when the two groups met in December 2011 in Washington D.C.

In Colorado, CEE-Trust is spreading blended learning propaganda, bigtime. In a recent newsletter, the group praises how “Tony Lewis, Executive Director of the Donnell-Kay Foundation and Amy Slothower, Founder and Executive Director of Get Smart Schools this month co-published an op-ed in EdNewsColorado encouraging school leaders in the state to apply for Wave IIIa of the Next Generation Learning Challenges grant.” As I point out in my upcoming book, this is a Gates scheme to hire low-paid aides to watch kids play on school computers, so that CEOs of online schools can pocket more money. 

NCLB father George W. Bush is also involved in this CEE-Trust plot for Colorado, the former US president appearing atGet Smart Schools (GSS is an affiliate of CEE-Trust member, the Donnell-Kay Foundation) during a visit to Denver in October.” 
CEE-Trust writes that “while President Bush is ‘out of politics,’ he still has a ‘great passion about educational excellence,’ and is working with groups such as GSS to ‘set up a collaborative effort of educational entrepreneurs’ at the Bush Center at Southern Methodist University.” This “collaborative effort” means that GSS signed a contract with George W. Bush Institute's Alliance to Reform Education Leadership (which is also involved in Indiana) to churn out corporate school rules for training and evaluating school principals.


In New Orleans, the CEE-Trust  met with several other corporate school leaders to discuss furthering Milton Friedman’s death-bed wish of turning every single school in America over to rich folk (most schools in New Orleans are, indeed, privatized, at this point: see my article on the Mind Trust's lies about New Orleans here). 

CEE-Trust desires (see page 5 in PDF) to use public money from federal i3 and Race to the Top grants (see page 10) to “incubate” cities with some of the most corrupt private school corporations in the country, including Green Dot, known for first promoting the fake parent trigger bill with the Heartland Institute and ALEC.  The parent trigger bill allows corporate school leaders to send operatives into local communities and dupe parents into signing a form to turn their community schools over to for-profit companies.

For the national job, CEE-Trust wants KIPP (notorious for mental abuse to kids and teachers) and Uncommon Schools, a favorite of Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos which didn’t have to be a part of the teacher evaluation scheme in NYC, when school commissioner John King let them slide out of it. 


Yes, it’s not just the Mind Trust, folks, with celebrity spokesperson Jane Pauley onboard and mega-donors Eli Lilly.  David Harris (who makes almost $200,000 a year, as I’ve pointed out too many times in writings and on the radio) and Bart Peterson’s CEE-Trust is up to no good.  The question is, is anyone in Indianapolis or elsewhere listening?



Back in June 2012 in a very lengthy editorial in NUVO, I mentioned several other cities that CEE-Trust and Public Impact (who did the Mind Trust Opportunity Plan for Indianapolis) were threatening to invade.


  1. Thanks for this good work, Doug. Yes, people are finally starting to listen, some intently. There is real movement in a number os states, including CO and TN. And soon, no doubt, in IN

  2. Anonymous11:22 AM

    I literally just made an outline of WEB of some crazy stuff happening... and stumbled upon your website .... which further confirms my spiderweb .....