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

Thursday, June 29, 2017

IPS' Ferebee Joins Billionaire Eli Broad Academy

by Doug Martin 

A few months ago, unknown to or unreported by the Indianapolis public media, IPS supt. Lewis Ferebee joined the school reform movement in a major way, landing a fellowship at the Broad Academy founded by California billionaire Eli Broad, a former Obama supporter and close friend of the Clintons who was behind a recent  $490 million plan with other reformers to charterize Los Angeles, hoping to place half of the city’s students in charter schools. 
The Broad Academy is notorious for training CEOs to become school superintendents nationwide to dismantle school districts.  

According to a Broad Academy press release on April 12, 2017, Ferebee was chosen as a Broad Academy Fellow because since he has led the district, “IPS is more agile and more capable of responding quickly to each school’s specific needs,” now offering “innovation and autonomous schools additional flexibilities in organizing school-level resources for maximum benefit to students.”

Even though he has worked to eliminate traditional public education across the country, giving to Teach for America, Teach Plus, and hundreds of other reform groups, Eli Broad is best-known in Indiana for donating $50,000 to Tony Bennett’s campaign for state school superintendent in 2012, as I note in Hoosier School Heist. 

The Broad Foundation, in 2015, also handed the Tony Bennett and Jeb Bush-founded Chiefs for Change $150,000 (page 22).  Lewis Ferebee is now a member of Chiefs for Change. 
In 2014, the Broad Foundation gave $375,000 (page 25) to Mind Trust-spinoff CEE-Trust, as well as $3.5 million to KIPP (page 32) and $1 million to the TFA-spun Leadership for Educational Equality (page 32), a group financed by Michael Bloomberg that gave IPS board candidate Lanier Echols $11, 546 (page 2) in 2014.  

It is not known how much the Broad Foundation has given to the Mind Trust, but the Mind Trust lists it as a donor in its 2012 annual report (page 15).  The Mind Trust was more than happy to tweet its congratulations to Ferebee after the Broad announcement. 

This is more bad news for the parents, students, teachers, and community members in Indianapolis.  Lewis Ferebee is on his way, and if more money from Broad starts sneaking into Indiana, we have serious trouble. 


  1. In 2006, everybody loved The Mind Trust. Well, the usual suspects offered big money.


    1. Thanks, Susan! Yes, the Mind Trust, a few years after this Philanthropy Roundtable article was written, picked one of its Education Entrepreneur Fellows, Stephanie Saroki, from the Philanthropy Roundtable, too. She started Seton Education Partners to spread the blended learning gospel.


      Hope you are doing okay.