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Billionaire Fave, Matchbook Learning, Coming to Indy

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By
Doug Martin 

UPDATE:  The Mind Trust has now posted its press unencumber on its web site.  Here is what it says about Matchbook Learning’s proposed Indy faculty: 

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  • They suggest to release a brand new faculty in Indianapolis,
    which will be the 7th prototype of a faculty turnaround style that has
    been examined and subtle in Detroit and Newark, NJ.  The proposed Ok-Eight
    Innovation constitution faculty
    would release in Fall 2018, with Swann
    as faculty chief
    . 

Along
with a number of different outdoor folks and teams, Matchbook Learning’s Sajan George
and his leader faculty officer, Amy Swann, had been picked as 2017 fellows for the
Mind Trust Innovation Schools program. IPS’ supt. Lewis Ferebee and the IPS
board helped make a choice those Mind Trust fellows, and two of them are making plans new
prime faculties (KIPP and the Purdue Polytech High School), even because the district is
last its personal prime faculties.  Mind Trust
fellows can release new constitution faculties, take over IPS faculties, and spouse with
IPS itself.  

According
to Chalkbeat Indiana’s Dylan Peers
McCoy, Matchbook Learning will
open a Ok-Eight faculty in Indy. 
But a Matchbook Learning process posting
states that “
We
desire a Principal able for the problem and alternative of a 5 yr undertaking
to turnaround a failing faculty and to do say [sic] in this kind of means that it might probably
have an effect on all the town of Indianapolis through sharing their good fortune with different
failing faculties by way of our Accelerator.”
Known
for
combined studying turnaround
fashions
and profiting from crisis
capitalism, or as Matt Tully pleasantly places it, “
operating a nonprofit that is helping flip round profoundly failing
faculties,” Sajan George is the CEO of Matchbook Learning and a billionaire
favourite of many fascinated with faculty privatization in Indiana and around the
nation.   

THE CLAN

Sajan
George visited Indianapolis previous this yr, giving the
last deal with
on the DeVos/Walton American Federation for Children convention again in March,
the place so-called personalised studying was once the buzzword, because it was once a couple of weeks
previous on the NewSchools Venture Fund Summit.
Silicon
Valley’s NewSchools Venture Fund, in reality, backs Matchbook Learning’s combined
studying faculties,.  NewSchools Venture
Fund, if you happen to bear in mind, gave Phalen Academy
$200,000 in October 2015 to lend a hand take over IPS’ Francis Scott Key
School 103.  That similar yr, NewSchools’
New Schools Fund gave Matchbook Learning
$840.000 (web page 41), including to its $250,000  funding  in Matchbook in 2011. 
Two
months after Sajan George spoke on the DeVos/Walton match, IPS’ Lewis Ferebee
joined
a panel dialogue on “ESSA opportunity” on the NewSchools Venture Fund
Summit. 

 

In
2012, when Sajan George was once awarded the NewSchools’
Growth Mindset Award, Deborah McGriff, now a spouse at NewSchools, stated George “has a
long-term view of alternate and he and his scholars steadily take into consideration
what they would like to be after they develop up.” As I point out in Hoosier School Heist, McGriff is a
former Edison Schools chief and the spouse of Howard Fuller, the
Black Alliance for Educational
Option’s founder. 
Both Edison Schools (now Edison Learning) and BAEO have performed their
section in Indiana faculty privatization.  
In
2015, when the now Mind Trust-supported Arnold Foundation gave over $16
million, the Dell Foundation $2.five million, the Walton Foundation $2.2 million,
and the Bloomberg Family Foundation $1 million (see pages
44-45) to the Charter School Growth Fund, the Charter School
Growth Fund, in its 990, said that Matchbook Learning gained $250,000 for
mortgage forgiveness implementation (
web page 19).  It is unclear
if this was once forgiveness for a mortgage from the Charter School Growth Fund or if
the cash was once used to lend a hand Matchbook repay a mortgage from in different places. 

NEXT
GEN TIME AGAIN 

Another Matchbook Learning funder is
Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC), the edtech initiative supported through
many within the company faculty motion in Indiana.  The Next Generation Learning Challenge’s $150,000
to Matchbook Learning in overdue 2012 went
to the corporate’s plans to “reinvent a center faculty in Tennessee’s Achievement
School District with its teacher-centric, combined turnaround faculty style.” 
The Next Generation Learning Challenges
initiative, ran through Educause, has gained investment
from the Gates Foundation and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, each supporting
the generation takeover of public faculties and Indiana faculty reform.
Billionaire Eli Broad’s Foundation, whose
Academy simply named Lewis Ferebee a fellow,
passed $2.four
million
to the Next Generation Learning Challenges in 2014 to dangle a
contest through which “a minimum of 4 primary towns around the United States will
compete to win budget to redesign or construct new faculties that personalize
instruction for his or her scholars.”

SWALLOWING THE BIG APPLE

On
his bio
web page, Matchbook Learning’s Sajan George boasts of operating in New
York City when it gained the 2007 Broad Foundation Prize for a turnaround
faculty gadget.  He was once paid rather
handsomely.  
The
New
York Times
notes that George was once outrageously making
$450 an hour operating because the managing operator of
Alvarez & Marsal, the
consulting company Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein employed, “with out
aggressive bidding,” for $15.Eight million to restructure the NYC faculty gadget, discovering
“cuts in regional superintendent places of work, janitorial services and products and college
development upkeep,” and to revamp the scholar busing.  George’s different process name was once “the
chancellor’s leader adviser on restructuring.” At the time, Alvarez & Marsal
specialised “in rescuing
bankrupt firms.” 
Alvarez & Marsal’s busing plan with
the town faculties’ Office of Pupil Transportation fell aside in early 2007, “leaving
shivering scholars looking ahead to buses within the chilly and hundreds of oldsters
hollering about disrupted routines,” and “the lawsuits threatened to morph
right into a renewed assault on Mr. Klein’s reliance on outdoor specialists.”  
In 2010, George and Alvarez & Marshal
marketed its faculty turnaround
plan
with companions Connections Academy, Florida Virtual Schools, and
Wireless Generation. Joel Klein went on to paintings
for Wireless Generation, after NewsCorp’s Rupert Murdoch purchased the edtech
outfit in November 2010. 

THEIR NATION

There’s
a lot more to say about Sajan George and Matchbook Learning, however I will be able to depart
that for my new book-in-progress and now let the person talk for himself, this
time to the billionaire crowd in Indy all the way through the American Federation for Children
convention:
“I
suppose the foundation
motive (in the study room) is a design downside. 
“(Students) lack personalization. I consider the customised studying
style can alternate the construction of our country.” 
The country George refers to isn’t my country, your country, or your
youngsters’s country; this is a country which belongs to the billionaires and the ones
like Sajan George who’re paid smartly to do the billionaires’ paintings. 

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