The Edythe and Eli Broad Foundation now owns complete control of the schoolsof the District of Columbia.
With the appointment of Lewis Ferebee, former superintendent of Indianapolis, where he collaborated with the Mind Trust to expand privatization, D.C. is now a Broadie district.
“The top three educational leaders in the District of Columbia all have one thing in common: they’ve all studied under a wealthy philanthropist’s educational leadership program that promotes a business perspective in the management of public schools and the use of charters.
“The D.C. state superintendent Hanseul Kang, the deputy mayor of education Paul Kihn, and acting schools chancellor Lewis Ferebee have each been through training at the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems, which houses both the Broad Academy and the Broad Residency in Urban Education.
“Those who support the training program say it offers a unique corporate-like training experience for school leaders and helps them form lasting friendships. Critics of the program say the teachings encourage school leaders to undermine democratic control of public education by making top-down reforms and promoting charter schools.
“There have been hundreds of school leaders that have gone through Broad training, including former DCPS chancellor Antwan Wilson. Kaya Henderson was also named a superintendent in residence at The Broad Center in 2017. But, if Ferebee is confirmed, this will be the first time all of D.C. Public Schools’ top public education leaders will be Broad scholars.”
Michelle Rhee started the Corporate Reform takeover of D.C. in 2007, imposing a harsh evaluation system that led to high turnover of teachers and principals. She was not a Broadie, however; she came out of Teach for America. But after she became a superstar, she joined the board ofthe unaccredited Broad Superintendents’ Academy.
Since 2007, the district has experienced major cheating scandals and, recently, a graduation rate scandal that cast doubt on many of the claims of success.
Despite it’s “reform” leadership, D.C. continues to havethe biggest achievement gaps of any district in the nation, about double the size of the black-white, Hispanic-white gaps in other urban districts.
There is something strangely satisfying about knowing that disciples of Eli Broad have taken complete control of D.C. They will have no one else to blame if they don’t turn the District into one of the nation’s top-performing districts, as Rhee long ago promised.