The Daniels Administration may now be in the rear-view mirror, but sometimes, a rear-view image allows us to see things we missed when the view was head-on.
Yesterday, more embarrassing emails emerged--this time, from the Superintendent of Public Education’s office. It seems that Mr. Bennett was perfectly willing to play games with his beloved “A-F” grading system for schools when a GOP donor’s charter school failed to make the grade. The emails disclose that the system was manipulated so that Christel Academy–a charter established by major donor Christel DeHaan–would not get the “C” grade it deserved, but would instead be awarded an A.
Bennett is frantically trying to spin the emails, but–like those issued by Daniels in the Zinn controversy–they are hard to re-interpret. Superintendent Bennett blew plenty of smoke during his tenure in office, but these messages are anything but ambiguous.
There are a number of observations one might make over these latest disclosures. At the very least, the emails indicate a willingness to overlook deficiencies of favored charter operators that the administration was unwilling to extend to public schools. They confirm a widespread belief that Bennett was a political operative charged with furthering Daniels’ ideological agenda, not an educator. (Sue Ellen Reed, Bennett’s Republican predecessor, was an educator, and Daniels forced her out of that office.)
It’s also hard to understand why either Daniels or Bennett felt they could express themselves so clearly when using official email. Did they not realize that these messages would be maintained and discoverable?
Of course, the sixty-four thousand dollar question, as we used to say, is: who is leaking these delectable morsels? How has the AP known to ask for them?
And what other disclosures await?