- Rebecca Lieberman (managing director of school and sector initiatives for the Charter School Center) was quoted in the Tennesseean's article about the petition. Lieberman has a nice, cushy job at the Charter Incubator. According to the 2012 990 tax filing, she made a nice salary of $102,673. (their 2013 990 isn't available, but we bet she made even more last year). Her organization hit the jackpot financially under Huffman's leadership. The CEO's salary at the Charter Incubatorincreased a whopping $73,586 in one year! (from $120,750 in 2011 to$176,336 in 2012). 2012 was obviously a boom year for their organization, because they also added a COO position for Justin Testerman with a sweet salary of $127,015. Nope, you certainly can't make that kind of salary as a public school teacher!
- Teach for America corps members, Derik Ohanian, who taught as a temporary teacher through Teach for America, was then super-launched into an internship with the White House for 4 months over the summer, and then landed a sweet job with the TN Department of Education (working under his boss, Kevin Huffman) as a "Leadership Coaching Consultant" for the past 5 months. His signature surely bought some brownie points from his boss.
- Achievement School District staffers also signed the petition, of course, like Margo Roen and Alex Little. Their jobs depend on Huffman, so it makes sense they'd sign it.
- Elissa Kim is a no-brainer signing her name since she works as Executive Vice President for Recruitment and Admissions for Teach For America. Kevin Huffman was her former co-worker at TFA. Huffman signing that big $6 million no-bid contract for Tennessee with TFA meant job security for her. Her salary is more than Kevin Huffman's at $224,000 plus benefits. Yes, it is a huge conflict of interest between her job at TFA and the fact that she is on the Metro Nashville Board of Education, but who cares when there is money to be made?
- John Eason, identified in the Tennesseean article as a “philanthropist,” is really an investor in for-profit management of charter schools (reformers really, really want for-profit charters to be legal in TN and need Huffman to make it happen). Eason co-founded Beacon Education Management which merged with another firmand now operates under another name in other states.
- The Tennesseean also writes: "Among names on the petition are several founders of publicly financed, privately operated charter schools in Nashville, including Ravi Gupta of RePublic Schools and Todd Dickson of Valor Collegiate Academy. It also includes charter philanthropists such as Townes Duncan and John Eason as well as leaders of the Tennessee Charter School Center." Quick internet searches show that Valor Collegiate Academy is opening in Nashville, with hopes to open a whole cluster of schools in Nashville. Cha-ching.
- Townes Duncan, who fought to remove power from local elected school boards and give control to an un-elected state board allowing charters even more freedom to open in communities where they are not wanted.
- Representative Mark White, devoted water boy for Governor Haslam, signed it and left a touching comment, too. There's no question of his loyalty and intentions. We hope the rumor isn't true that Mark White is on the list as a replacement for Huffman's job. White's contempt for public education and unwillingness to listen to parents & teachers would make him a horrible leader over Tennessee's public schools.
why TN's NAEP scores jumped so drastically in 2013
and why it won't happen again on the next NAEP.
"It kills me that Charter proponents have so little respect for the public's intelligence that they think they can create something like this and not have it be recognized as a charade starring the normal cast of characters. I also think its worth noting that there are current and aspiring school board members who have signed this petition. Voters need to ask themselves if people who are willing to support the divisive policies of Commissioner Huffman are really the best people to represent them."
See who is really benefiting from Huffman's reforms.