Gov. Mike Pence will headline as a keynote speaker for The American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) policy summit this Friday. Pence was surely awarded the coveted speaking spot over the likes of Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Ted Cruz, who are also speaking at the organization’s annual summit, for his commitment to ALEC’s legislative goals to fabricate failure in public schools in order to create a sales opportunity for their corporate membership.
ALEC is a Washington, DC based group that is funded by corporations and the super-rich who pay $7,000 to $25,000 to be members. Its members are in turn granted access to state legislators to propose model legislation which benefits their corporate interests.
ALEC is responsible for writing model legislation in Indiana that promotes private company takeovers of public schools, school vouchers, constriction of collective bargaining and due process for teachers, teacher evaluations based on high stakes test scores and other anti-public school bills.
ALEC and its members have been so successful in passing “education reform” legislation in Indiana that they now refer to their education model bills as the “Indiana Education Reform Package.” ALEC summarizes their Indiana package as:
The Indiana Education Reform Package is inspired by their comprehensive set of K–12 education reforms adopted by the Indiana Legislature in the spring of 2011 and signed by Governor Mitch Daniels. The components in this Act have created the nation’s largest school voucher program, among other reforms.
Several members of ALEC have been successful in introducing “education reform” bills modeled by ALEC. For instance, ALEC member K12, Inc., a for-profit charter school operator, has given Indiana Republicans more than $64,000. In 2011, the Republican-led legislature passed a law that allowed K12, Inc. to open for-profit charter schools in Indiana, at taxpayer expense.
K12, Inc. now operates several charter schools in Indiana, including its signature online charter school, Hoosier Academy. Like the majority of charter schools, Hoosier Academy not only doesn’t perform as well as traditional public schools, but is a failing school. Hoosier Academy received a grade of “F” on its most recent school accountability report card.
It’s unfortunate that Governor Pence is continuing Mitch Daniels’ record of allowing ALEC and its members to set up public schools for failure in order for their corporate interests to take over and fail our students.