We have visited the travails of the Huntsville, Alabama, schools before.

This is where a Broad-trained superintendent decided that recalcitrant kids should be sent off to live in a teepee until they learned to behave.

Then we learned that he bought 22,000 laptops for the district.

And this district laid off 150 experienced teachers to save money, but has given a contract to Teach for America to bring in rookie teachers.

Now we hear from a parent about life for his child in the Huntsville schools, where change is a fact of life. .

A Broad-trained superintendent in North Carolina left Michelle Rhee’s team and was hired by a Tea Party majority of the local school board in Wake County, North Carolina that wanted to eliminate the district’s successful desegregation policy, even if it meant resegregation of the schools. That board  was ousted last fall. The superintendent has stayed on, and the choice plan now in effect seems likely to undo years of work to avoid resegregation. The schools of Wake County were lauded (before the Tea Party takeover) as a model of desegregation by Gerald Grant in his excellent book, Hope and Despair in the American City: Why There Are No Bad Schools in Raleigh.

Chris Cerf in New Jersey was trained by Broad. So was Deborah Gist in Rhode Island, John White in Louisiana, J.C. Brizard in Chicago, and John Covington in Michigan. when Philadelphia picked a new superintendent recently, the two finalists were both Broadies. And there are many more. Read about them here.

Now that the Broad Foundation “trains” so many new superintendents, doesn’t the public have  a right to know what the Broad Academy is teaching its students?

The Broad Superintendents Academy is not certified, has no state approvals, is not subject to any outside monitoring, yet it “trains” people who then take leadership roles in urban districts and in state education departments. Many were never educators.

What were they taught? What principles and values were inculcated? On what research are their lessons based? How valid is the research to which they are exposed?

Inquiring minds want to know.

If the public has a right to information about teacher performance, doesn’t the public have a right to know who is training public school superintendents and what they are taught and how valid is the information and research they are given and whether they were exposed to different points of view?

By the way, the Broad Foundation just added new members to its board of directors. Here is the new lineup:


The Honorable Joel I. Klein, Chair
CEO, Educational Division and Executive Vice President, Office of the Chairman, News Corporation
Former Chancellor, New York City Department of Education

Barry Munitz, Vice Chair
Trustee Professor, California State University, Los Angeles

Dan Katzir, Secretary/Treasurer
Senior Advisor, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation


Richard Barth
Chief Executive Officer, KIPP Foundation

Becca Bracy Knight
Executive Director, The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems

Jean-Claude Brizard
Chief Executive Officer, Chicago Public Schools

Harold Ford Jr.
Managing Director, Morgan Stanley
Former U.S. Congressman, Tennessee

Louis Gerstner, Jr.
Retired Chairman and CEO, IBM Corporation

Wendy Kopp
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Teach For America

Paul Pastorek
Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Counsel and Corporate Secretary, EADS North America
Former Superintendent of Education, State of Louisiana

Michelle Rhee
Founder and CEO, StudentsFirst
Former Chancellor, District of Columbia Public Schools

Margaret Spellings
President and Chief Executive Officer, Margaret Spellings and Company
Former U.S. Secretary of Education

Andrew L. Stern
Former President, Service Employees International Union
Ronald O. Perelman Senior Fellow, Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law and Public Policy, Columbia University

Lawrence H. Summers
Charles W. Eliot University Professor, Harvard University
President Emeritus, Harvard University

Kenneth Zeff
Chief Operating Officer, Green Dot Public Schools

Mortimer Zuckerman
Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, U.S. News & World Report
Publisher, New York Daily News