Led by the privatization-mad Mind Trust, Indianapolis is bringing in Sajan George to take over a low-performing school. Sajan George is not an educator. His schools in Detroit and Newark failed. So of course, Indianapolis must hire this proven failure.

Saman George is a management consultant who had a top job with Alvarez & Marsal as they pillaged their way through New Orleans, St. Louis, and New York City, collecting huge fees ($500 an hour) to introduce business practices into education. In St. Louis, A&M installed the retired CEO of Brooks Brothers clothing store as superintendent. $5 Million later, they left town, and the struggling district lost its accreditation (it just now won it back).

In New York City, Sajan George led the A&M effort to revise the city’s complex bus schedule. The plan was rolled out on the coldest day of the year, and thousands of children were stranded by poor planning. A&M collected $15 million in a no-bid contract from Joel Klein for that failure.

Recently Sajan George has re-emerged as a “turnaround specialist,” although he failed in both Detroit and Newark. Chalkbeat tells the story here. 

“When it comes to turning around troubled schools, Matchbook Learning has a troubled history — two schools it took over were closed soon after. But Sajan George, founder of the management group, thinks Indianapolis is his chance to succeed.

“Indianapolis Public Schools leaders have recommended Matchbook as a partner to restart School 63, a school with chronically low test scores. The nonprofit operator has been through layers of vetting from the district and its partners. But the network’s past troubles raise significant questions about whether it is likely to succeed in Indianapolis and highlight the limited pool of partners with the interest and experience in restarting failing schools.”

Mercedes Schneider carefully examined the dismal record of Sajan George and A&M here:


Reformers are never deterred by failure. If at first you fail, try again. If at second time you fail, try again. Never learn from experience. Failure apparently is just another path to profit.

Indianapolis is off to a bad start in their zeal to wipe out public schools.