Chalkbeat reporter Matt Barnum reports the formation of a new group to push additional charters and the “portfolio model” in cities.

The City Fund is funded largely by the rightwing John and Laura Arnold Foundation; Arnold is the former Enron trader who bailed out before the collapse of Enron.

The group was announced Tuesday morning on the blog of Neerav Kingsland, who leads education giving at The Laura and John Arnold Foundation. According to a separate presentation created by the group and viewed by Chalkbeat, the Arnold Foundation and the Hastings Fund have already given the group over $200 million. It’s unclear if the organization has raised additional funds.

Although the group is likely to start in a small number of cities, that presentation also made its ambitions clear: it aspires to eventually be in “every city in America.”

Others involved include Chris Barbic of the Arnold Foundation; Kevin Huffman, the former Tennessee education chief; David Harris, who previously led the Mind Trust, an Indianapolis-based group; and Ethan Gray, the president of the nonprofit Education Cities.

Kingsland previously ran New Schools for New Orleans, which kept the money flowing to the Recovery School District in New Orleans, where 40% of the charters are rated D or F and almost completely segregated (black).

Barbic was in charge of the failed Achievement School District in Tennessee, and Kevin Huffman (Michelle Rhee’s ex-husband) was the Commissioner of Education in Tennessee who hired Barbic. Harris is the pseudo-Democrat who is responsible for a swath of destruction in the Indianapolis School District.

What is the “portfolio” model? It is a concept that urges districts to treat their schools like a stock portfolio. Sell the losers, keep the winners.

Has it worked?

Bonafide Reformer Jay P. Greene of the University of Arkansas has written several posts arguing that the portfolio model is a failure and that it is no different from a school district (although it is privately controlled). Read here. and here. The latter post is advice written to the Arnold Foundation about why it should not invest in the portfolio model. Sad. They didn’t listen.