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Return of a Golden Oldie: Bedfellows Issue Yet Another Manifesto

Publication Date: 2006-06-08

After advising a reporter to put "Eli Broad" into a search on my site, I did the same thing. And I decided to reprise this article, from May 22, 2003. It got not a whit of reaction then. I hope people will read it now. The contest is still open.

Contest: Send in your answers. The most informative--and fun--will be posted.

The people below have signed a document, which they call a manifesto.

1) Study the names and then offer three suggestions about what nifty plan for public schools they've come up with:




2) What's their motive?

3) What other nifty project would you suggest they organize?




4) What 3 adjectives best describe this group?

Bonus Question:

5) Operating on the disreputable Six Degress of Separation theory, explain your kinship with any of these signers, i.e., Is William Bennett your step-uncle's cousin twice removed--or did you play the slots next to him?

If you'd rather explain how far you are separated--and why--that's ok too.

Signers as of May 1, 2003
(As you read the list, try to imagine what they are up to.)

Steven Adamowski, Assistant Professor, Education Leadership and Policy Studies
(former CEO, Cincinnati Public Schools), University of Missouri at St. Louis

Lamar Alexander, United States Senator

Jeanne Allen, President, The Center for Education Reform

Leslye A. Arsht, Chairman and Co-founder, StandardsWork, Inc.

William Bennett, Co-director, Empower America

Alan D. Bersin, Superintendent of Public Education, San Diego City Schools

Stacey Boyd, former President and CEO, Project Achieve

Eli Broad, Founder, Broad Foundation

Sheila Byrd, Education Policy Consultant

Thomas W. Carroll, President, Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability

Michael D. Casserly, Executive Director, Council of the Great City Schools

John Chubb, Chief Education Officer and Vice President, Edison Schools

Judy Codding, Vice-President, National Center on Education and the Economy

Barbara Davidson, Executive Director, HireStandards

Paula Dawning, Broad Fellow Graduate and Superintendent, Benton Harbor Area Schools, Michigan

Candace deRussy, Trustee , State University of New York and Member of Board of Visitors, Air Force Academy

Denis P. Doyle, Co-founder and CAO, SchoolNet, Inc.

Bill Evers, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Mike Feinberg, Co-founder, KIPP

Emily Feistritzer, President, National Center for Education Information

Chester E. Finn, Jr., President , Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Mary Lee Fitzgerald, Former Commissioner of Education, New Jersey Department of Education

Howard Fuller, Distinguished Professor of Education, Marquette University

William F. Goodling, Former Chairman, Committee on Education and the Workforce, United States House of Representatives

Jay P. Greene, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute

Peter R. Greer, Headmaster, The Montclair Kimberley Academy

Paul R. Gross, University Professor of Life Sciences, emeritus, University of Virginia

Allen Grossman, Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School

James W. Guthrie, Director, Peabody Center for Education Policy, Vanderbilt University

Scott Hamilton, President and Co-founder, KIPP

Eric Hanushek, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Frederick Hess, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

Anne Higdon, CEO and Superintendent, ISUS Trade and Technology Prep

E.D. Hirsch, Chairman, Core Knowledge Foundation

Gary Huggins, Executive Director, Education Leaders Action Council

Dan Katzir, Managing Director, Broad Foundation

Lisa Graham Keegan, CEO, Education Leaders Council

Leo Klagholz, Former Commissioner of Education, New Jersey Department of Education

Martin Kozloff, Watson Distinguished Professor of Education, University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Rita Kramer, Author, Ed School Follies: The Miseducation of America's Teachers

David Levin, Co-founder and Superintendent, KIPP

Tom Loveless, Director, Brown Center on Education Policy, Brookings Institution

Frank J. Macchiarola, President, St. Francis College and former New York City Schools Chancellor

Bruno Manno, Senior Associate for Education, Annie E. Casey Foundation

Don McAdams, President, Center for Reform of School Systems

Deborah M. McGriff, Chief Communications Officer, Edison Schools

Terry M. Moe, Professor, Political Science, Stanford University

William J. Moloney, Commissioner of Education, Colorado Department of Education

Cathy Nehf Lund , Project Director, Walton Family Foundation, Inc.

Ronald L. Ottinger, President, Board of Education, San Diego City Schools

Bill Owens, Governor of Colorado

Michael Podgursky, Professor of Economics, University of Missouri at Columbia

Andrew J. Rotherham, Director of Education Policy, Progressive Policy Institute

David Warren Saxe, Member, Pennsylvania State Board of Education

John Schilling, Chief of Staff, Education Leaders Council

Lewis C. Solmon, Former Dean, Graduate School of Education, UCLA

David Steiner, Chairman, Department of Administration, Training, and Policy Studies; School of Education, Boston University*

Richard A. Stoff, President, Ohio Business Roundtable

Suzanne Tacheny, Member, California Board of Education

Abigail Thernstrom, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute, and member of the Massachusetts Board of Education

Marc Tucker, President, National Center on Education and the Economy

Herbert J. Walberg, Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

John Walton, Walton Family Foundation, Inc.

Bradford Wilson, Executive Director, National Association of Scholars

Charles Zogby, former Secretary of Education, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania


All of the above signed the manifesto titled "Better Leaders for America's Schools," published jointly by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and The Broad Foundation.

This manifesto announces:

American public education faces a "crisis in leadership" that cannot be alleviated from traditional sources of school principals and superintendents. Its signers do not believe this crisis can be fixed by conventional strategies for preparing, certifying and employing education leaders. Instead, they urge that first-rate leaders be sought outside the education field, earn salaries on par with their peers in other professions, and gain new authority over school staffing, operations and budgets.

Translation: Make it easy for retired military and business executives to become school principals and superintendents.


The site features out-of-the box school leaders, principals who did not enter the field from conventional means. Oops! One of those featured is Joseph Olchefske, Superintendent, Seattle Public Schools, Seattle, Washington. Make that "former superintendent"; Olchefske just got the axe. Fordham's take on this:

"What appears to have happened is that Olchefske's agenda of uniformly high expectations for every child roiled the Seattle Education Association, which bided its time until news of the district's financial problems surfaced, then pounced."

Alan Bersin, a former federal prosecutor, also got the boot in San Diego but then Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him state secretary of education, so all the corporados are still happy.

John Fryer, the retired Air Force general, became superintendent in Duval County and is now the CEO of the National Institute for School Leadership (NISL), launched by the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), Marc Tucker's outfit, and funded by--are you ready--the Broad Foundation.

Please send your suggestions for what important agendas this Broad-Fordham alliance could take on next.

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