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Learning Curve

  • Defending the indefensible
    Indiana Inspector General David Thomas and the state ethics commission dispensed with the Tony Bennett mess as quietly as possible, but making something disappear doesn't mean it never happened or that it should have happened in the first place.
  • Death knell for teacher unions?
    A California judge's ruling in a lawsuit challenging teacher tenure has anti-union forces (including Obama's secretary of education) crowing, but their celebration could be short-lived. An appeal is almost certain in the Vergara case and teacher
  • In defense of Indiana's effective teachers
    Stand for Children, a political advocacy group closely aligned with education privatization efforts, issued a report Tuesday critical of Indiana's teacher evaluation models.

Campaign watch

These blog postings might better be entitled "Hedge-fund watch".

Yes, Indiana Superintendent Tony Bennett's latest $25,000 campaign contributor is a …. wait for it … hedge-fund manager. Anne Griffin is also married to a billionaire hedge-fund manager, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Tribune reported last month that Anne Griffin is starting a "for-profit digital media company called Reboot Illinois." It will promote "political, educational and fiscal reform in Illinois and the Midwest."

The contribution report gives Griffin's address as 800 N. Michigan Ave., placing her in the penthouse of a Gold Coast/Magnificent Mile high-rise that falls a bit outside Indiana school district boundaries.

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor for The Journal Gazette, has been an Indiana journalist since 1981. She writes frequently about education for The Journal Gazette opinion pages and here, where she looks at the business, politics and science of learning as it relates to northeast Indiana, the state and the nation. She can be reached at 260-461-8206 or by e-mail at