Wednesday, October 19, 2016

WELL, WELL, WEDNESDAY - Who is Dr. Jennifer McCormick, Really?

Over the past several months Hoosier Voices correspondents have researched across the state to find out just who Dr. Jennifer McCormick really is.  We have found interesting comparisons between Tony Bennett and Dr. McCormick.  We shared a series of "He Said-She Said" memes produced by a group called Hoosiers Against Jennifer McCormick showcasing some of the similarities between the two.  The Latest of these memes just came out after McCormick stated her belief that the Superintendent of Public Instruction should be an appointed, not an elected position.

Click here to see the entire series of memes.

Guest blogger, Ben Yoder, wrote a post for us and included a letter he had penned a letter to Dr. McCormick.  We published his post back in June.  In his letter Mr. Yoder found he had many questions about her policies, her interaction with kids, and the buddies she was "rubbing elbows" with.  He concluded with one complimentary observation.  He told her, " I like those boots you wear with most of your outfits.  Classy, yet sassy. Bravo"

Click here to read the post Jennifer McCormick - Faux In Boots

Near the end of September, Jennifer McCormick finally released her education plan, which left some of us confused.  Is she just naive enough to think that after hundreds of thousands of dollars of school reform PAC contributions, her campaign donors will just change their ideological agenda, or is she just that downright deceptive to think she can lie to our faces and have us believe it?

After attempting to decipher the goals and intentions of her plan We posted a blog outlining some questions about the plan and discussed the struggles we had with the manner and location of its original "public" presentation - the headquarters of Hoosiers for Quality Education.  This drew concerns for many reasons.  We grew more concerned with her acceptance of campaign contributions from the "privatization", "school choice", and voucher expansion crowd who strongly supported Tony Bennett through his tenure 2008-2012 and his losing campaign in 2012.  These same contributors have poured large sums of money into campaigns of candidates across the state who are known to have legislative power and pull, who support the very goals of "privatization", "school choice", and voucher expansion.  This lead us to once again draw comparisons between the former Superintendent, Tony Bennett, and his protege, Jennifer McCormick.

Click to read "The McCormick Plan? - or is it  Bennett Plan 2.0

The sources of her campaign contributions brought us back to one of our posts from February 2015 where we asked, WHO ARE THESE "Hoosiers for Quality Education"?  From there we combed through campaign finance reports and found more interesting correlations.  We discovered that candidates from June 2015 to October 2016 who were receiving the majority of H4QE donations were definitely way below the money they were pouring into the McCormick campaign.  McCormick has received $60,000 from the Hoosiers for Quality Education Pack alone ($20,000 more since our most recent post went live yesterday). Their next highest recipients were Speaker of the House, Brian Bosma and Pete Miller who each received $17,500
Click here to view 3rd quarter finance report.
Looking through campaign finance reports from other former Bennett donors we were able to find that, in the past several months, McCormick won another large amount from Christel DeHaan, founder of the network of Christel House charter schools.  DeHaan, whose Christel House Academy was the school whose grade changing fiasco brought Tony Bennett down from his post in Florida, has given the McCormick campaign $125,000 others contributors with Tony Bennett ties include...

Fred Klipsch - CEO/Chairman/Founder Hoosiers for Quality Education $10,000

Betsy Wiley - Head of the Indiana Institute for Quality Education - $1,250

Kevin Brinegar - President of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce - $750

Robert Enlow - CEO of EdChoice - $1,000

Tosha Salyers - Former Bennett Staffer now at H4QE - $50.00

Dr. Jennifer McCormick wants to "distance herself" from comparisons to Tony Bennett by saying, "I am not Tony Bennett, I stand on my own proven leadership".  It's pretty interesting that Betsy Wiley said, "It's important for Jennifer to make it clear...that she is her own person."

So, while McCormick tries to portray herself as "her own person" and convince PUBLIC school supporters that she is not a "clone" of Tony Bennett, doing the math and watching her supporters one must question what they all expect to get from her if she defeats Glenda Ritz.  Jennifer McCormick can rub elbows with Brian Bosma, wear her "sassy" boots, and call Glenda Ritz a "politician", but she cannot distance herself far enough away from the Tony Bennett reformers to comfort us here at Hoosier Voices.  She came out swinging in the Superintendent's debate, but her punches fell short to those of us who truly believe in our traditional PUBLIC schools, their teachers, the students they serve, and our ELECTED Superintendent of PUBLIC Instruction.  We need a leader like Glenda Ritz who will stand up to the legislators, fight for our children, and move obstacles to accomplish PUBLIC education goals for Hoosier children.  The position IS STILL ELECTED.  1.3Million voters put Glenda Ritz in office and have watched as a Governor and GOP controlled legislature attempted to stifle her at every move.  We have been watching and waiting for four years to re-elect Glenda Ritz and give her a Governor and Legislature that will work WITH her to stop the destructive reform policies and money draining vouchers that have plagued our schools too long.  Sorry, Jennifer, but you are much closer to being a Tony Bennett clone than being anywhere near the fighter for public school children that SUPERINTENDENT Ritz has been and WILL CONTINUE to be.

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