Skip to content

Indiana Ed Reform Ghostwriter Al Hubbard Will Not Join DeVos as US Deputy Ed Sec

June 6, 2017

US Ed sec Betsy DeVos had been vetting Indiana businessman Al Hubbard for the position of US deputy secretary of education.

  Allan Hubbard

However, even though Hubbard avidly supports DeVos and her voucher-centric ed agenda, he has decided that the price of assuming the number two USDOE spot is too steep. As Chalkbeat notes on June 05, 2017:

Indianapolis businessman and philanthropist Al Hubbard is no longer in the running to serve under Secretary Betsy DeVos at the U.S. Department of Education.

Hubbard, who was a leading contender for the No. 2 spot at the department for months, told Politico and WFYI over the weekend that he withdrew his name from consideration because his family would have to sell off investments to meet ethics requirements.

In September 2013, the International Business Journal (IBJ) carried the following article on Hubbard’s involvement behind the scenes for “crafting education policy”:

The Indiana education overhaul that launched the nations broadest school voucher program and brought sweeping changes to how teachers and schools are evaluated angered thousands of teachers and made lightning rods of then-Gov. Mitch Daniels and schools chief Tony Bennett.

But emails and other documents obtained by The Associated Press show a small group of GOP powerbrokers crafted the details of the education policy that made Indiana a conservative model over Scotch whisky at an Indianapolis steakhouse and in meetings at a private club.

Hubbard was among this group of business elites who created Indiana’s 2011 ed reform package and then passed it along to lawmakers. Of course, this passing to lawmakers prefab legislation is exactly how the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) works.

Indeed, Jeb Bush’s Florida ed reform legislation serves as an ALEC model.

Thus, is will come as no surprise that when it came to drafting their Indiana ed reform to-be legislation, Hubbard et al. sought Jeb Bush. From IBJ:

According to the emails, the group was led by Al Hubbard, a skilled fundraiser who once served as a top economic adviser to Bush, and Huston, now a state lawmaker. The group tasked Hubbard with reaching out to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for model legislation. Bush’s group has had a hand in drafting education measures in other Republican-led states including Maine.

IBJ continues by noting that Hubbard approached then-Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels with the elite group’s ed reform package. Daniels apparently bought in.

And it was Hubbard who advised avoiding the term “vouchers.” In a July 2010 email, Hubbard suggested the term, “transfer tuition.” The group finally chose the name “school choice scholarships.”

In 2011, then-Indiana ed commissioner Tony Bennett used this Hubbard et al. ed reform package to ride to market-driven ed reform fame. However, Bennett left Indiana in January 2012 for Florida– where he remained until he resigned in August 2013 for his role in alleged grade fixing for an Indiana charter school operated by Republican donor who happened to contribute directly to Bennett himself.

In 2010 and 2012, DeVos’ American Federation for Children (AFC) donated a total of $61,465 to Bennett’s election/reelection campaigns.

WFYI.com has this to add about Indiana’s “scholarship program”:

Originally intended as a small program for poor students in failing public schools, the Choice Scholarship Program grew to the largest voucher program in the country with 34,000 students taking part this year.

As NPR and WFYI reported recently, the program remains unreviewed and allows private schools to refuse enrollment to students for numerous reasons, including academic performance, behavior and special needs.

The NPR/WFYI article above notes that most Indiana voucher students have not ever attended an Indiana public school:

In 2013, Mike Pence succeeded Daniels as Indiana’s governor, and, within months, the now-vice president oversaw a dramatic expansion of the program. Lawmakers added new pathways for students to qualify, making the voucher more accessible to children who had never attended a public school. …

This shift in the program’s rules, begun by Pence in 2013, has led to a shift in student demographics as well. White voucher students are up from 46 percent that first year (2011) to 60 percent today, and the share of black students has dropped from 24 percent to 12 percent. Recipients are also increasingly suburban and middle class.

Hubbard apparently has no reservations about the increasing white-middle-classness of Indiana’s voucher program. His comments to WFYI.com on June 05, 2017:

“I am a big supporter of Betsy DeVos, and what she is trying to do, and President Trump and Vice President Pence and what they are trying to do in the whole education area,” Hubbard says.

There you have it: Hubbard wholeheartedly supports DeVos and her confirmation-tie-breaker pal, now-VP Mike Pence.

But Hubbard will not be at DeVos’ side as US deputy ed sec.

Ethics requirements apparently make the personal cost of formally selling federally-promoted school vouchers too steep for Indiana voucher legislation ghostwriter, Al Hubbard.

__________________________________________________________

Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

2 Comments
  1. Jen permalink

    Says. It. All. Of course, anyone who supports DeVos must be out of their mind.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. BREAKING: NM Ed Comm. Hannah Skandera Gives Her Two-Weeks Notice | deutsch29

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: