The Mind Trust is a Trojan Horse That Is Destroying Indianapolis Public Education

by Jim Scheurich, Professor, School of Education, IUPUI

I am sure you know what a Trojan horse is.  It looks so new, so exciting, you bring it inside your city.  However, as soon as you do, out pour all the enemy soldiers who take over your town, destroying your way of life, taking your children, possibly even buying naïve people’s allegiances and turning us into its servants.  

Before I explain how the Mind Trust and its closely connected organizations, like Stand for Children, is a Trojan horse,  I will tell you a little about who I am so you can decide whether you might want to consider to what I am saying.

I am currently a professor in the IUPUI School of Education.  I have been a professor in education in three highly respected universities for nearly 24 years, during which time I mainly have done research on schools and districts that do unusually well with Black and Latino children.  I have also published that research in the most respected research journals in education and in various books used by other professors around the country to prepare future school teachers, principals, and superintendents.  

Based on my 24 years of scholarship, I feel ethically obligated to point out that the long-term goal of the Mind Trust and their financial backers, the big money individuals, corporations, and their foundations who fund them is four-fold.  

First, they want to eventually turn public education into a source of profit. They have decided that there is too much tax money being spent on education for them to ignore it as a source of profit.  Your children will be mainly seen as sources of profit, as profits are clearly more important than people.

Second, they are advocating a business model as the right model for schooling.  Unfortunately, this is simply not true. The highest scoring countries on international comparisons of academic success focus primarily on building the capacity of teachers to successfully teach the children in their classrooms.  In addition, this teacher-focused approach is supported by extensive research in this country.  Thus, their contention that the business model is the best one is not supported by extensive research.  

Third, they want to destroy teachers’ unions.  Certainly, teachers’ unions have flaws that need to be addressed, but the big money people and organizations behind the Mind Trust don’t like teachers’ unions because these unions often support people-oriented government policies that the big money people don’t like, like increasing taxes on the wealthy.

Fourth, because they are aligned with the Indianapolis elite who want to gentrify the city to attract young white professionals, they are re-segregating schools so the children of these young white professionals do not have to attend school with too many “urban” (read Black) children.  

The straight out “Amos Brown” truth is that the Mind Trust and its big money allies bought the IPS school board. They are literally buying out other naïve community people with their money.  IPS is no longer controlled by “we the people;” it is controlled by the Mind Trust and its big money allies.   

Don’t just believe me.  Do your own research.  Find out where the money came from to increase the cost of running for the school board from $5,000 to $50,000+.  Research ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and conservative foundations where many of the Mind Trust initiatives come from.  Research the agendas of the national individuals, corporations, and foundations funding the Mind Trust and its allied organizations.  Don’t be passive.  Be an active citizen, and beware Trojan horses.