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RE: [nyceducationnews] Wow! big tony Bennett scandal

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  • John M. Beam
    Cool. Dueling Tony Bennetts. We ought to be able to build some sort of fund raiser around that. JMB ... Cool. Dueling Tony Bennetts. We ought to be able to
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 30, 2013
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      Cool.  Dueling Tony Bennetts.  We ought to be able to build some sort of fund raiser around that.   JMB

      At 10:17 AM 7/30/2013 -0400, you wrote:
       

      The other Tony Bennett is a wonderful singer AND a great supporter of NYC public schools.

       

       

      Leonie Haimson

      Executive Director

      Class Size Matters

      124 Waverly Pl.

      New York, NY 10011

      212-674-7320

      leonie@...

      www.classsizematters.org

      http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com

       

      Follow me on twitter @leoniehaimson

       

      Make a tax-deductible contribution to Class Size Matters now!

       

      Subscribe to Class Size Matters newsletter at  http://shar.es/wNbXk

      Subscribe to NYC education list by emailing nyceducationnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

       

      From: nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com [ mailto:nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of RichardEdBarr@...
      Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 8:13 PM
      To: nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [nyceducationnews] Wow! big tony Bennett scandal

       

      I always thought he was overrated as a singer as well.

       

      In a message dated 7/29/2013 4:13:02 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, leonie@... writes:
       

      Emails gotten by the AP reveal that Tony Bennett when IN schools chief raised the grade of the charter school run by the top GOP Donor; Bennett is a favorite of Jeb Bush and the Corp reform crowd and is currently head of the Florida schools.

      http://shar.es/kUdCo

      Cronyism at work


      Tony Bennett, Former Indiana School Superintendent, Changed Top GOP Donor's School's Grade




      By TOM LoBIANCO 07/29/13 03:09 PM ET EDT AP

      http://plus.google.com/share?url=http://www.huffingtonpost.c om

      tony bennett indiana
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      Charter Schools, Tony Bennett, Tony Bennett Indiana, Charter Schools Indiana, Christel Dehaan, Jeb Bush, Politics News
      INDIANAPOLIS -- Former Indiana and current Florida schools chief Tony Bennett built his national star by promising to hold "failing" schools accountable. But when it appeared an Indianapolis charter school run by a prominent Republican donor might receive a poor grade, Bennett's education team frantically overhauled his signature "A-F" school grading system to improve the school's marks.

      Ema ils obtained by The Associated Press show Bennett and his staff scrambled last fall to ensure influential donor Christel DeHaan's school received an "A," despite poor test scores in algebra that initially earned it a "C."
      "They need to understand that anything less than an A for Christel House compromises all of our accountability work," Bennett wrote in a Sept. 12 email to then-chief of staff Heather Neal, who is now Gov. Mike Pence's chief lobbyist.
      The emails, which also show Bennett discussed with staff the legality of changing just DeHaan's grade, raise unsettling questions about the validity of a grading system that has broad implications. Indiana uses the A-F grades to determine which schools get taken over by the state and whether students seeking state-funded vouchers to attend private school need to first spend a year in public school. They also help determine how much state funding schools receive.
      A low grade also can detract from a neighborhood and drive homebuyers elsewhere.

      Bennett, who now is reworking Florida's grading system as that state's education commissioner, reviewed the emails Monday morning and denied that DeHaan's school received special treatment. He said discovering that the charter would receive a low grade raised broader concerns with grades for other "combined" schools – those thhat included multiple grade levels – across the state.>
      "There was not a secret about this," he said. "This wasn't just to give Christel House an A. It was to make sure the system was right to make sure the system was face valid."
      However, the emails clearly show Bennett's staff was intensely focused on Christel House, whose founder has given more than $2.8 million to Republicans since 1998, including $130,000 to Bennett and thousands more to state legislative leaders.
      Other schoo ls saw their grades change, but the emails show DeHaan's charter was the catalyst for any changes.

      Bennett rocketed to prominence with the help of former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and a national network of Republican leaders and donors, such as DeHaan. Bennett is a co-founder of Bush's Chiefs for Change, a group consisting mostly of Republican state school superintendents pushing school vouchers, teacher merit pay and many other policies enacted by Bennett in Indiana.
      Though Indiana had had a school ranking system since 1999, Bennett switched to the A-F system and made it a signature item of his education agenda, raising the stakes for schools statewide.

      Bennett consistently cited Christel House as a top-performing school as he secured support for the measure from business groups and lawmakers, including House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long.
      But trouble loomed when Indiana's then-grading director, Jon Gubera, first alerted Bennett on Sept. 12 that the Christel House Academy had scored less than an A.
      "This will be a HUGE problem for us," Bennett wrote in a Sept. 12, 2012 email to Neal.

      Neal fired back a few minutes later, "Oh, crap. We cannot release until this is resolved."
      By Sept. 13, Gubera unveiled it was a 2.9, or a "C."
      A weeklong behind-the-scenes scramble ensued among Bennett, assistant superintendent Dale Chu, Gubera, Neal and other top staff at the Indiana Department of Education. They examined ways to lift Christel House from a "C" to an "A," including adjusting the presentation of color charts to make a high "B" look like an "A" and changing the grade just for Christel House.
      It's not clear from the emails exactly how Gubera changed the grading formula, but they do show DeHaan's grade jump ing twice.
      "That's like parting the Red Sea to get numbers to move that significantly," Jeff Butts, superintendent of Wayne Township schools in Indianapolis, said in an interview with The Associated Press.

      DeHaan, who opened the Christel House Academy charter school in Indianapolis in 2002 and has since opened schools in India, Mexico and South Africa, said in a statement Monday that no one from the school ever made any requests that would affect Christel House's grades.

      Current Indiana schools chief Glenda Ritz's office declined comment on the emails.
      Ritz, a Democrat, defeated Bennett in November with a grass-roots campaign driven by teachers angered by Bennett's education agenda.

      Bennett said Monday he felt no special pressure to deliver an "A" for DeHaan. Instead, he argued, if he had paid more attention to politics he would have won re-election in Indiana.
      Yet Bennett wrote to staff twice in four days, directly inquiring about DeHaan's status. Gubera broke the news after the second note that "terrible" 10th grade algebra results had "dragged down their entire school."

      Bennett called the situation "very frustrating and disappointing" in an email that day.
      "I am more than a little miffed about this," Bennett wrote. "I hope we come to the meeting today with solutions and not excuses and/or explanations for me to wiggle myself out of the repeated lies I have told over the past six months."

      Bennett said Monday that email expressed his frustration at having assured top-performing schools like DeHaan's would be recognized in the grading system, but coming away with a flawed formula that would undo his promises.
      When requested a status update Sept. 14, his staff alerted him that the new school grade, a 3.50, was painfully close to an "A." Th en-deputy chief of staff Marcie Brown wrote that the state might not be able to "legally" change the cutoff for an "A."
      "We can revise the rule," Bennett responded.
      Over the next week, his top staff worked arduously to get Christel House its "A." By Sept. 21, Christel House had jumped to a 3.75. Gubera resigned shortly afterward.
      He declined comment Monday.
      The emails don't detail what Gubera changed in the school formula or how many schools were affected. Indiana education experts consulted for this article said they weren't aware the formula had been changed.

      Leonie Haimson
      Executive Director
      Class Size Matters
      124 Waverly Pl.
      New York, NY 10011
      212-674-7320

      leonie@...

      www.classsizematters.org

      http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com
      Follow me on twitter @leoniehaimson
      Make a tax-deductible contribution to Class Size Matters now!
      Subscribe to Class Size Matters newsletter at  http://shar.es/wNbXk
      Subscribe to NYC education list by emailing nyceducationnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


    • Kari Steeves
      They need to understand that anything less than an A for Christel House compromises all of our accountability work, Bennett wrote in a Sept. 12 email... I
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 30, 2013
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        "They need to understand that anything less than an A for Christel House 
        compromises all of our accountability work," Bennett wrote in a Sept. 12 
        email... 
        I guess "accountability" should be in quotes--the big kind you make with your fingers--and as anonymous points out, sung.
        8-\


        Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:55 am (PDT) . Posted by:

        I always thought he was overrated as a singer as well.


        In a message dated 7/29/2013 4:13:02 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, 
        leonie@... writes:

        Emails gotten by the AP reveal that Tony Bennett when IN schools chief 
        raised the grade of the charter school run by the top GOP Donor; Bennett is a 
        favorite of Jeb Bush and the Corp reform crowd and is currently head of the 
        Florida schools. 
        http://shar. es/kUdCo 
        Cronyism at work 
        Tony Bennett, Former Indiana School Superintendent, Changed Top GOP 
        Donor's School's Grade 
        By TOM LoBIANCO 07/29/13 03:09 PM ET EDT 
        (http://plus. google.com/ share?url= http://www. huffingtonpost. c 
        om/2013/07/29/ tony-bennett- indiana_n_ 3672196.html&hl= en-US) 

        11 
        22 


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        INDIANAPOLIS -- Former Indiana and current Florida schools chief Tony 
        Bennett built his national star by promising to hold "failing" schools 
        accountable. But when it appeared an Indianapolis charter school run by a prominent 
        Republican donor might receive a poor grade, Bennett' s education team 
        frantically overhauled his signature "A-F" school grading system to improve the 
        school's marks. 
        Ema ils obtained by The Associated Press show Bennett and his staff 
        scrambled last fall to ensure influential donor Christel DeHaan's school received 
        an "A," despite poor test scores in algebra that initially earned it a 
        "C." 
        "They need to understand that anything less than an A for Christel House 
        compromises all of our accountability work," Bennett wrote in a Sept. 12 
        email to then-chief of staff Heather Neal, who is now Gov. Mike Pence's chief 
        lobbyist. 
        The emails, which also show Bennett discussed with staff the legality of 
        changing just DeHaan's grade, raise unsettling questions about the validity 
        of a grading system that has broad implications. Indiana uses the A-F grades 
        to determine which schools get taken over by the state and whether 
        students seeking state-funded vouchers to attend private school need to first 
        spend a year in public school. They also help determine how much state funding 
        schools receive. 
        A low grade also can detract from a neighborhood and drive homebuyers 
        elsewhere. 
        Bennett, who now is reworking Florida' s grading system as that state's 
        education commissioner, reviewed the emails Monday morning and denied that 
        DeHaan's school received special treatment. He said discovering that the 
        charter would receive a low grade raised broader concerns with grades for other 
        "combined" ; schools – those that included multiple grade levels – across 
        the state. 
        "There was not a secret about this," he said. "This wasn't just to give 
        Christel House an A. It was to make sure the system was right to make sure the 
        system was face valid." 
        However, the emails clearly show Bennett' s staff was intensely focused on 
        Christel House, whose founder has given more than $2.8 million to 
        Republicans since 1998, including $130,000 to Bennett and thousands more to state 
        legislative leaders. 
        Other schoo ls saw their grades change, but the emails show DeHaan's 
        charter was the catalyst for any changes. 
        Bennett rocketed to prominence with the help of former Indiana Gov. Mitch 
        Daniels, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and a national network of Republican 
        leaders and donors, such as DeHaan. Bennett is a co-founder of Bush's Chiefs 
        for Change, a group consisting mostly of Republican state school 
        superintendents pushing school vouchers, teacher merit pay and many other policies 
        enacted by Bennett in Indiana. 
        Though Indiana had had a school ranking system since 1999, Bennett switched 
        to the A-F system and made it a signature item of his education agenda, 
        raising the stakes for schools statewide. 
        Bennett consistently cited Christel House as a top-performing school as he 
        secured support for the measure from business groups and lawmakers, 
        including House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long. 
        But trouble loomed when Indiana' s then-grading director, Jon Gubera, first 
        alerted Bennett on Sept. 12 that the Christel House Academy had scored less 
        than an A. 
        "This will be a HUGE problem for us," Bennett wrote in a Sept. 12, 2012 
        email to Neal. 
        Neal fired back a few minutes later, "Oh, crap. We cannot release until 
        this is resolved." 
        By Sept. 13, Gubera unveiled it was a 2.9, or a "C." 
        A weeklong behind-the-scenes scramble ensued among Bennett, assistant 
        superintendent Dale Chu, Gubera, Neal and other top staff at the Indiana 
        Department of Education. They examined ways to lift Christel House from a "C" to 
        an "A," including adjusting the presentation of color charts to make a high 
        "B" look like an "A" and changing the grade just for Christel House. 
        It's not clear from the emails exactly how Gubera changed the grading 
        formula, but they do show DeHaan's grade jump ing twice. 
        "That&# 39;s like parting the Red Sea to get numbers to move that 
        significantly, " Jeff Butts, superintendent of Wayne Township schools in Indianapolis, 
        said in an interview with The Associated Press. 
        DeHaan, who opened the Christel House Academy charter school in 
        Indianapolis in 2002 and has since opened schools in India, Mexico and South Africa, 
        said in a statement Monday that no one from the school ever made any 
        requests that would affect Christel House's grades. 
        Current Indiana schools chief Glenda Ritz's office declined comment on the 
        emails. 
        Ritz, a Democrat, defeated Bennett in November with a grass-roots campaign 
        driven by teachers angered by Bennett' s education agenda. 
        Bennett said Monday he felt no special pressure to deliver an "A" for 
        DeHaan. Instead, he argued, if he had paid more attention to politics he would 
        have won re-election in Indiana. 
        Yet Bennett wrote to staff twice in four days, directly inquiring about 
        DeHaan's status. Gubera broke the news after the second note that "terrible" ; 
        10th grade algebra results had "dragged down their entire school." 
        Bennett called the situation "very frustrating and disappointing" in an 
        email that day. 
        "I am more than a little miffed about this," Bennett wrote. "I hope we come 
        to the meeting today with solutions and not excuses and/or explanations 
        for me to wiggle myself out of the repeated lies I have told over the past 
        six months." 
        Bennett said Monday that email expressed his frustration at having assured 
        top-performing schools like DeHaan's would be recognized in the grading 
        system, but coming away with a flawed formula that would undo his promises. 
        When requested a status update Sept. 14, his staff alerted him that the new 
        school grade, a 3.50, was painfully close to an "A." Th en-deputy chief of 
        staff Marcie Brown wrote that the state might not be able to "legally" 
        change the cutoff for an "A." 
        "We can revise the rule," Bennett responded. 
        Over the next week, his top staff worked arduously to get Christel House 
        its "A." By Sept. 21, Christel House had jumped to a 3.75. Gubera resigned 
        shortly afterward. 
        He declined comment Monday. 
        The emails don't detail what Gubera changed in the school formula or how 
        many schools were affected. Indiana education experts consulted for this 
        article said they weren't aware the formula had been changed. 
        Leonie Haimson 
        Executive Director 
        Class Size Matters 
        124 Waverly Pl. 
        New York, NY 10011 
        212-674-7320 
        _leonie@classsizema tters.org_ (mailto:classsizematters@ gmail.com
        _www.classsizematte rs.org_ (http://www.classsiz ematters. org/
        _http://nycpublicsch oolparents. blogspot. com_ 
        (http://nycpublicsch oolparents. blogspot. com/
        Follow me on twitter @leoniehaimson 
        Make a _tax-deductible contribution_ 
        (http://www.nycharit ies.org/donate/ c_donate. asp?CharityCode= 1757) to Class Size Matters now! 
        Subscribe to Class Size Matters newsletter at http://shar. es/wNbXk 
        Subscribe to NYC education list by emailing 
        _nyceducationnews- subscribe@ yahoogroups. com_ (mailto:nyceducationnews- subscribe@ yahoogroups. com
      • Lynne Winderbaum
        Actually a great Idea for Tony Bennett s next Duet album collaboration.But I just want to say on behalf of all of my colleagues who are now to be evaluated
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 30, 2013
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          Actually a great Idea for Tony Bennett's next "Duet" album collaboration.
          But I just want to say on behalf of all of my colleagues who are now to be evaluated by a matrix, algorithms, and unreliable test scores; despite the fact that they work so hard with their students, take on all the challenges of teaching students with special needs, inspire and are loved by their students, and have made a dedicated career of teaching: 

          "They need to understand that anything less than an A ...compromises all of our accountability work," 

          Will that fly or do we have to contribute to someone?


          To: nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com
          From: John_Beam@...
          Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 10:39:46 -0400
          Subject: RE: [nyceducationnews] Wow! big tony Bennett scandal

           
          Cool.  Dueling Tony Bennetts.  We ought to be able to build some sort of fund raiser around that.   JMB

          At 10:17 AM 7/30/2013 -0400, you wrote:

           

          The other Tony Bennett is a wonderful singer AND a great supporter of NYC public schools.

           

           

          Leonie Haimson

          Executive Director

          Class Size Matters

          124 Waverly Pl.

          New York, NY 10011

          212-674-7320

          leonie@...

          www.classsizematters.org

          http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com

           

          Follow me on twitter @leoniehaimson

           

          Make a tax-deductible contribution to Class Size Matters now!

           

          Subscribe to Class Size Matters newsletter at  http://shar.es/wNbXk

          Subscribe to NYC education list by emailing nyceducationnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

           

          From: nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com [ mailto:nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of RichardEdBarr@...
          Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 8:13 PM
          To: nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [nyceducationnews] Wow! big tony Bennett scandal

           

          I always thought he was overrated as a singer as well.

           

          In a message dated 7/29/2013 4:13:02 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, leonie@... writes:
           

          Emails gotten by the AP reveal that Tony Bennett when IN schools chief raised the grade of the charter school run by the top GOP Donor; Bennett is a favorite of Jeb Bush and the Corp reform crowd and is currently head of the Florida schools.

          http://shar.es/kUdCo

          Cronyism at work


          Tony Bennett, Former Indiana School Superintendent, Changed Top GOP Donor's School's Grade




          By TOM LoBIANCO 07/29/13 03:09 PM ET EDT AP

          http://plus.google.com/share?url=http://www.huffingtonpost.c om

          tony bennett indiana
          11
          22
          0
          4
          Get Politics Newsletters:
          Subscribe
          Follow:

          Charter Schools, Tony Bennett, Tony Bennett Indiana, Charter Schools Indiana, Christel Dehaan, Jeb Bush, Politics News
          INDIANAPOLIS -- Former Indiana and current Florida schools chief Tony Bennett built his national star by promising to hold "failing" schools accountable. But when it appeared an Indianapolis charter school run by a prominent Republican donor might receive a poor grade, Bennett's education team frantically overhauled his signature "A-F" school grading system to improve the school's marks.

          Ema ils obtained by The Associated Press show Bennett and his staff scrambled last fall to ensure influential donor Christel DeHaan's school received an "A," despite poor test scores in algebra that initially earned it a "C."
          "They need to understand that anything less than an A for Christel House compromises all of our accountability work," Bennett wrote in a Sept. 12 email to then-chief of staff Heather Neal, who is now Gov. Mike Pence's chief lobbyist.
          The emails, which also show Bennett discussed with staff the legality of changing just DeHaan's grade, raise unsettling questions about the validity of a grading system that has broad implications. Indiana uses the A-F grades to determine which schools get taken over by the state and whether students seeking state-funded vouchers to attend private school need to first spend a year in public school. They also help determine how much state funding schools receive.
          A low grade also can detract from a neighborhood and drive homebuyers elsewhere.

          Bennett, who now is reworking Florida's grading system as that state's education commissioner, reviewed the emails Monday morning and denied that DeHaan's school received special treatment. He said discovering that the charter would receive a low grade raised broader concerns with grades for other "combined" schools – those thhat included multiple grade levels – across the state.>
          "There was not a secret about this," he said. "This wasn't just to give Christel House an A. It was to make sure the system was right to make sure the system was face valid."
          However, the emails clearly show Bennett's staff was intensely focused on Christel House, whose founder has given more than $2.8 million to Republicans since 1998, including $130,000 to Bennett and thousands more to state legislative leaders.
          Other schoo ls saw their grades change, but the emails show DeHaan's charter was the catalyst for any changes.

          Bennett rocketed to prominence with the help of former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and a national network of Republican leaders and donors, such as DeHaan. Bennett is a co-founder of Bush's Chiefs for Change, a group consisting mostly of Republican state school superintendents pushing school vouchers, teacher merit pay and many other policies enacted by Bennett in Indiana.
          Though Indiana had had a school ranking system since 1999, Bennett switched to the A-F system and made it a signature item of his education agenda, raising the stakes for schools statewide.

          Bennett consistently cited Christel House as a top-performing school as he secured support for the measure from business groups and lawmakers, including House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long.
          But trouble loomed when Indiana's then-grading director, Jon Gubera, first alerted Bennett on Sept. 12 that the Christel House Academy had scored less than an A.
          "This will be a HUGE problem for us," Bennett wrote in a Sept. 12, 2012 email to Neal.

          Neal fired back a few minutes later, "Oh, crap. We cannot release until this is resolved."
          By Sept. 13, Gubera unveiled it was a 2.9, or a "C."
          A weeklong behind-the-scenes scramble ensued among Bennett, assistant superintendent Dale Chu, Gubera, Neal and other top staff at the Indiana Department of Education. They examined ways to lift Christel House from a "C" to an "A," including adjusting the presentation of color charts to make a high "B" look like an "A" and changing the grade just for Christel House.
          It's not clear from the emails exactly how Gubera changed the grading formula, but they do show DeHaan's grade jump ing twice.
          "That's like parting the Red Sea to get numbers to move that significantly," Jeff Butts, superintendent of Wayne Township schools in Indianapolis, said in an interview with The Associated Press.

          DeHaan, who opened the Christel House Academy charter school in Indianapolis in 2002 and has since opened schools in India, Mexico and South Africa, said in a statement Monday that no one from the school ever made any requests that would affect Christel House's grades.

          Current Indiana schools chief Glenda Ritz's office declined comment on the emails.
          Ritz, a Democrat, defeated Bennett in November with a grass-roots campaign driven by teachers angered by Bennett's education agenda.

          Bennett said Monday he felt no special pressure to deliver an "A" for DeHaan. Instead, he argued, if he had paid more attention to politics he would have won re-election in Indiana.
          Yet Bennett wrote to staff twice in four days, directly inquiring about DeHaan's status. Gubera broke the news after the second note that "terrible" 10th grade algebra results had "dragged down their entire school."

          Bennett called the situation "very frustrating and disappointing" in an email that day.
          "I am more than a little miffed about this," Bennett wrote. "I hope we come to the meeting today with solutions and not excuses and/or explanations for me to wiggle myself out of the repeated lies I have told over the past six months."

          Bennett said Monday that email expressed his frustration at having assured top-performing schools like DeHaan's would be recognized in the grading system, but coming away with a flawed formula that would undo his promises.
          When requested a status update Sept. 14, his staff alerted him that the new school grade, a 3.50, was painfully close to an "A." Th en-deputy chief of staff Marcie Brown wrote that the state might not be able to "legally" change the cutoff for an "A."
          "We can revise the rule," Bennett responded.
          Over the next week, his top staff worked arduously to get Christel House its "A." By Sept. 21, Christel House had jumped to a 3.75. Gubera resigned shortly afterward.
          He declined comment Monday.
          The emails don't detail what Gubera changed in the school formula or how many schools were affected. Indiana education experts consulted for this article said they weren't aware the formula had been changed.

          Leonie Haimson
          Executive Director
          Class Size Matters
          124 Waverly Pl.
          New York, NY 10011
          212-674-7320

          leonie@...

          www.classsizematters.org

          http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com
          Follow me on twitter @leoniehaimson
          Make a tax-deductible contribution to Class Size Matters now!
          Subscribe to Class Size Matters newsletter at  http://shar.es/wNbXk
          Subscribe to NYC education list by emailing nyceducationnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com



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