Who’s running your school district? If you live in a big city or urban area, chances are decisions have been influenced by someone who’s been groomed with a specific ideology of education policy. In 2002 the Broad Foundation, one of the largest and most influential philanthropies dedicated to school reform, established the Broad Superintendents Academy, a ten-month program to provide corporate-level management and skills development to folks they hoped would go on to decision makers in school districts across the country.
The Broad philosophy has become mainstream in the school reform landscape. The foundation advocates shutting down schools whose test scores have designated them as “failing;” instituting accountability mechanisms for teachers that tie their job evaluations to their students’ test scores; and advocates for more school choices outside the traditional public school through charter schools and vouchers. Former graduates from the Broad Academy have gone on to do just that in the cities they’ve arrived in, and not without a storm of controversy often following in their wake.
We rounded up a handful of big-city superintendents and school officials who’ve been groomed by the Broad Foundation.