Thursday, May 10, 2012

John Sherman Visited The Project School. David Harris Didn't.

Today I am sharing a post that few would see otherwise; it currently resides on the Facebook page of The Mind Trust, a nonprofit planning to dismantle and privatize the Indianapolis public school system - they would tell you different.  

I share this - and will continue to share such posts - because mainstream will not.  In this fight to save public schools we can share the truths, educate the masses and together rise up and say NO to corporate education reform.   

At United Opt Out National we make noise - with intent - we get loud - so that someone might say - what is that noise? And why are you doing that? We respond - we are glad you asked.  Let us tell you why.

The Mind Trust has recommended the closing of The Project School in Indianapolis. The CEO, David Harris, makes the recommendation without ever stepping foot in the door of The Project School.  He bases his recommendation on standardized test scores, which do not tell us about authentic student learning - they do tell us one thing – which children are living in poverty.  Read my previous blog to learn more about David Harris and The Mind Trust.

In this post today I share the words of John Sherman, who recently did indeed visit TPS to study poetry with students in fifth and sixth grade as part of his Individual Artist Program grant from the Indiana Arts Commission. 

Here is his post:

I have just spent four amazing sessions at The Project School, working with 5th and 6th graders on poetry, as part of my Individual Artist Program grant from the Indiana Arts Commission. I am so impressed with the dedication and hard work of the school’s teachers and parents, the excitement of the students to discuss poetry and other artistic forms, and the quality of work they created as a result of our time together. There is intellectual fervor at The Project School. The young people, as well as many of their parents and faculty with whom I also interacted, were so engaged in our discussions not only of poetry, but, through the use of my posters of my poetry and photography, of many wide-ranging topics from Stonehenge to Anne Frank to African culture to the civil rights movement in this country, and I was pleased – and amazed – at how well informed the children were.

Unfortunately, intellectual fervor is lacking at the Mind Trust. “Trust” is hardly the word I would use for this organization whose goals I find suspicious, whose lack of basic knowledge of the classroom (I am a former classroom teacher in public and private schools), whose demands that  teachers be held accountable for their students’ performance – deliberately ignoring a multitude of external factors -- is a willful disregard for the truth. Who is really behind The Mind “Trust”? (Perhaps we should put “Mind” in quotes, too, as the severe lack of intellectualism and common-sense doesn’t indicate much of a “mind.”)

What is its real agenda? It has fooled a lot of people in this community – and other communities, as well – into thinking it has our children’s best interests at heart, yet even a casual review of its demands should cause every citizen to raise his/her eyebrows at the ignorance expressed by the Mind Trust’s claims and statements; more to the point, we should all be repulsed by its agenda that will provide a lot of money for the wrong people – while pretending to be so worried about the education of our children, something that is truly not a concern of this organization.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if the media would conduct investigations of the Mind Trust, and expose it, rather than give it so much uncritical attention, so we could move forward with real educational reform that lacks hidden agendas.

 Follow the money!

 John Sherman

Feel free to visit The Mind Trust Facebook page and let them know what you think. Join us. Make some noise.



  1. Thank you Peggy and John Sherman!

  2. I'm a year late, having run across this site only a moment ago. But I wanted to thank John Sherman for his accurate and convincing comments about Mind Trust. He told it like it is. And thanks to those who make this site possible. Keep up the good work!