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Could Pence's CECI memo to feds undermine Indiana's waiver request?


hendry-pence-ceci.jpgThe AP has a report out today about the surreptitious memo Governor Pence’s duplicate shadow education agency, the CECI, sent to the U.S. Department of Education regarding Indiana’s NCLB waiver application.


A national policy expert joins the rest of us in questioning the real purpose of the CECI memo. According to the AP:


Anne Hyslop, education policy analyst with the New America Foundation in Washington, said the memo just stokes concerns already raised by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who expressed dismay over Indiana's "deep dysfunction" earlier this year.


"I think this 28-page memo doesn't help the state's chances. It's really demonstrating this dysfunction that Secretary Duncan was worried about 8 months ago," Hyslop said. "If they can find a way to work together, or at least fight not so publicly, that would help smooth the way."


The report further points out that the CECI memo was done without any authorization from State Board of Education members even though the CECI reports to the board.


Earlier this week, state board member Gordon Hendry told radio host Amos Brown that he was not made aware of the CECI memo until it was made public at their most recent meeting. He then dismissed the gravity of CECI’s memo.


“I had not heard about that before the board meeting. It’s my understanding that (the memo) was specifically requested by the USDOE.”


 “I understand that there will be communications by CECI…and I’m not aware of every single phone call, email that happens.


It’s interesting to hear that Hendry is still on record telling the public that the USDOE requested feedback from the CECI even though Superintendent Ritz provided emails to Indy Star’s Eric Weddle proving otherwise. Those emails quoted USDOE staff stating they made no such request from the CECI.


Read more:  What are the motives of the Governor’s CECI?