This article is reprinted courtesy of the author, John Perry:
Mindy Lambert came to our door one recent evening. When I answered, she thrust a 5.5 x 8.5 color glossy card in my hand, said she was running for school board, gave a quick smile and turned and left without waiting for a reply. So I did a little research...
2010-2011: County coordinator for Abigail Adams Project, an organization providing nonpartisan voter information guides on political candidates and judges
This non-partisan Voter Guide concept has been successfully tested in four general elections in Ohio and has been phenomenal in what a difference it made. One of the most compelling effectiveness examples shared by The Abigail Adams Project pertains to the Voter Guide’s effectiveness in the African-American community. In fact, The Abigail Adams Project’s Voter Guide concept was very much influenced by this anecdotal example in which African-American voters were not at all interested in party specific, partisan voter guides, especially those from the GOP, but were very much interested in non-partisan Voter Guides. In just one such interaction, two African-American women took the Voter Guides, studied it, and concluded that they could no longer vote for the incumbent political candidate, since his voting record violated many of their closely-held principles, values, and faith-based beliefs. Net, as Jefferson stated, informed voters can be trusted to vote for the right candidates.
The Radio Patriot Blog also sheds light on the group:
The Abigail Adams Project pretends to be non-partisan, but their objective is to find and support candidates who identify with the Tea Party agenda such as States' Rights and abolishing the income tax:
Another organization which professes non-partisanship while espousing Tea Party agenda is the Ohio School Boards Leadership Council
Paul Adair has this interesting perspective on OSBLC and its president, Kelly Kohls:
I have discovered that UA has its own Tea Party education organization.
Also on Mindy's website is the following:
2009-2013: Founding member and President of Constitution Week Columbus (CWC). CWC was a 501c3 organization that promoted the celebration of the U.S. Constitution and early American history with school visits, art contests, and a Constitution Day Fair in September.
The following is from the minutes of the Oct 14, 2013, UA Board of Ed mtg:
Mindy Lambert submitted a question to the Board and Superintendent Imhoff on whether the school district had a formal policy for teaching about the Constitution on Constitution Day, Sept. 17. She referred to the Omnibus Bill of 2004 which requires all schools receiving federal funding must teach about the Constitution on or near the anniversary date of the signing of the Constitution. She was told that Superintendent Imhoff would contact her outside of the meeting regarding school policy.
I believe that this evidence suggests that there is an attempt to place Tea Party candidates on the Upper Arlington School board. This type of action has precedent. The Wake County (NC) School Board (includes Raleigh) was taken over in 2009 by Tea Party candidates supported financially by the Koch Brothers, through Americans For Prosperity, and by Robert Luddy, the owner of three charter schools and seven private schools. He helped make Ron Margiotta a member of the school board. Margiotta served as chairman of the school board at the same time he was a Trustee for one of Luddy's charter schools. At the time of the Wake takeover, 94% of parents were satisfied with their children's schools. This figure has plummeted in the years since as students and schools have been subject to huge disruptions. Attendance at charters and private academies has soared as parents seek out alternatives to the chaotic public system. Luddy now has three charter schools and seven private schools, the most recent of which opened in July. He has an eighth private school under construction.
The following is excellent background regarding what happened in Wake Co:
The following change.org
petition is illustrative of the changes wrought by the new school board:
In this petition the writers note that the new Principal:
has encouraged staff, teachers, and even families to leave the school if they don’t like how things are going. She has encouraged valued long-term staff members to retire early or request transfers
It is to be expected that an organization which disparages government in almost all forms and which advocates privatization of education would work to make public education ineffective and unpopular.
ACTION: Please join me in going to the incumbent candidates websites and signing up for a yard sign, donating, or volunteer for them.