Let us explain...
An open letter to Gladfly readers from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute:
We at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the Education Gladfly offer our sincerest apology to our cherished readers and innumerable followers. We’re painfully aware that the press attention Fordham has received this week, in consequence of the 1,000-plus leaked inter-office emails and financial records, has cast our organization in what some might view as a negative light. Many of you are likely surprised, confused, and possibly even offended by what you’ve read. This letter is meant to clear the air and set the record straight.
To begin, allegations that Fordham has hawked its mission to the Gates Foundation are, frankly, hurtful. Those budget line items, carelessly titled “selling ourselves to the highest bidder,” refer to some extracurricular fundraising undertaken by Fordham blogger and former staffer Liam Julian. Gladfly readers will also note that this source of revenue was taken off the books as of our October 2008 board meeting. (It never amounted to much scratch, anyway.)
Second, any references to making teacher-union members “drink our Kool-Aid” in no way allude to cults, comets, or brainwashing those with differing opinions. Rather, they referred to a serious policy forum to which we invited participants from across the ideological and political spectrum; at said forum, we challenged all to a few fraternity-style drinking games as a good-faith gesture. When some attendees declined to participate in the merriment, we harassed, lightly threatened, and mildly hazed them. But trust us, we would never attempt anything as base and horrific as brainwashing. We just wanted them to have more fun—and to see how right we are.
Next, we will not be responding to any more inquiries about “the ferret incident.” That was a personal matter between one of our staff members and his Scandinavian neighbor.
Similarly, the statement that Arne Duncan is a “short little dweeb without an athletic bone in his body” should be taken light-heartedly. Fordham Staff Assistant Chris Irvine was simply cajoling the good secretary into accepting a friendly game of pick-up basketball. (Unless you’re too much of a weenie, Mr. Secretary.)
As for the rumors of strong-arm tactics by Fordham to swing the vote on Ohio’s collective-bargaining legislation, they’re nothing short of ludicrous. It was complete happenstance that Fordham’s Checker Finn met with Cleveland mob bosses in a shady alleyway behind a bowling alley last week. Good Samaritan that he is, Finn was just offering advice on area charter schools. Wiseguys have kids, too, you know.
Most importantly, Fordham does not believe that we as an organization have “won education reform”—at least not yet. That statement, erroneously attributed to Fordham, was actually made by a staffer at AEI’s education shop during a late-night bender involving hallucinogenic toads, generously gifted to the rival organization by Finn, who acquired them from members of the Ovimbundu tribe during a recent National Geographic trip to rediscover the source of the River Nile.
As for the $200,000 in expenses that we recorded in our books as “Education Reform: Mission Accomplished Party”—those are just supplies that we have purchased in advance of a party that we expect to hold in the future, probably sometime in the next two to three years.
Despite the somewhat unpleasant events of this past week, dear readers, we can only hope that your trust in and loyalty to the Education Gladfly has not been shaken, but rather stirred. Know that we are committed to identifying the source of the leaked documents, and to suing the pants off the guilty party or parties. We do have it on good authority that it was probably a terrorist, maybe Chechen, or possibly a former intern (some of whom are also terrorists). Do keep in mind that if you keep reading our leaked memos, scrutinizing them, and emailing them to your friends and the New York Times, the terrorists win. We know you don’t want that, do you?
The staff of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute
blog comments powered by Disqus