We all know the story of the Trojan Horse when it was presented as a gift of appeasement by the Greek Army to honor the Goddess Athena at the gates of Troy after 10 years of battle. The Greek army sailed away and the large wooden horse was wheeled through the gates of Troy and an elite team of Greek soldiers emerged and seized the city.
We all learned this story in school as a lesson to be aware of gifts from newfound friends.
It is time to beware in Hamilton County elections this year. There is a Trojan horse. It is called UnifiEd.
After three decades of battling against education accountability reforms focused on outputs rather than inputs, the established resistance forces of the more liberal persuasion and others, defeated at every level locally seemed also to have retreated and thrown in the towel. It now appears they were building a Trojan horse.
Not too many years ago they retrenched and regrouped. A lofty new organization popped up on the local scene with a supposed focus on improving education in Hamilton County. Sounds laudable. A 501c3 was formed. “Grassroots” organizing began. Community meetings were held. Fundraising took place and dollars began to roll in from a variety of donors from across the political spectrum. The mantra and mission was to take control of the school board and reshape education for the benefit of children, to break down the barriers of status quo. Overthrow the establishment school board, right?
A lot of Republicans jumped on that bandwagon, thinking yeah we must make major changes to the school board in order to get things done correctly, right? And this is surely a bipartisan effort for the benefit of Hamilton County, right? It is all about the children, right?
Well, I’m not so sure.
Recently, UnifiEd released a report on its APEX project. Over the past 30 years I have read countless similar reports from all over the country. I encourage everyone to download and read it for themselves. Like so many other reports there is not one reference to actually improving education or holding teachers and schools accountable for educational success. There is a lot of talk about social engineering and creating social equity, but not one word about improved outcomes in education. Not one word.
This year, it appears that UnifiEd quietly created a Political Action Committee. Rather than raising resources to support public education as they were supposedly created to do and outlined in the APEX report, they began pouring money and other resources into political races and not just at the school board level. UnifiEd effectively defeated County Commissioner Beck and also put thousands of dollars as well as human capital behind an opponent to County Commissioner Tim Boyd, an outspoken and effective critic of UnifiEd. And those are just two examples. They also recently attacked two current and effective school board members in a political piece.
UnifiEd is nothing more than a very left leaning political organization, masquerading as a non profit education support institution, run by political operatives and community organizers who are holdovers from the Obama administration. They are intent on putting weak candidates into positions of public trust to turn on the spigots of public funding and raising taxes in the name of social equity. But not one word about actually improving education results. Not one word.
So, UnifiEd is in my opinion nothing more than the proverbial political Trojan Horse.