Mercedes Schneider noted in A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education (2014), “think tanks” or “institutes have become a vehicle for writing and disseminating research—often nothing more than propaganda,” such as the Aspen Institute.
Walter Isaacson was the vice chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority after Hurricane Katrina, is the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. The Louisiana Recovery Authority supported La. Act 35 and the expansion of the Recovery School District to takeover of 107 Orleans Parish public schools.
Isaacson is a native of New Orleans, and he also sits on the board of Tulane University. Isaacson gave $6000 to Kira Orange Jones’ campaign. Reed Hastings, a board member of the Aspen-Pahara Institute, donated $5,000 to Kira Orange Jones and $2500 to Sarah Usdin’s campaign.
Sarah Usdin, Kira Orange-Jones, Jay Altman, Anthony Recasner, Dana Peterson, Karen Carter-Peterson, Ben Marcovitz, Latoya Cantrell and Caroline Roemer-Shirley are all alumni of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Richard Barth, the CEO of KIPP and the husband of Wendy Kopp, and Michael Feinberg, co-founder of KIPP, are also alumni of this program.