Eli and Edythe Broad are billionaires and venture philanthropists from Silicon Valley. The Broad Foundations, which include The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and The Broad Art Foundation, have assets of $2.4 billion.
Former BESE President, Paul Pastorek, one of the architects of the RSD and the expansion of charter schools in New Orleans, is the chair at the Broad Center for Management of Schools Systems whose mission is to “transform urban school systems.” The Broad Center recently paid for Pastorek’s expenses as a consultant to Michigan’s governor for the Education Achievement Authority. Other board members include Richard Barth and Wendy Kopp, the founders of Teach for America, and Michelle Rhee, the founder of Students First. RSD Superintendent Patrick Dobard sits on the Broad Center’s Alumni Advisory Board.
Louisiana State Superintendent John White and Dobard are both alumni of the Broad Center’s Broad Academy—the five-session program that lasts 18 months, and is a fast-track pipeline to becoming a superintendent or district leader. Guest faculty members have included Leslie Jacobs, Patrick Dobard, Sarah Usdin, Neerav Kingsland and Michael Stone (former and current executives at New Schools for New Orleans).
The Broad Foundation’s School Closure Guide directs districts on how to close schools. It explains that during any school closing, “certain stakeholders will naturally be aligned with the recommendations and others will be opposed to them. It is important to understand this context, identify key stakeholders quickly, and attempt to secure allies.” Echoing John White’s reference to the Orleans Public Education Network, the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, MICAH Group and Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, the guide shamelessly suggests: “Trusted community organizations can play a critical role in effective community engagement.”