« 9/14: People's Forum on Public Lands Trapping at Wool Warehouse, ABQ | Main | New Mexicans No Longer Hungriest in Nation: NM Center on Law and Poverty Urges Legislature to Prevent Backsliding »

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Independent Source PAC: Is there a Hidden Agenda in Governor Martinez’s Education Agenda?

Governor Susana Martinez has added “social promotion” to the list of items she wants legislators to address in the special session on redistricting that started this past Tuesday. According to Michael Corwin, Executive Director of the new Independent Source PAC, the move is part of a nationwide agenda on the part of right wingers with questionable ethics out to make a buck on the backs of taxpayers.

“Ending social promotion sounds so harmless. It even sounds like a good thing -- if a kid isn't proficient in 3rd grade, hold them back," stated Corwin. "But, what Susana Martinez and (Education Secretary designee) Hanna Skandera haven't told you is their actions are part of a national agenda put forward by the Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE). Once you know about the people behind FEE, it becomes clear that the child's best interest is not what's at stake here,” Corwin added.

Corwin points out that the Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE) was formed and is operated by Jeb Bush, Zachariah P. Zachariah and Brian Yablonski. While you often hear about Bush -- the former governor of Florida and the public face of FEE -- it is Zachariah and Yablonski who have managed to fly below the radar. And for good reasons, as their ethical misdeeds are legendary:


  • Under investigation by the Federal Government for fraud and insider training for several years.
  • Eventually sued by the federal government for using insider information to make illegal profits and for sharing that insider information with his brother and a friend so that they could also make a bunch of money.
  • Was successfully sued in a class action lawsuit for refusing to pay mandatory overtime as required by law.
  • Was successfully sued twice by two different women for gender discrimination.
  • As a member of the Florida Board of Medicine recently voted to allow a convicted rapist just released from prison to practice medicine because the rape didn't happen during his work hours.


  • Is a Vice-president of the St. Joe's Company, which is currently under federal investigation for fraud and other illegal practices by current and former company officials dating back to 2007.
  • A Florida grand jury convened to investigate government corruption highlighted the Fish and Wildlife Commission, of which he has been a commissioner since 2004, as the poster child for corruption in Florida.

According to Corwin, FEE is funded by for-profit educational technology companies with a vested financial interest in "reform," including getting paid with our tax dollars for permission to use their proprietary training programs and curriculums on those students who will not be "socially promoted."

“It appears Hanna Skandera is FEE's champion in New Mexico -- and the phrase “ending social promotion” is their new stalking horse in the attempt to open the state’s cash register for out-of-state education pirates,” Corwin said.

“The relationships between all of these public, private and non-profit entities that Skandera, Bush, Zachariah, Yablonski and others are involved with should start popping up red flags here in New Mexico, as Martinez and Skandera appear to be offering up our children as guinea pigs for this corporate education experiment,” declared Corwin.

“Do we really want our children's future determined by such ethically challenged men as those that founded and oversee FEE? Are they really in this for the benefit of our children or the benefit of their bank accounts?” asked Corwin.

For more background Information on this issue and to see the source documents backing up the information offered by Corwin, go to the Independent Source PAC website. For further information please contact: Michael Corwin Independent Source Pac http://www.independentsourcepac.org corwinri@mac.com (505) 250-0244

September 8, 2011 at 07:27 AM in Education, Independent Source PAC, NM Legislature Redistricting 2011, Right Wing, Susana Martinez | Permalink


Modern differentiated teaching methods make holding most kids back unnecessary. This state cannot afford this stunt just to make Skandera's numbers look good.
These people were run out of Florida for their expensive meaningless antics.

Posted by: qofdisks | Sep 8, 2011 9:20:11 AM

Hanna Skandera is NOT the Education Secretary as Mr. Corwin erroneously stated. She is still only the Governor's designee. As many will recall, both sides of the legislature during its regular session had serious objections to her qualifications and she was not confirmed.

We can call her the Queen of England, but no one has to curtsey.

Posted by: Dogma | Sep 8, 2011 3:10:52 PM

That was my mistake not including the word "designee."

Posted by: barb | Sep 8, 2011 5:09:08 PM

Thanks for posting this. At the "Recall" event at the Jobs Center on Mountain Road a few weeks ago, there was a person promoting "tutoring" as a possible job. I wondered then if this is part of the "re-education" scam that Scamdera, Martinez and the rest of their Crooked Gang are promoting.

I hope our legislators, who have apparently bought this bill of goods will return the mdse. unopened. Damaged goods, all that.

Posted by: bg | Sep 9, 2011 9:41:18 AM