From Northwest Indiana Times reporter Carmen McCollum:
Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott, who founded the Hammond Academy of Science and Technology, a charter school in Hammond that received an F last year, was livid over the report.
McDermott, a Democrat, wrote on his Facebook page, “Maybe if I voted Republican, HAST’s grade would have been higher. Maybe if I had donated $130,000 to the Republicans, HAST’s grade would have been higher.”
McDermott said Bennett ought to be investigated, and noted Lake County Democrats go to prison for “much less” than this.
McDermott said HAST went through an ordeal last year in which the state didn’t get all of its scores timely. McDermott said they appealed to the state and asked if they would consider all the material, but IDOE refused.
“They gave us an incomplete in many areas and it caused the school to drop from a C to an F,” McDermott said. “We are comparable to schools who score B’s and C’s. We dropped the fight. We took the F because it was futile. Now, we read this report that someone donated $130,000 to Tony Bennett, and their grade was raised. They gave an F to a school that didn’t deserve it. I think this is criminal.”