Indiana Mayor and Charter School Operator Livid Over Bennett’s Grade Change Revelations


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.”

Bennett’s emails make it clear that he leaped into action when he found out that the charter school belonging to a major donor to his campaign, DeHaan, was in danger of receiving a ‘C’.

About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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