Rhode Island FOIA Documents
Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) responded to the February 24, 2012, FOIA request on March 29, 2012, turning over 400 documents.
The information in the e-mails includes:
- In February 2012, Patricia Levesque, using her Foundation for Excellence in Education email address, urged state officials to introduce SendHub, a communications tool, into their state's schools. News reports indicate that Levesque's boss, Jeb Bush, was an investor in the startup by the fall of 2012.
- There is mention of a “talent bench” being organized by the FEE through consultants Townsend McNitt and Sarah Struhs. The latter has a Linkedin page which indicates she has been a consultant for the FEE since March 2012.
- An e-mail chain between RI Ed Commissioner Deborah Gist and Patricia Levesque shows Gist trying to obtain a funding grant from the Kern Foundation, which was denied because of the “political environment” in RI. Gist and Levesque seemed disappointed by this.
- An e-mail chain between Gist, Levesque and Fonda Anderson regarding an “AP project.”
- An email exchange in which the Chiefs for Change discuss who their “customers” are and what principles they believe in that best serve students, their “customers.” A Chief, Indiana’s Tony Bennett, dismisses other education policy stakeholders as not worthy of the Chiefs' focus