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Learning Curve

  • An F for transparency
    “Look at this shiny thing over here!” – Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, Oct. 14, 2014.

Indiana's science 'expert'

I wrote a year ago about the Indiana Department of Education's awkward entanglement with Michael Klentschy, a former California school superintendent accused of defrauding the federal government. This week Klentschy pleaded guilty in federal court.

He faces 20 years in prison and $650,000 in fines, according to KYMA News 11 in Yuma, Ariz. He also must pay $325,000 in restitution to the National Science Foundation.

Klentschy's plea agreement is a good time to point out once again that state Superintendent Tony Bennett and his staff, in spite of their insistence that they know what's best for Indiana students, have offered up some questionable experts. Greater scrutiny of its turnaround school push, teacher evaluation program, online instruction initiatives and more is warranted.

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor for The Journal Gazette, has been an Indiana journalist since 1981. She writes frequently about education for The Journal Gazette opinion pages and here, where she looks at the business, politics and science of learning as it relates to northeast Indiana, the state and the nation. She can be reached at 260-461-8206 or by e-mail at