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Learning Curve

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    Stand for Children, a political advocacy group closely aligned with education privatization efforts, issued a report Tuesday critical of Indiana's teacher evaluation models.

Campaign watch

State Superintendent Tony Bennett has picked up another hedge-fund manager as a campaign supporter. A just-filed campaign finance report shows a $10,000 contribution from Paul Singer of 1 West 81st St. in New York City. (That's a lovely Central Park West view, if you're unfamiliar with NYC addresses.)

Singer, according to media reports, is the "publicity-shy" founder and CEO of Elliott Management Corp. and major GOP donor. He's also chairman of the conservative Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Bennett met with Manhattan Institute representatives in September.

Another campaign contribution just posted comes from Edward D. Easton, a Miami-based real estate official who was part of Jeb Bush's campaign finance team. Easton donated $1,000 to Bennett's re-election effort.

Bennett's largest gift this week – $15,000 – comes from the Fort Wayne-based Northeast Indiana Political Action Committee for Better Government. The PAC's largest contributor is Richard Freeland, owner of the Pizza Hut franchises in northeast Indiana.

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