Let us explain...

An open letter to Gladfly readers from the Thomas B. Fordham

We at
the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the Education
offer our sincerest apology to our cherished readers and
innumerable followers. We’re painfully aware that the press attention Fordham
has received this week, in consequence of the 1,000-plus leaked inter-office emails
and financial records, has cast our organization in what some might view as a
negative light. Many of you are likely surprised, confused, and possibly even
offended by what
you’ve read. This letter is meant to clear the air and set the record straight.

begin, allegations that Fordham has hawked its mission to the Gates Foundation
are, frankly, hurtful. Those budget line items, carelessly titled “selling
ourselves to the highest bidder,” refer to some extracurricular
undertaken by Fordham blogger and former staffer Liam Julian.
Gladfly readers will also note that this source of revenue was taken off the
books as of our October 2008 board meeting. (It never amounted to much scratch,

any references to making teacher-union members “drink our Kool-Aid” in no way
allude to cults, comets, or brainwashing those with differing opinions. Rather,
they referred to a serious policy forum to which we invited participants from across
the ideological and political spectrum; at said forum, we challenged all to a
few fraternity-style drinking games as a good-faith gesture. When some attendees
declined to participate in the merriment, we harassed, lightly threatened, and
mildly hazed them. But trust us, we would never attempt anything as base and
horrific as brainwashing. We just wanted them to have more fun—and to see how
right we are.

we will not be responding to any more inquiries about “the ferret incident.”
That was a personal matter between one of our staff members and his Scandinavian

the statement that Arne Duncan is a “short little dweeb without an athletic
bone in his body” should be taken light-heartedly. Fordham Staff Assistant
Chris Irvine was simply cajoling the good secretary into accepting a friendly
game of pick-up basketball. (Unless you’re too much of a weenie,
Mr. Secretary.)

for the rumors of strong-arm tactics by Fordham to swing the vote on Ohio’s
collective-bargaining legislation, they’re nothing short of ludicrous. It was
complete happenstance that Fordham’s Checker Finn met with Cleveland mob bosses in a shady alleyway behind
a bowling alley last week. Good Samaritan that he is, Finn was just offering
advice on area charter schools. Wiseguys
have kids, too
, you know.

importantly, Fordham does not believe that we as an organization have “won
education reform
”—at least not yet. That statement, erroneously attributed
to Fordham, was actually made by a staffer at AEI’s education shop during a
late-night bender involving hallucinogenic
, generously gifted to the rival organization by Finn, who acquired
them from members of the Ovimbundu tribe during a recent National Geographic
trip to rediscover the source of the River Nile.

for the $200,000 in expenses that we recorded in our books as “Education
Reform: Mission Accomplished Party”—those are just supplies that we have
purchased in advance of a party that we expect to hold in the future, probably
sometime in the next two to three years.

Mission Accomplished Party budgetDespite
the somewhat unpleasant events of this past week, dear readers, we can only
hope that your trust in and loyalty to the Education
has not been shaken, but rather stirred. Know that we are committed
to identifying the source of the leaked documents, and to suing the pants off
the guilty party or parties. We do have it on good authority that it was
probably a terrorist, maybe Chechen, or possibly a former intern (some of whom
are also terrorists). Do keep in mind that if you keep reading our leaked
memos, scrutinizing them, and emailing them to your friends and the New York Times, the
terrorists win
. We know you don’t want that, do you?


The staff of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute