The Ivy Coach Daily

February 10, 2022

A Conflicted College Board Employee

The Indiana Speaker of the House, until recently, was a longtime employee of The College Board (photo credit: Charles Edward).

Imagine if New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand served on the Board of Directors of Amazon as Amazon was considering setting up a second headquarters in Long Island City. Of course, that wouldn’t fly. Yet in the state known for two seminal sports movies of the ages, Hoosiers and Breaking Away, there is a sitting state speaker of the house who has had a major conflict of interest. You see, Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston who has served in the Indiana Statehouse since 2012 until recently was also employed by The College Board, the maker of the SAT and AP Exams. Enter House Bill 1134, legislation that proposes to, among other things, ban certain books in Indiana classrooms. That’s right. A College Board employee was trying to ban books.

As Arika Herron reports for Indy Star in a piece entitled “Huston leaves job at College Board as questions raised about support for CRT-inspired bill,” “In recent weeks, some political activists and education advocates had begun raising questions about Huston’s role at the College Board in light of his support of legislation that would restrict what and how Hoosier educators could teach. Huston voted in favor of House Bill 1134, which prohibits teachers from promoting certain ’divisive concepts,’ including that any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin or political affiliation is inherently superior or inferior to another and that any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish responsibility, or any other form of psychological distress on account of those same characteristics…Lauren Ganapini, executive director of the Indiana Democratic Party, called Huston a ’walking conflict-of-interest’ in a statement released after the news broke Tuesday afternoon. Democrats have vigorously opposed HB 1134. ’While him parting ways from the College Board is good for education overall, House Bill 1134 is still alive and risks putting Indiana’s teacher shortage in overdrive,’ she said. The College Board declined to answer questions about HB 1134 or provide a position on the proposal.”

We are oh so shocked that the The College Board would decline to comment on this matter. For years, the non-profit that has historically raked in over a billion dollars a year — although that could decline in the years to come with SAT testing now optional at many universities — had an insider in the Indiana House of Representatives who happened to be the Senior Vice President of Regions and Account Services (heck, the man hasn’t even updated his LinkedIn yet to express that he no longer works for The College Board while serving as Indiana Speaker of the House). And while some would argue that College Board will no longer be able to take advantage of this conflict of interest, some would argue the damage is already done. HB 1134 is a case in point.

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