Ed investor lashes out at Sun-Times coverage of alleged conflicts of interest
- Chicago school board member and ed tech investor Deborah Quazzo is pushing back following a series of Chicago Sun-Times articles that called into question alleged conflicts of interest.
- The "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH" e-mail from the GSV Advisors managing partner labeled the accusations as "distractions" and called on supporters to express their views to the newspaper's chairman, CEO, and editor-in-chief, whose contact information and photos were listed.
- The first of the stories alleging a conflict of interest stated that Chicago had tripled ed tech spending on five companies Quazzo invested in since she gained a seat on the district's board in June 2013. The companies in question raked in $2.9 million.
According to Quazzo, who also co-hosts the ASU/GSV Summit, the Sun-Times stories — of which the email says there have been seven, including three on the front page, since Dec. 22 — are "unwanted publicity" and part of an effort to have her removed from the board. Still, when five companies a person invests in receive over $5 million in contracts with public and charter schools in a city they also serve on the board of education for, as EdSurge reports,it does beg the question of whether there's a conflict of interest.
Quazzo says in her email that she has worked to eliminate the perception of any potential conflict, though, citing a commitment to invest profit generated by those investments in organizations supporting the city's students. The Sun-Times' editor-in-chief, Jim Kirk, told Buzzfeed News that the email was "puzzling," noting that she didn't argue against "a single fact in the stories."
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