Malloy Administration Response Raises More Questions about “Education Reform” Contracts

31 Comments

CT Newsjunkie has posted an article entitled:  “Questions Remain about no-bid consulting contracts” in which Commissioner Pryor and his spokesman dismiss the concerns that have been raised about the quarter of a million no-bid contracts given to select firms outside of Connecticut.

I urge Wait, What? readers to take a look at the article:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archives/entry/questions_remain_about_no-bid_consulting_contracts/

The responses from the Malloy Administration raise more questions than it answers.

For example, what about the question listed below?

Who paid William Cox and DSA Capital the reported $60,000 to advise Pryor on which consultants to hire for Connecticut?

Considering Cox helped recruit, select and negotiate contracts costing CT taxpayers $250,000 or more – don’t people have a right to know who picked up Cox’s tab…and how is it remotely appropriate that some unnamed party pay for a consultant who shows up in Connecticut to advise a Connecticut appointed official – and that official – refuses to disclose who recruited and paid for that consultant.

In New Jersey, DSA Capital appears to have played a role in selecting a company called Wireless Generation for a $500,000 contract to help develop New Jersey’s failed Race to the Top application AND THEN DSA Capital ended up as a subcontractor to Wireless Generation on that very contract.

Here in Connecticut the evidence is that at least one of the two companies that Cox helped recruit here in Connecticut have already hired sub-contractors with ties to Commissioner Pryor when he worked in New Jersey.…

Thanks to good reported and a number of Freedom of Information requests we now know that the Malloy Administration has used the State Education Resource Center (SERC) – which they call a non-profit entity – but is actually a quasi-governmental agency on at least four occasions to get around Connecticut’s competitive bidding laws.

In each case a vendor was selected without any open process to determine if that individual or company was the most qualified or the most affordable.

Intentionally by-passing Connecticut open and competitive bidding laws is an outrage under any circumstance but following the Rowland debacle it is certainly a cause for an independent investigation into whether Connecticut’s taxpayers are once again being ripped off by our own elected and appointed officials.

  • Linda174

    Wireless Generation is Rupert Murdoch and Joel Klein.

    http://www.wirelessgeneration.com/

    Testing students to evaluate teachers (which will become the main purpose of the tests) is its own industry.

    NEW YORK — New York should drop a $27 million contract with Wireless Generation, a Rupert Murdoch-owned student data tracking company, in light of News Corporation’s alleged wrongdoings, teachers’ union leaders wrote in a Thursday evening letter to state officials.

    Wireless Generation, a software company that tracks student performance on tests, is an independent subsidiary of News Corporation, the parent company of the Wall Street Journal and the embattled News of the World.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/05/murdoch-wireless-generation-contract-teachers-union_n_919325.html

    • jonpelto

      Holy crap!

      Good research
      Sent from my BlackBerry please excuss typos

  • jonpelto

    Citizen Journalism at its best!  Thanks you Linda:

    “The New York Daily News Thursday reported that Wireless Generation, which News Corp. purchased 90 percent of for $360 million last fall, will be awarded a $27-million, no-bid contract by the New York state department of education to develop software to track assessment results and other student data. Because Klein was formerly New York City schools chancellor and now oversees Wireless Generation, some claim the deal reeks of a good-old-boy network, according to the Daily News report. “

  • Buygoldandprosper

    More of Dan’s “transparency” in government.
    When I see a list of 96+ employees in a state funded enterprise and no payroll numbers or bio’s (just a whole bunch of names with a brief statement about their mission and vision) ,all I smell is P-O-R-K !!
    Dan LOVES publicly funded entities that are “independent” and do not have to report to the public at large. More so when they share his VISION.
    The Teachings of Dan Malloy: A Yankee Way of Knowledge;A Separate Reality.
    I think Dan has been in his kids medicine bag for too long.

    • jonpelto

      Yup

      Sent from my BlackBerry please excuss typos

  • jonpelto

    Stay tuned supporters of real public education – we are following up some leads that will – as the saying goes – blow this story wide open!   Now it’s just a question whether we can get it into the public domain in time.  

    • Ann Trapasso

       Go, Jon, Go.  Time MUST be on (y)our side.

    • Linda174

      Well, Jon, this is how it goes…it starts with you and then others post to their blogs and supporters post comments where we learn even more.

      It will never end up in the Hartford Courant ever.

      CT Post, Ken Dixon, does a good job of investigating and supplementing. CT News Junkie will research and report as well.

      And the traditional newspapers are wondering why readership is dying? I get my news from you and CT News Junkie and so do many others.

      If we read HC it is to see what they are missing and to mock Rick Green.

      • sharewhut

         Hartford ‘Current’? Not even for the coupons and sale flyers…

        • sharewhut

          … and I wouldn’t even want to soil the bottom of a birdcage with it!

  • Yguh

    It most certainly is a ripoff! They save a few weeks with a no bid contract but it costs taxpayers significantly more money and engenders the back-scratching, palm-greasing, political subculture Connecticut has become infamous for. I wonder how many millions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted just because someone got a little impatient or didn’t feel like playing by the rules.

  • Linda174

    This isn’t entirely related, but I am to sure CT News Junkie will let me post (too personal), but I have been trying to find information on Jeff Klaus and his loyalty to charters and his bashing of public school teachers.

    You MUST read all of this, but here is a quick excerpt that helps to better understand his devoted passion to charters and Achievment First:

    When Pryor co-founded Amistad Academy, the acclaimed New Haven charter school, Klaus was its first treasurer and a board member for several years.
    He later became a co-founder of Achievement First, and married Dacia Toll, its current co-CEO and president.
    He also was a founding advisory member of ConnCAN, which he says was formed as an advocacy organization to promote quality education in all public schools.

    I will place the link on the next post…sometimes you can’t cut and paste more than one time…not sure why.

  • Linda174
  • Mbracksieck

    I can’t even wrap my head around this any more…
    Where’s Jeff Klaus to tell us it’s all about the students?

    • Linda174

      You should google his name and Contact.com and/or citizen of the year….eye opening! But you may already know this.

    • jonpelto

      Omg – that is funny!

      Sent from my BlackBerry please excuss typos

    • Linda174

      Interesting information:

      http://www.conntact.com/finance-and-economy/11091-citizen-of-the-year-jeffrey-klaus-a-helper-not-an-enabler.html

      This paragraph is essential:

      When Pryor co-founded Amistad Academy, the acclaimed New Haven charter school, Klaus was its first treasurer and a board member for several years.
      He later became a co-founder of Achievement First, and married Dacia Toll, its current co-CEO and president.
      He also was a founding advisory member of ConnCAN, which he says was formed as an advocacy organization to promote quality education in all public schools.

    • Jklaus

      It’s all about the students. What else would it be about?

  • Magister

    http://www.courant.com/news/education/hc-black-puerto-rican-caucus-0504-20120503,0,728754.story

    So, did the caucus really swallow the “reform” hook, line, and sinker, or are they getting “Pryority” treatment somehow? It is the most vulnerable school populations whom they are supposed to be looking out for the will be looted and diminished by this. If an ignoramus like me can do a bit of googling and connect the unsavory dots, why can’t they?

  • guest

    This is totally unbelievable. 

  • Linda174

    Interesting information in reference to connections:

    http://www.conntact.com/finance-and-economy/11091-citizen-of-the-year-jeffrey-klaus-a-helper-not-an-enabler.html

    This paragraph is essential:

    When Pryor co-founded Amistad Academy, the acclaimed New Haven charter school, Klaus was its first treasurer and a board member for several years.
    He later became a co-founder of Achievement First, and married Dacia Toll, its current co-CEO and president.
    He also was a founding advisory member of ConnCAN, which he says was formed as an advocacy organization to promote quality education in all public schools.

    • guest

      Well thank you, Linda!  That’s some threesome:  Jeff Klaus, Dacia Toll, and Stefan Pryor.

    • sharewhut

       Makes you wonder where all these entities are doing their banking….

  • Buygoldandprosper

    The “knowledge industry” is a pretty scary term. Have you seen what private equity and hedgies do to healthy,or unhealthy, industries?
    Look out below! 

    • jonpelto

      Surplus population?

      Sent from my BlackBerry please excuss typos

  • ConcernedTeacher

    I’m just about embarrassed to call this state home and tell people what I do for a living….

    • jonpelto

      These “leaders” are the ones who should be embarrassed!

      We should have bumper stickers made that read -

      “I’m proud to be a teacher despite our ‘leader’s’ efforts to destroy the profession”

      Sent from my BlackBerry please excuss typos

      • savage

        Yes–please don’t be embarassed to be a teacher. There are plenty of us who appreciate what you do for our children. I have two kids in public education in CT and I am so grateful for the dedication of their teachers. Their supt. is the one who doesn’t get it–who wholeheartedly supports the testing system and touts each minute improvement in the CMT scores as if they are evidence of her own excellence.

        I agree with Jon–the leaders–and the legislators who support and enable them–are the ones who should be embarassed. NOT the teachers!

  • Buygoldandprosper

    AND IN THIS CORNER…Christina Kishimoto comes out pushing for charter schools. She made $139,672 in 2008 and $154,466 in 2009. I guess she is bucking for a raise or wants to get into the not-for-profit knowledge industry for another step up in compensation.
    SAY! I thought we had a recession in 2008-08. How did she get a ten percent+ raise when the rest of the world was struggling to hang onto a job?!
    Is this SHARED SACRIFICE?

  • jonpelto

    Jeff, of course its about the students :)… Along with their parents and the people who devote their lives to teaching and the support staff and the people running the schools and the researchers who identify more effective ways to teach and the citizens who serve on PTAs and Boards of Education and the people who pay the taxes and all of society..
    I recognize the importance of rhetoric as part of the political debate and the need to set priorities…..and the students are the priority
    But if I was to say that the health care system must be exclusively designed for the patients some would cheer and you’d would call me naïve and that I failed to appreciate the complex systems that make up the modern american health care systems.
    Its that trivializing the is blocking real change.

    Its saying its the teachers and the laws that are failing when 20 miles from a failing school is a suburban school with teachers educated in the same way and laws that are the same but outcomes the define that school as an extraordinary success.
    We all know the system needs fixing – and this so-called “education reform” movement has set back the effort because you used your resources to polarize and trivialize the debate.
    Not once – not once have I heard a “reformer” explain that you have to have to have the highest performing public schools in the same state as the lowest performing public schools to have the largest gap.
    So if we have the highest performing public schools then it can’t simply be a product of bad teacher training and a tenure system that works the same in canton as it does in Hartford.
    Why? Why do the reformers make claims that are logically and intellectually dishonest and then you get made when you lack the credibility to be a useful part of the debate.
    It is just amazing to me.

    Sent from my BlackBerry please excuss typos

  • Linda174

    You, charter management companies, test producers, test scorers……it is an industry in itself making lots of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

    Rupert Murdoch is interested in education suddenly due to his kind hearted nature?