I claimed before that DCPS spends an amazing amount of its money on things that are labeled as ‘contracting’, ‘educational services’, and the like.
Now, you can see for yourself the amounts awarded to the largest recipients during the time period August 2009 through October 2010. Here goes:
and BearPaw Tutors $ 84,000 2
You may notice that my cutoff point was the arbitrary amount of $50,000. If a firm received multiple payments, I added them all up. If a company received a single payment over $100,000, I put it in the list.
Some of these entries really make me wonder.
For one thing, I thought that construction and facilities management was no longer a DCPS budget item, but belonged to OSSE. So why is DCPS paying a construction firm like Whiting-Turner for ‘Construction Management Services’?
For another thing: Why is DCPS paying $3.4 million dollars to something called “Nonpublic Educational Services”, for “consulting and teacher training services”?
And what on earth are we paying Harvard University $1.2 million dollars? Is that so that the statistical wunderkind Roland Fryer can produce his fraudulent data claiming that there are a couple of subgroups of students who, occasionally, can be bribed to do the right thing?
I was also really astonished at how much money DCPS is paying for companies to tutor students under NCLB. Frankly, it sounds at first like a real racket. I bet they get $X per hour per student, and pay the actual tutor something like one-third of that. Most of the companies were ones I had never heard of. These companies stand out for earning the most money just for tutoring, as far as I can tell, based on the summaries published by DCPS:
I think that’s quite a bit of money. Is it being usefully spent? Are my suspicions justified? I don’t know, and I don’t want to make any more accusations without further investigation. Anybody know anything about how these various tutoring firms actually operate? Is it a scam, or is it useful?
Do you remember the Friends of Bedford, who were unable to run Dunbar SHS? Look at the table, and find out how much they got in just 14 months. Do you think you, yourself, might have done as good a job?