Here is where DCPS $$ went to:

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?

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Published in: on January 7, 2011 at 7:05 am  Comments (8)  
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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. It would be very informative to know how these companies interlock, and what personal and professional connections they have to Rhee and her cohort. it would no doubt magnify the scandals that are festering within these numbers.

    • I would like to know the same things.
      Know anybody who likes looking up boards of directors and that sort of thing?

  2. I the first column the total received in the number of “awards” in the second column? Or is the first column the final total, spread out over the number of awards? I am especially interested as well in the amount Harvard received. It seems like it’s just about the total amount paid out to the students, but I thought that was supposed to be grant money FROM Harvard and DCPS did not have to pay anything. What’s more, my kid was in this program and his check did come from Harvard. We joked that he can say later that he was a paid consultant for Harvard. Anyway, pretty shocking.

    • The total is just that, the total amount they received; the next number is how many “awards” they got. In some cases, they got a bunch of awards that were all around the same size, in others, they were not evenly distributed at all.
      Another weird thing is that in quite a few cases a company will apparently receive two identical payments for the exact same invoice # and purchase order #’s on the exact same day. Why, I have no idea, but it looks suspicious.

  3. And another thing: all these random people who I presume are bogus “consultants” just make me ill. The very first one I check is Blanca Flor Guillen Woods, and it appears that she works for Lodestar in CA. So, what did we get for her hefty fee? Shouldn’t it maybe have been paid to Lodestar? Is this how DCPS gets around contract review requirements?

  4. At least in New York City, the NCLB tutoring companies get something like $80 per student-hour, with tutors earning on average $17 per student-hour (max $20): http://www.dc37.net/news/pressclips/2009/pdf/Gazette_ADs_Local%20372.pdf
    (Why it’s DC37, the municipal workers union, and not the UFT, that’s on top of this is unclear to me.)

  5. I suspect that if the money were put into teacher salaries, the district could probably hire more experienced and higher qualified teachers. Or perhaps lower class size, or one of the other myriad ways we know work better in promoting student achievement.

    • I agree with you. But now the mantra is don’t pay teachers, ONLY pay contractors!!!!


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