Leonie Haimson caught this part of the state test deal:
Pearson 'disappointed' by losing NY contract but still gets paid thru June 2016 http://t.co/GRjz84YtzJ— leonie haimson (@leoniehaimson) July 10, 2015
.@allionthemove @SOTHVNY any articles re @pearson overlap Questar mention waste of overlapping contracts?— leonie haimson (@leoniehaimson) July 10, 2015
Jon Campbell reported:
Pearson, which has developed the state’s grade 3-8 tests since 2011, was passed over for a new, five-year contract by the state Education Department, which announced Thursday it would award the $44 million deal to Minneapolis-based Questar Assessment Inc.
The Questar contract still has to be approved by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The state’s current contract with Pearson runs through June 2016 after it was granted a short-term extension early this year, which pushed the contract total to $38 million. It was first signed in 2011.
So Pearson was granted a short-term extension at the beginning of the year, then NYSED signed a deal with Questar that runs concurrent with Pearson for one year.
The original contract was for $32 million.
The extension added a few million more to the deal.
NYSED paid Pearson $2,626,780 in January 2015 for the contract extension after paying them an additional $1,237,828 for "additional deliverables" in December 2014.
In total, Pearson got $6 million more than the original $32 million contract, with an additional $3,864,608 coming between December 2014 and January 2015.
Why was Pearson given an extension at the beginning of the year if the state was planning on dumping them later this year?
And why was Questar chosen?
Did anybody else bid for the contract?
Yes, but good luck finding out the details:
Four firms bid on the most recent contract, although the names of the other bidders weren't released on Thursday.
There was general relief around the state yesterday, from teachers and parents to the teachers union to reform organizations, that Pearson is out as the state test vendor.
The relief came in part from the statement by SED that teachers would be more involved in the creation of state tests under the Questar deal than they were with Pearson.
But given the lack of transparency around the Questar deal, the rumored problems with Questar itself (see here and here), and now the news that both Questar and Pearson are getting paid for the next year to make state tests, I'm not sure relief is the right emotion.
Someone at NYSED need to answer some questions:
Why was Pearson given an extension of the contract earlier this year that added $2.6 million to the contract if NYSED was planning on dumping them later in the year?
Why was Questar given a contract that starts paying out concurrent to the Pearson extension?
Who else bid on the contract and what were the figures?
Questar saw a 49.25% bump in trading yesterday.
Good for them and their stockholders.
But as for the tax payers of New York, as well as the students, parents and teachers, something smells rotten about this deal