Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, July 5, 2014

77% Of The Race To The Top Award Money In NYC Went To Pay For Consultants, Central Office Work, And Support Staff

Remember when they told us we had to win Race to the Top because that money was so desperately needed for the kids?

Yeah, turns out that was NOT what they planned on spending the RttT cash on:

Less than a quarter of the $107 million that the school system received in federal Race to The Top funds last year was sent directly to school principals.

The decision on how to spend most of the money — $83 million — was made by the central Department of Education, which channeled the federal funds to support staff, consultants and fringe benefits, according to a study by the Independent Budget Office.

This isn't a surprise to those who were paying attention to what was happening around the RttT reforms - they were NEVER supposed to help children or teachers.

Rather, RttT was always about the consultants, the accountability measures and data tracking programs - in short, a lot of the stuff the NYCDOE spent the RttT cash on.

Obama administration hacks and RttT supporters say that stuff DOES help children and teachers, but those of us working in schools and parents with children in the schools know better.

RttT brought CCSS, the Endless Testing regime, APPR teacher evaluations that mandate so many extra tests so that the scores can be used to fire teachers, and the data tracking programs that were meant to account for all this stuff.

If the politicians in charge really wanted to help children and teachers in schools, they would have used the money to lower class sizes, build new facilities, get the kids out of the mold-infested trailers, etc.

But education reform isn't about helping children or teachers.

It's about making it look like they're trying to help children and teachers while really spending billions on the pet projects run by their friends and cronies.

24 comments:

  1. I am not sure why this is a surprise. Written into the Race to the Top requirements were that the NYS had to spend its $700 million on data systems and consultants.

    I remember all the breathless, dishonest commentary and the editorials. We need the 700 million for the kids. All the while, anyone who bothered to read the RFP and/or NYS's application knew that money was never going to show up in the classroom.

    That failure to call that fact out, is what upsets me about the UFT. They had/have the power of the veto. Yet they continue to co-sign things like Race to the Top. Then later the UFT leadership whines about the consequences of what they signed.

    Either the leadership can't read/comprehend or they are disingenuous from the jump.

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    1. It's not a surprise - I've pointed out long before NY "won" the RttT contest that the money would be spent on bullshit and ultimately what it would take for the state to "win" the contest would cost a lot more than the state would actually "win" overall.

      And that's exactly what happened.

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  2. NEA voted for Duncan to step down. We should all be pushing for Obama to step down, for myriad reasons. The American working population has been hoodwinked and taken for a long and destructive ride. RTTT is just a piece of an over reaching and complex puzzle to bring us back to feudalism.

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    Replies
    1. Van Roekel should have stepped down a long time ago. Den Den clutching his pearls at the bad behavior of someone like Duncan is simply disingenuous at best.

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    2. Exactly right - the leaders of the unions are so full of shit. Few are more complicit in the reforminess of the Obama Years than these people.

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  3. This is DISGUSTING!!!!!!! All these dumb fuckin AUSSIE jerk consultants walking around my school doing NOTHING getting paid BIGTIME $$$. What a joke. The bigger joke is that the DOE still won't change it. They love diverting the $&& away from the kids. New Visions network is the worst!!!!! Robbing the $$$ is perfectly fine for them. CEO Robert Hughes gets anything he wants. I can't believe Fariña and DeBlasio haven't sliced out New Zvisions and the other networks. Whose in charge? Networks or the Suprintendents? No one knows. There's no "consultants" in my town or my neighboring town etc etc. Just good Ol nyc where you can get away with anything. I am so sick of it all. Consultants got alarge amount of the 77%. For what? Did the school improve because of them? No. Did teachers start teaching better because of them? No. Did they copy and hand out anything useful? No. Do they live in Manhattan for free and get paid millions per year? Yes. Way to go Carmen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This goes back way before Farina - the IBO report details money spent before de Blasio was elected. These are the Bloomberg Years we're talking about. I wouldn't expect any changes now in the de Blasio/Farina years - her public privileging of PD indicates that - but let's be clear about what the IBO report found and what it didn't find.

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  4. There are plenty of consultants running around Newark. So called philanthropic organizations are in abundance as well.

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    1. Yes, this is a national scourge. It's happening everywhere. Money goes from the classroom and individual school and heads upward to central office and consultants. Call it "Trickle Up..."

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  5. I'd like to get in on the action. If the Aussie consultant group can pull in over 15 mil a year, I can make up a Kool name too. How do I start. I shd be getting millions off the minority kids too. Why not me?

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    Replies
    1. I think the Aussies go back BEFORE RttT - that was during the Bush Years. I haven't seen the Aussie's in the Obama Years...

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  6. This brings up the Brienza story again and the apparent financial gain to the family of the UFT president:

    >>>>>DOE payments to Brienza’s rose from $5,109 in 2002 to $10.9 million in 2012, when the city received No Child Left Behind funds for after-school tutoring, officials said.>>>> (Perdido Street Blog, April 2013)

    So... Mr Mulgrew "signs on" to RTTT, and suddenly millions of RTTT dollars is steered by the employer (DOE) to a private company run by Mr. Mulgrew's sister.

    And there's nothing wrong with this. OK. I don't get it. But OK.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, no doubt the union leadership was paid handsomely for their complicity. That's what angers me about Mulgarten so much - they're not only destroying us, they're being paid to do it.

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  7. We know the UFT was plugged into this all along yet went along and pushed RTTT even though it called for turnarounds that remove 50% of the staff. Every day they prove to be Vichy-like collaborators. If the entire membership ever woke up to that they would be in trouble. But that happening is very problematical.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Vichy is right. The winds have been blowing from that direction for a while now. But as the winds shift a bit, we hear verbal shifts in union leader rhetoric (as in on the testing.) It's all bullshit, of course - the union leadership is bought and paid for by the corporate reformers.

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  8. I am shocked it was only 77 %. They let some slip through to the schools!

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    1. Even there, it went to test prep, computer software for testing or credit recovery, etc.

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  9. RBE -

    I know you get it. My upset/disgust is around the fact the UFT and NYSUT refuse to get it. Every couple years, the UFT/nysut are given the opportunity to veto the ed deform movement. That veto has come in whether or not to sign on to RTTT, whether or not to fight the increase in the cap on charter school openings, whether or not to rally the troops on behalf of Bill Thompson against Bloomberg.

    Time after time the UFT abdicates its leadership responsibilities. I guess the question for me now, is when does the rank and file rise up against the leadership?

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    Replies
    1. The UFT/NYSUT/AFT/NEA leaderships are completely complicit in the corporate deform agenda. They're making $ off of it institutionally and their complicity helps them personally too - witness what happens to these union leaders when they "retire" - think the DC union dude who got a cushy job w/ Michelle Rhee.

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    2. The UFT leadership is in on it. Get that to sink in. Iannuzzi at NYSUT wanted out. That is why he had to be defeated. Wake up.

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    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete