It's teacher hunting season!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Who in Chicago awarded lucrative school contracts to Rupert Murdoch?

From the Madfloridian at DemocraticUnderground: Who in Chicago awarded lucrative school contracts to Rupert Murdoch?
Posted by madfloridian in General Discussion

Mon Nov 19th 2012, 01:51 AM
Rupert Murdoch sees $500 billion profit waiting in US public education. Getting his share in Chicago and some in NYC.

There's a battle being waged in this country against our public school systems. It's not irate parents, it's a corporate battle.

These education "reformers" have the money to buy up politicians in both parties to get laws passed for their benefits. Public schools have little resources to fight back.

Hey, lobbyist, leave them kids alone! [October 28, 2012 Oneonta, NY Daily Star column]

There is no doubt that the performance of U.S. students against their international counterparts continues to disappoint. But since the reasons for this are so difficult to pin down, a parade of self-proclaimed experts and “reformers” has emerged in recent years, touting the urgency of their proposed solutions – never mind if they require redirecting streams of taxpayer dollars into the pockets of their friends.

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch is among the more-recognizable faces of this movement, having purchased education technology firm Wireless Generation for $360 million in November 2010.

“When it comes to K-12 education,” Murdoch said at the time, “we see a $500 billion sector in the U.S. alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed by big breakthroughs that extend the reach of great teaching.”

Despite the scandals associated with his name and his News Corp company, Murdoch is getting a foothold in the "reforms" going on now. He and his Wireless Generation company are getting a huge profit from a contract with the Chicago school system.

Just like I always say, accountability is only for public school teachers....never for the very rich.

Looks like Rupert Murdoch will profit from "reform" of Chicago school system. [August 20, 2012, Daily Kos]

In case Chicago missed it, Rupert Murdoch is now profiting from the testing craziness hitting Chicago's public schools. He owns an outfit called "Wireless Generation" that is now a contractor with CPS. Anyone who doesn't already know that the administration of Chicago Public Schools, the nation's third largest school system, is in the hands of amateurs (or worse, outsiders who want to destroy public education and turn it over to the private sector at all costs), should be contacting any of the 241 principals of the so-called "Track E" schools which begin receiving their students on August 13, 2012.

Things have gotten so crazy in the 2012 world of edits, memos, Power Points, orders, reforms, re-reforms, and re-re-re-reforms from the administration of former Rochester school supt. Jean-Claude Brizard and former "Relationship Banker" Rahm Emanuel that it would take a team of a dozen investigative reporters on the ground school-by-school (with a backup team of another dozen researchers) to separate out the greed, mendacity, incompetence, and silliness that is being foisted on Chicago behind the smokescreen of the latest iteration of "School Reform." Meanwhile, the city's communities, teachers, principals, and children will be facing centrally planned chaos as the first full year of Rahm's version of "School Reform" kicks in non Monday August 13, 2012. The 241 Chicago "Track E" schools would make this sub-system one of the 20 largest school districts in the USA were it a separate system. But it would be one of only three (the other two are Detroit and New Orleans) currently ruled by a group of outside mercenaries dedicated to destroying public education.

Murdoch was going to get 27 million from the Race to the Top money in New York City, but State Controller Thomas DiNapoli rejected the contract.

"New York City ditched a $27 million education contract with News Corp subsidiary Wireless Generation, citing the ongoing investigations into the phone hacking allegations related to News Corp's now-defunct News Of The World tabloid.

State Controller Thomas DiNapoli rejected the Education Department's contract with the company, the New York Daily News reports, which would have paid $27 million to create software to track test scores. The funding would have come out of the state's $700 million "Race to the Top" education funds, but DiNapoli's office said that there were concerns about News Corp's "incomplete record" and about the ongoing scandal.

"In light of the significant ongoing investigations and continuing revelations with respect to News Corp., we are returning the contract with Wireless Generation unapproved," wrote DiNapoli's office of the decision.
Daily Kos has this added news, citing the New York Daily News from August 13, 2012, that New York State has snuck in Wireless Generation as a subcontractor for a New York City schools contract.
Nearly a year after the state Education Department’s failed attempt to award a no-bid, $27 million technology contract to Rupert Murdoch’s Wireless Generation company, the state announced a do-over Monday.

The contract with the News Corp. subsidiary overseen by former city schools chancellor Joel Klein was initially rejected last August by State Controller Thomas DiNapoli, who raised concerns over allegations of illegal phone-hacking by News corp newspapers in England.

This time, Wireless Generation lost out to four other companies on a competitive bid for $50 million in technology contracts — though one of the companies will employ Wireless Generation as a subcontractor.

“They’ll get a small piece of a smaller pie than they would have received under last year’s proposed contract,” state Education Department spokesman Tom Dunn said.

The new contracts will help teachers, administrators and parents track student test scores and other data and will replace a costly system in use in city schools called Achievement Reporting and Innovation Systems, or ARIS, as soon as the end of 2013.
The writer at the Daily Kos closed, "They should not be getting any of the pie. Teachers are held accountable almost to the extreme, but those on the side of the "reformers" are not held to similar standards."

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