Monday, March 26, 2012

Shoveling Money Out the Door

Jason Schultz:

The Providence Public School District Board in Rhode Island will vote on Monday, March 26, on a proposal to hire the educational consulting firm run by former controversial Palm Beach County School District Chief Learning Officer Jeffrey Hernandez to turn around several failing schools.

The board is considering hiring Miami Lakes-based National Academic Educational Partners, Inc, which is run by Hernandez along with the Massachusetts-based Cambium Learning Group Inc. to be in charge of at least two and possibly three schools that are considered in “intervene” status by the state because of poor student performance, said Providence Public Schools Spokeswoman Christina O’Reilly.

First off, if Jeffrey Hernandez still has a career, it should provide hope to anyone with an unflattering online presence.

I'm afraid "the man who became the most despised person in the Palm Beach County school system" may be a red herring here though, with Cambium Learning Group Inc. doing more of the heavy lifting, including probably a significant online component. Not that I know anything about them other than what I read on their website in five minutes.

I have a little trouble getting too worked up about this because I couldn't tell you who they should hire, or do. Dumping piles of money on out of state consultants was always what School Improvement Grants and Race to the Top was really about for Rhode Island.

In particular, I've been mystified by occasional comments I've read on SIG and RttT nationally which express some faith that these things are going to get easier to implement over the next few years. What's really happening is that we lacked enough capacity for the first round of turnarounds, and the gap is only going to grow as next year's lowest performing 5% is added to the stack. Year after year. We'll all be well into the seventh circle of charlatans in no time. It is going to get much worse.

No comments: