New Mission

New Mission

My idea is to explore how other countries around the world are dealing with education and special education issues. I’d like to see different successful schools, wherever they may be, up close. I’d like to sit down with directors and administrators. I’d like to speak with government officials who keep a pulse on the education affairs of their communities. I want to learn more about education around the globe through speaking with locals, seeing the schools, and shaking hands with the people responsible for implementing the systems. If you know of any outstanding (public or private) special needs schools in other parts of the world, I’d love to hear about them. If you know any education experts from around the world, I’d love to be introduced to them. Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts or ideas. Read more about my mission.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

DOE In Turmoil

It seems you read a new story every day about the DOE botching a project or corruption within the school system.  One example concerns school progress reports:  NYC Comptroller John Liu has completed three audits of the DOE since taking office in part because, even though the city has an $80 million database meant to track student academic records, there are concerns that the data is inconsistent and maybe inaccurate too.  The DOE assigns grades of A to F to schools every year and uses that information in making decisions about which programs to reward and which to shutter but the formula behind the grades changes so frequently that you can't reasonably compare one year's findings to the next year's.  Suspicions that schools are manipulating the data to show better performance is the subject of a separate investigation. 

Also of interest are the flurry of corruption stories within the DOE.  Once recent example is Judith Hederman, the Executive Director of the DOE's division of financial operations, who resigned amid allegations that she had an improper personal relationship with one of the DOE's consulting companies.   The DOE was employing the company for a $43 million contract for technology and computer services.  Apparently, the consulting firm hired subcontractors (which the DOE contract prohibits) and charged the DOE $22,400 per month for the work while the subcontractors were paid only $3,370 per month - the rest presumably going straight into the company's purse.  Nevertheless, the DOE plans to designate $1 billion for consultants next year.