New Mission

New Mission

My mission is to explore how other countries around the world are dealing with education and special education issues.

I would like to visit and observe different types of schools that have proven records of success, wherever those schools may be. I would like to meet with school directors and administrators, government officials, leaders in the business world, and others who are responsible for implementing education systems or otherwise connected to education to learn more about how education is being addressed in their communities.

If you know of any remarkable schools in other parts of the world (especially special needs schools), please let me know about them. If you know of any education experts who are engaged in remarkable work in this field, please introduce me to them.

Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts or ideas regarding the above. Read more about my mission here.

Search This Blog

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.