Friends in High Places

Well that didn’t take long.  According to the Daily News, the state is poised to award a $27 million no-bid contract to a company overseen by Joel Klein.  Yep, the same Joel Klein who left his post as NYC Schools Chancellor just six months ago.

“It raises all kinds of red flags,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York.

“It just smacks of an old-boys club, where large amounts of public money are spent based not on ‘is this the best product?’ but ‘I know this guy and I like him and I want to be sure he makes a lot of money.'”

State officials defend the move: “In a request to the state controller’s office to sign off on a no-bid process, officials cited the tight timeline for beginning the Race to the Top project and the company’s record at producing results.”

Of course beyond the appearance of favoritism, one has to question the logic of spending $27 million on a system to track test scores, while laying off thousand of teachers.  But I suppose that’s a topic for another blog post.