Monday, June 7, 2010

Weast's Tuesday Surprise! MCPS SOLD to Vendor!

Breaking News:  A last minute addition to the June 8, 2010, Board of Education meeting! 

Just added to the Board of Education Consent Agenda for tomorrow is a 29 page contract to turn MCPS into a curriculum publisher for the nation. See below. Consent Agenda means that this item is not scheduled for any discussion by the Board, just a vote.

The deal is that MCPS will apply for a Federal Grant but instead of using the Grant funds to improve MCPS, the funds will be used to create curriculum that will be marketed and sold using the MCPS name and logo by Pearson Education, Inc. If the curriculum is a hit, MCPS will get royalties from sales. If the curriculum is a dud, we are out a lot of time and resources that could have been directed to our own students.

While the Board of Education does have a rule that new business before the Board is to "lie on the table" until the next meeting, don't expect that to happen tomorrow. The Board can waive that rule with a unanimous vote.

This 29 page contract was held until the day before the Board meeting so that the public and the Board would have the absolute minimum amount of time to review and understand it. The Board will be pushed to read and vote on this within 24 hours.

Knowing how well the secret public-private partnership between MCPS and Wireless Generation worked (taxpayers lost their shirts) upon what basis should taxpayers think that this public-private partnership is in the best interest of Montgomery County public school children?

Stating the Obvious: This "deal" relies on other school systems having the funding to buy this new curriculum from Pearson Education, Inc. Are other school systems in the position to be making large curriculum purchases in the next two years? In a down economy, how much should MCPS expect to receive in royalties from this type of an investment? 

And a big shout out to the Montgomery County Council, are you all going to make sure any royalties received by MCPS come before the Council for appropriation?

Are our children going to school to be part of an experimental curriculum for the rest of the country, or are they going to school to get an education and achieve to their highest potential?

From the Board of Education Operations Handbook:
A new business item shall lie on the table until the next business meeting before being voted upon by the Board. This provision may be waived without notice if all members are present and there is unanimous agreement.

Pearson Contract


  1. When does Weast's contract expire?

  2. In 386 days from today. Check the counter for up to date count down.

  3. MCPS has a "proven, sucessful and highly rigorous" curriculum? Wow, I had no idea! If I had, maybe I wouldn't have pulled my kids out to homeschool this year. I can't wait to see it come out in print. Then I can finally learn what it was that my kids weren't learning.

  4. As soon as he gets a job with Pearson!

  5. Maryland Public Schools - first in nation
    MCPS - first in state

    Hmm.... Janis, are you getting this?

  6. It's amazing that peole will complain about how we don't have enough money to properly educate students and then complain when MCPS does something to help generate money. The curriculum has been developed here, used here, tested here and proven here. You might not agree with it but at least we are making something off of it rather than trying to figure out how to get all of the money from taxpayers.

  7. @ too scared to use your real name -

    Tell it to all the other textbook vendors that were boxed out of this procurement.

    Tell it to the teachers that were given pink slips on Monday so that on Tuesday 12 new administrative positions could be created.

    Tell it to the students who aren't getting high school diplomas -

    And tell it to the real data on MCPS in Maryland.

    Not #1 -

    Anonymous comments are cheap.

  8. MCPS first in state? Not according to the MSA data. We used to be in the days before Jerry Weast came to town. Now Montgomery County-Pearson Schools is 5th in Reading and 10th in Math in Maryland.
    I can just see the sales pitch now: "Your School District Can Be 10th Best in Your State! Buy something that you could otherwise get for free Today!"

  9. For those that are just skimming, the Pearson deal will not bring any "extra" funding into MCPS.

    Superintendent Weast is now hiring staff to support the Pearson project. New hires started yesterday - actually - they obviously started way before that because the new hires were announced yesterday.

    MCPS has to put up funding up front for staff, waaayyyy before any money will be received from Pearson.
    12 new administrator positions have been created permanently.

  10. @9:19 MCPS commenter.

    The majority of the curriculum hasn't been developed here. It hasn't been written yet.

    Watch the tape of the Board meeting when you have time. This is a project for NEW curriculum. The only grade that has already been written is Kindergarten.

    That's why Superintendent Weast hired 4 administrators yesterday. Watch the tape and hear him announce that these are the people that will be working with Pearson.

    Read the Pearson contract. Pearson has final say on what goes into the curriculum that MCPS writes.

    You haven't seen the final product yet, no one has. It doesn't exist yet.

    The only money generated from this deal will be used to pay for some of the salaries and benefits of the administrators that are being hired.

  11. We can't even say "sold to the highest bidder."

    No Bids.

    How can that possibly be a good deal?


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