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.
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?
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.