Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Starr Changes Promethean Board Story Again!

When the Board of Education votes on a contract, they are supposed to be voting on an actual document that they have read. Their vote is supposed to authorize the Board President to sign a specific contract.   

But, our Board of Education doesn't do that.  They regularly take votes based on rumor and gossip.  They don't have the actual contracts they are voting on in front of them.  They haven't read that actual contracts they vote to approve and sign. 

As with the "telephone game", as the gossip passes around, the story changes. And, so we have it with Superintendent Starr's $14.5 million technology expenditure rumor.  Every time the story is told, the facts change.   

Here's where we started.  This was Superintendent Starr's first statement when he released his September 11, 2012 memorandum to the Board of Education requesting their vote to approve this $14.5 million expenditure.
September 11, 2012:  Resolved, That the Board of Education approves the purchase of Promethean interactive classroom technology systems at a total cost of $8,949,719; 
Then, before the Board of Education meeting on September 11th, Starr revised his memo to read:  
September 11, 2012:  Resolved, That the Board of Education approves the purchase of Promethean interactive classroom technology systems (pursuant to the state of Maryland contract 050B7800023) at a total cost of $8,949,719; 
Then, on October 23, 2012, Superintendent Joshua Starr released a memorandum through PTA's to help the common people "understand" the purchase of 2,000 Promethean Boards and wireless access.  Here's what he is saying now:
October 23, 2012:  MCPS will purchase the Promethean Boards by piggybacking on two statewide contracts that have been put out to bid and conforms with state procurement law. The contracts are with two statewide organizations—The State of Maryland and the Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium.
Two contracts?  That's not what the Board of Education voted to approve on September 11, 2012.  The BOE voted on ONE contract:  State of Maryland contract 050B7800023.  (And, anyone with computer access can pull up that document and find out that it was a 5 year contract issued in 2007 that has expired.)   

Can Superintendent Joshua Starr just ignore the Board of Education vote and substitute TWO contracts for the ONE that they voted on?

Superintendent Starr, if you want the public to "understand" your technology purchase, then be honest with us. Make the actual contract that will be used to purchase 2,000 Promethean brand boards public. It's a real document that will require your signature and the signature of the BOE President.   
Let's see it.  

We're all grown up and we can read the details for ourselves.

Superintendent Joshua Starr's Shell Game with Promethean Board Procurement October 2012


  1. The Montgomery County Council should insist that MCPS be consistent with its fiscal policies. Fudging contracts is unacceptable.

  2. @Anonymous, please write to the Council individually, and ask them. Please cc us here at the PC blog. Here are their email addresses:

    Phil Andrews 240-777-7906
    Roger Berliner 240-777-7828
    Marc Elrich 240-777-7966
    Valerie Ervin 240-777-7960
    Nancy Floreen 240-777-7959
    George Leventhal 240-777-7811
    Nancy Navarro 240-777-7968
    Craig Rice 240-777-7955
    Hans Riemer 240-777-7964


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