There is a new scandal in New York City. It seems the New York City Housing Authority paid $10 million to the Boston Consulting Group to write a report that is not available to the public that paid for it. According to the article in the New York Daily News, the report was commissioned by someone at the Housing Authority who used to work for the Boston Consulting Group.
Now, readers of this blog may recall that the Boston Consulting Group was paid over $1 million in private funds to draft a short little paper recommending the privatization of a large number of public schools in Philadelphia. It was also hired (not sure the price tag) to draft the plan for the Transition Planning Commission that merges the schools of Memphis and Shelby County, moving a large number of children and $212 million into private hands.
Who are these guys? Who elected them to redraft the meaning of public education in urban America?
Their role in reshaping education is becoming more noticeable but I still have no idea where they are coming from.
They usually advise major corporations. Why are they now redesigning urban school districts?
What does Boston Consulting Group know about education? For that matter, what does McKinsey, Alvarez & Marsal, and Bain Capital know about education? Are these corporate strategists imposing corporate practices on a public service that belongs to the local community? Are they turning our schools into mirror images of corporate America?
Will we be stack ranking teachers and children like GE and Microsoft? Will we close low-performing schools and replace them with start-ups? Uh, yes, we are doing it now thanks to NCLB and Race to the Top.
What is their expertise? What is their experience? Do they know everything? Who advises them on education?
I read on the BCG website that Margaret Spellings is a senior advisor. Who else is giving them direction about how to transform public education by giving it to private entrepreneurs?