The Texas Tribune is beginning a series of reports about how consultants and tutoring companies are ripping off millions of dollars in Texas, thanks to NCLB.

Race to the Top will empower many more scams and legitimate frauds, as companies proliferate that claim to know how to “turnaround” schools, how to train teachers, how to train leaders, how to do everything that schools should know how to do for themselves. And don’t forget the data portals! don’t forget the data mining! don’t forget the vendors!

This is the Age of the Golden Rip-Off, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Congress.

I can’t help but remember my own schooling. In retrospect, it seems like the kind of thing you now find only in private schools. There was a principal and an assistant principal. There was a guidance counselor to help you think about whether to go to college and where. There were teachers. There were no consultants. There was no data mining. There were no elaborate statistical schemes from headquarters on how to measure teacher quality. There was….human judgment. There were real people teaching children. How quaint!

No more of that. There is an industry to care, feed, and enrich with our taxpayer dollars.