Deborah Gist, the former state superintendent of schools in Rhode Island, has recommended a $920,000 contract for the Boston Consulting Group in Tulsa, where she is now district superintendent. The contract will be funded by “private donors.”

BCG has won similar contracts in other districts. Their reports typically recommend downsizing and privatization.

This is not good news for Tulsa.

The first question that citizens of Tulsa should ask is, what is the education expertise of this business consulting group? When last I looked, Margaret Spellings–who has never run a school district–was its education consultant. Since she is now the new president of the University of North Carolina system, who is running the education business at BCG? Who are the “experts” at BCG who know more than Deborah Gist and the teachers of Tulsa?

The Tulsa school board will be writing a blank check to BCG unless they find out exactly who is giving advice and why Tulsa should want it, even if someone else is paying the bill.

In other districts, when BCG arrives, public education is in danger.

A reader told me that the school board gave him this article to reassure him.

http://mobile.edweek.org/c.jsp?cid=25920011&item=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.edweek.org%2Fv1%2Fblog%2F76%2F%3Fuuid%3D55244&cmp=eml-contshr-shr

The lead author used to be Rick Hess’ assistant at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. None of the three co-authors ever worked in a school, according to their online bios.

What expertise do they have in education?