I have seen some really crazy requests for proposals coming out of the Delaware Department of Education, but this one takes the cake! This latest RFP is a multi-vendor solicitation for nine different areas of education. I would almost say it looks like vendors will completely take over the Department of Education looking at this! While that probably isn’t the case, I have often wondered why I can’t find contracts for certain vendors at the Delaware DOE. My guess is these kinds of multi-purpose vendor bids have gone out before. Which is why I have never seen a DOE contract with the Rodel Foundation or the Vision Network.
But this is huge. Are they preparing for the Every Student Succeeds Act? While the law is meant to limit federal interference in how states carry out the law, it certainly looks like it is a cash cow for corporations to come in at lightning speed before the ink is dry on the regulations. Maybe if the Delaware DOE hired more educators, they wouldn’t need all these so-called “experts” in education. Delaware education has not gotten any better with all these cash in the trash consultants and vendors.
Our General Assembly needs to get control of the DOE. They are destroying what is good about education for our children, one day at a time. Piece by piece, bit by bit. And the transparency around their actions seems to be getting murkier by the week. But make no mistake, the entire DOE is led by one man: Jack Markell. He is behind every single decision that goes on there. He is so invested, politically and personally, in corporate education reform that he is unable to tell the difference between reality and wishful thinking. He is beyond being able to reason with. He lives and breathes education, but from a corporate perspective, not an educator one.
There is far too much going on at the Delaware DOE these days. Between ESSA meetings that I have no doubt have predetermined outcomes already in the works, their Special Education Strategic Plan (which I will have more to say about soon with the Paul Herdman selected guy running this), the charter-district funding fight, the charter school performance frameworks, Teacher-Leader pilots with very questionable transparency, getting ESEA flex waivers without clearly stating what they were applying for and not having the advisory committee required by law to go along with that, ongoing concerns about the upcoming Social Studies and Science state assessments, their complete and total pimping of the Pathways to Prosperity program, their inability to understand and listen to true stakeholder input, allowing Rodel to influence their every move, and willful defiance of the will and intent of the Delaware General Assembly.
This contract confirms my worst fears about this Department. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year in contracts to vendors. Money that should go into classrooms. Money that should keep classroom sizes down. Money that give basic special education to students in Kindergarten to 3rd grade. Money that should give more resources to low-income and poverty-stricken children. Money that should go to school improvements and Capital funding. Instead they are giving it away to companies.