So Who Bid On The Social Studies And Science State Assessments In Delaware?


The Delaware DOE is getting ready to pick a vendor for their high-stakes rigorous grit-worthy state assessments for Science and Social Studies.  Some of these were the companies I expected to see and some I never heard of before in my life!  This is the world of corporate education reform.  Every time you think you have a good handle of what companies are out there, a few more rise to the surface.  All bids were due to the Delaware Department of Education by November 30th.  The DOE is giving an estimated date of 12/18 for the recipient of the contract to be announced.

So let’s start with the obvious suspects: American Institutes for Research (AIR) and Pearson.  AIR is the vendor of choice for the DOE on the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  They were also the vendor for DCAS.  They also implemented state assessments in Florida and Utah that did not go over well with the public.  Pearson, the father of the PARCC assessment, is taking a huge hit after their bungled test.

Strategic Measurement & Evaluation Inc. comes from Lafayette, IN.  Coincidentally, they have as one of their clients the Indiana Department of Education, along with the Michigan counterpart.  But what is really fascinating is the testimonial section of their website.  There are only two names on there.  One is John King, the upcoming US Secretary of Education.  It turns out he used this company when he ran schools in New York City.  Another woman worked in NYC around the same time.  She was the Vice-President of School Supports for the NYC Charter School Center.  We in Delaware know this woman by her current title, Chief Executive Officer of the Community Education Building in Wilmington, none other than Aretha Miller.  Yes, I noticed their website address is “escoreny” as well.  Turns out they have a revamped website coming soon called “”.

The other company, MetriTech is something of a mystery.  Not for the obvious reason.  If you go to their website, you better bring a magnifying glass or zoom to 150% or greater.  Not that I’m impressed with any of these companies, but at least have a good website!  Their list of clients includes Chicago Public schools and a couple state DOEs, but in looking at their product, it seems geared towards ELL students.  But they are based out of Champaign, IL.  So maybe they have some political connections or something.

So who will win the big contract?  If I had to guess, I would go with Strategic Measurement and Evaluation.  Pearson and AIR are becoming toxic names associated with the Smarter Balanced Assessment and PARCC.  MetriTech looks like they need financing to get a good website going.  But then again, SME has an old website.  Who knows!  I’m sure whoever it is, kids will hate it, teachers will prep students for it, and parents will want to opt their kids out of it!





While The DOE Has Everyone Distracted By Legislation, Watch For What Is Coming…

While everyone is looking at House Bill 50 and other legislative matters, the Delaware Department of Education is just driving right past it without stopping to reassess themselves.  For example, two MORE contract bids have been put out as RFP’s by the DOE.  These are both for the upcoming school accountability initiative, the School Report Card.

and then there is this:

What is truly frightening is when these surveys will take place.  If it is during the summer, before standardized test scores come in, that would be one thing.  But if it is any time after, as in one to two months, that would be very bad.  It would have to be at some point during the summer in my estimation, otherwise how can you really judge a product until it is finished?

I see severe danger with these “School Report Cards”.  It will depend on what kind of questions are asked to the students, parents and teachers.  If it is anything like recent surveys I’ve seen by the DOE, it will be dangerous because of the nature of the choices giving a best possible result.

If you really dig into these RFP’s, the DOE wants the vendor to make sure when someone puts the school and report card on a search engine like Google or Yahoo, it comes up on the first page of the search.  They are very eager for the three stakeholders to take these surveys and for the public to see them.  There is still some time to figure out what the DOE’s intentions are with these, but I don’t trust it.  This is part of their ESEA waiver requirements, but I don’t trust any of the ESEA Flex Waivers…

The devil is in the details, and it will be very interesting to see who the contracted vendor on these two contracts will be…

Delaware DOE & Their Current Contract Vendors, More Money Being Sucked Out Of Our Schools….

The following is a list of ALL the current Delaware Department of Education contracts, when they began and when the contract ends.  I have also included if it is a Delaware company, if the contract can be extended, and anything odd about it.  A few of these are just random contracts, but some contain some very interesting information.  Our state DOE is paying tons of money to outside vendors that are simply data coaches.  With Race to the Top kaput, how much money can the state keep handing out to these organizations?  Some of these companies are very new, as in created in the last five years.

DOE1312-STARS EVAL Delaware Stars for Early Success Evaluation 8010 DOE 6/15/2013 12/31/2015, Awarded Vendor: The Rand Corporation, Contract:

DOE1309-INFRASTRUC Infrastructure Fund for Early Learning Programs 8010 DOE 4/1/2013 12/31/2015, Awarded Vendor: Children and Families First, Inc., Contract:  Delaware Company

DOE 14017-CG 2.0 Common Ground 2.0 8613 DOE 7/8/2014 6/30/2015, Awarded Vendor: Solution Tree, Inc., Contract: Extension Available, Delaware Company (website shows as based in Indiana)

DOE1311-ELLI Early Learning Leadership Initiative (ELLI) 8010 DOE 6/15/2013 12/31/2015, Awarded Vendor: National-Louis University, Contract:

DOE12013-RecruitWeb  Statewide Recruitment Website Talent Management Portal 8312 DOE 4/26/2013 10/21/2017, Awarded Vendor: SearchSoft Solutions, Inc. Contract: ***updated: IS on DE Online Checkbook, must have been a quirk, nothing showing for FY 2015 as of yet***

DOE13001-DPAS-II Technology-based Educator Evaluation Management System (DPAS-II) 8111 DOE 5/6/2013 7/15/2015, Awarded Vendor: BloomBoard, Contract:  ***one of the owners, Jason Lange, worked for New Schools Venture Fund, an education focused non-profit venture philanthropy firm***

DOE1310-COMPENSATI Compensation, Retention and Education Awards (CORE) 8010 DOE 5/1/2013 12/31/2015, Awarded Vendor: Delaware Association For The Education Of Young Children, Contract:  Delaware Company ***on website for DAEYC when you go to Board of Directors it is password protected but other online sources do show who they are***

DOE1414-FLOORPLAN  School Floor Plans 8110 DOE 7/1/2014 6/30/2015, Awarded Vendor: ABHA Architects, Contract: Delaware Company, Extension Available

DOE1313-SAHE Teacher Preparation Improvement 8613 DOE 12/20/2013 6/15/2015, Awarded Vendors: University of Delaware AND Wilmington University, Contract: Both Delaware Companies

DOE2014-07 Delaware Commission on Early Education and the Economy 8010 DOE 1/1/2014 12/31/2015, Awarded Vendor: Ranie Good (Strategic Goods), Contract: Delaware Company, Extension Available

DOE2013-04PRVDRENGMT Early Learner Provider Engagement 8010 DOE 1/1/2014 12/31/2015, Awarded Vendor: Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children, Contract: Extension Available, Delaware company

DOE1403SupptAdvmt Services To Support Advancement of Select Initiative/Early Learning Challenge 8010 DOE 10/1/2013 12/31/2015, Awarded Vendor: Susan Mitchell, Contract: Extension Available

DOE1416-PAT RFP  Parents As Teachers 8613 DOE 7/1/2014 6/30/2017, Awarded Vendors: Christina School District- Parent Early Education Center AND Lake Forest School- Delaware Early Childhood Center, Contract: Both Delaware Companies, Extension Available

DOE1317-DelSchool Communications Campaign For Delaware Public Schools  8210 DOE 5/6/2014 4/15/2016, Awarded Vendor: GMMB Inc. Contract:

DOE 1412-DECommEnga Community Engagement and Marketing for the Early Learning Challenge 8210 DOE 2/1/2014 12/31/2015, Awarded Vendor: Donna Marie King, Contract: Delaware Company, Extension Available

DOE1415-ALT ROUTE Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification Evaluation 8613 DOE 7/15/2014 2/28/2015, Awarded Vendor: Tembo, Inc. Contract:

DOE-12001MIDDLESCHOOL  Middle School College Preparedness Curriculum 8613 DOE 6/15/2012 1/31/2015, Awarded Vendors: Achieve 3000 Inc. AND Carnegie Learning, Inc. AND Compass Learning, Inc. Contract:, Previous Awarded Vendor but Removed: College Board, Contract:, Adds Compass Learning, Contract:, Removes College Board: Achieve 3000 Inc. is a Delaware Company, Extension Available

DOE1207-DandA test Drug and Alcohol Testing – School Transportation 8512 DOE 1/1/2012 12/31/2016, Awarded Vendor: i3Screen, Contract:

DOE1409 ARTC Prep Alternative Route To Teacher Certification Coursework/Clinical Prep. Program 8610 DOE 9/19/2014 8/1/2017, Awarded Vendor: Relay Graduate School of Education, Contract: ***wrote about this fast-track teacher program in Race To The Top/Rodel/Markell article***

DOE 1418-PLCs Job-Embedded Educator Supports to the State’s Profl Learning Communities (PLC) 8613 DOE 9/15/2014 6/30/2015, Awarded Vendor: Amplify Education, Inc., Contract: