The Delaware Department of Education sent out a bid solicitation on the DPAS-II teacher evaluation system in Delaware. They wanted to know how teachers and administrators are doing with the student growth portion of the system, part of Component V. To say the report gives more sides from the pro-testing crowd would be an understatement. It is very hard for me to take these reports at face value when they ask a limited amount of questions.
What I find even more interesting is the fact that Research For Action, the vendor who created this report, is not listed as a current Delaware vendor, and there is no current contract or one that recently ended calling for such a report. But the Delaware DOE paid this company $140,000 on 6/17/16, which is well over the threshold that would trigger a mandatory bid solicitation as required by Delaware state law. In fact, a contract was signed a few months ago with American Institutes for Research (the current Smarter Balanced Assessment vendor in Delaware) to do a review of the DPAS-II system. Research For Action is also not listed as a Cooperative contract vendor or a set-aside contractor in Delaware.
Now I did find a contract with Research In Action that ended on 6/30/16 which did require an evaluation of DPAS-II. Are these the same companies? Since the report below shows them as Research For Action, I would assume they are. The Delaware DOE did award a contract to Research For Action Inc. that went from 3/19/15 to 8/31/15 for the amount of $225,000.00. Since the second awarded contract gave a fixed amount of $181,117.62, can someone at the Delaware DOE please tell me why we have already paid this company $450,742.04 for work that is $44,624.42 over the two contractual amounts? Or is there, once again, some other contract hidden away on the state procurement website under yet another different name for this company?
I wish I could get paid over $450,000 to come out with a seven page “briefing” once every couple of years, interview a few teachers and administrators, and call it a day. More DOE magic at work! Or, as some call it, cash in the trash. And we once again wonder why Delaware schools are underfunded (much more for this topic coming up on this blog).
The “briefing” is below: