Something interesting came across my desk.
It uses two recent education boondoggles to point out, that we are throwing a lot of education money into the air and do not have a single accountability trail to preserve order.
On the East Coast, in DC we had a Charter School which officers formed dummy corporations and charged the school for dummy services. Amount of public money siphoned? $3 million. There were some “bleeping” signs completely overlooked… One was the $425,000 yearly salary for the headmaster of a 400 person school. Basically a principal. ( The chancellor for all of DC’s 45,000 student public schools, is paid $275,000… Who was minding the store? No one though it was a private charter after all, but it’s entire funding came from public money.
This scam was only discovered by the Washington Post through a FOIA request. The overseers of the DC Charter Network didn’t even have a clue. I see that here in Delaware as well. The local overseeing blanket organization is oblivious to the finances taking place inside each Charter School. Not even a business is run this lax. Perhaps a mandatory state audit of every single charter school might be in order to prevent a very similar occurrence from happening here. It is time to hire some more auditors.
On the West Coast, we have a loss of $1 billion dollars. Yes the Ipad scandal.
- In the initial planning everyone forgot the keyboards that would be needed, costing $40 million.
- In days student hackers figured how to override the security.
- 70 iPads came up missing on day one and no one knows from where in the process they were taken.
- And then, for $1 billion dollars, there was this:
…For all the hype about students taking a magic carpet ride into the future on these tablets, I missed the wow factor. One eighth-grade math lesson included a video of some guy on a treadmill going faster and faster, with a question about how to graph his movement. But no matter how you answered, there was no feedback, and no right or wrong answer.
It was a case of someone saying: great idea, let’s get it done and then no interaction except to say… “is it done yet.”
So who is watching those who watch our Delawarean schools? Are they financially astute?
Delaware should learn from these two mistakes and mandate all charters get audited yearly by the state auditors office, and that way, if malfeasance does occur, we will know our elected auditor is too way old and needs replaced. We finally have someone accountable.