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Thompson: Spending Too Much Grant Money On Consultants

Consulting-StereotypesJodi Weigand's "Consultants Eat Up Pittsburgh School's Gift," in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, reports that 68% of the first $19 million dollars of the Gates Foundation grant for improving teacher quality is being spent on consultants.  Hillsborough County Public Schools and Memphis City Schools also have spent most of their grant money on contractors and consultants. Pittsburgh signed a $6.8 million dollar contract for information services, which makes sense because the district could not be expected to create data systems for measuring teacher effectiveness without outside help.  Consultants might have also been helpful in drafting the goal of increasing the number of college-ready graduates by 20%.  It's anybody's' guess, however, whether consultants actually contribute to the real-world process of improving the instruction those students get, or whether the systems and programs they create will end up being effective.-JT (@drjohnthompson)Image via.


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