Social Networks We Use

Categories

CT Tech Junkie Feed

Video Interview: Astronaut Rick Mastracchio Reflects on his 6 Month Mission to the Space Station
May 20, 2014 10:22 am
NASA granted CTTechJunkie the opportunity for a short interview with Astronaut Rick Mastracchio, who is readjusting to...more »
ANALYSIS | Connecticut Astronaut Arrives Home on Russian Soyuz to Uncertain Political Environment
May 13, 2014 11:40 pm
Astronaut and Waterbury native Rick Mastracchio landed safely aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule at 9:58 p.m. EST Tuesday...more »

Our Partners

˜

Lawsuit: State Still Owes About $235,000 to Education Reform Consultants

by Christine Stuart | Mar 27, 2013 5:30am
(6) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Courts, Education

Courtesy of the Teachers College at Columbia University Three education consulting firms sued the state this week claiming the Department of Education failed to pay them in full for their work helping the Malloy administration with its reform efforts in 2012.

Leeds Global Partners, the New York firm that helped reorganize the Education Department “and create policies and procedures that promote student achievement in Connecticut” says it has only been paid half of the $200,000 it was promised by the state, according to the complaint.

Leeds Global Partners is a division of Leeds Equity Partners. According to Leeds Global’s website, it “is an education services and advisory firm.”

Jonathan Gyurko, one of Leeds Global’s co-founders, worked as director of charter schools in the New York City Department of Education and was intimately involved in negotiations between the Malloy administration and the two teacher unions last year. The company’s relationship with the state was controversial. In 2012, the Connecticut Post reported that the company received its contract without going through the bidding process. A whistleblower complaint was filed last April questioning its contract with the state.

It’s unclear if the lawsuit filed this week is referencing the same no-bid contract that went through the State Education Resource Center, which claims to be a nonprofit set up to support local and regional school boards. State auditors released a report in February in which they said SERC is a state entity operating in a gray area without “state agency requirements for transparency and accountability.”

The State Education Resource Center was not named as a defendant in any of the three lawsuits.

One of the other two firms suing the state is Education First Consulting, the Washington-based company that helped design the new teacher evaluation system. Education First claims the state owes it about $94,000.

“The State of Connecticut never questioned the quality or value of the services provided by Education First that benefited the State of Connecticut, students, educators, and schools,” the lawsuit states.

The Education Department has not rendered any payments to the group since April 2012.

New Leaders Inc., a New York nonprofit in charge of developing the principal evaluation for the Education Department, claims it is owed more than $41,500 out of the $50,000 in services provided.

“New Leaders relied on the repeated assurances by the Department of Education, including Project Team Manager Emily Bryne, that it would be paid the full value of its work, and thus New Leaders continued to provide services to the state of Connecticut through the Department of Education through June 2012 on the basis of these assurances,” the complaint states.

The three plaintiffs received permission from the state Claims Commissioner to file a lawsuit earlier this month.

The Attorney General’s office will provide legal representation for the state Department of Education.

“As is our responsibility, we represented the State Department of Education before the Claims Commissioner and stipulated to suit in state court,” Susan Kinsman, a spokeswoman for Attorney General George Jepsen, said. “As a result, the vendors filed complaints in Superior Court, and we are working towards a resolution between the state and vendors. Because these are pending matters, we have no further comment at this time.” 

All three consulting firms are represented by James Sullivan of Howard, Kohn, Sprague, and Fitzgerald in Hartford.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Share this story with others.

Share | |

(6) Comments

posted by: brutus2011 | March 27, 2013  3:33pm

brutus2011

I hope Ms. Stuart keeps an eye on this and continues her fine reportage.

I also see that Emily Bryne, formerly a New Haven Mayor DeStefano aid, landed in the State DOE.

Small world.

posted by: Linda12 | March 27, 2013  3:51pm

Leeds Global Partners, the New York firm that helped reorganize the Education Department “and create policies and procedures that promote student achievement in Connecticut…..ummmm….no, I don’t think so….that’s the reformy eduspeak jargon. That’s when they say one thing, but they actually mean something else.

The original SB 24 without any revisions was designed to enforce:

Less government regulation; more private enterprise in public sector activities; replace public schools with charters; bust the unions; cut the pay and benefits of the workforce; lower standards for entry into teaching; increase the number of “consultants”, and replace professionals with temps.

All while friends of Stefan infiltrate OUR state dept. of education.

posted by: Speak up | March 27, 2013  4:14pm

The original language of Malloy’s bold “reform” bill—SB24—removed the requirement and the incentive for teachers to get their Masters degree. Pryor would prefer his friends at Achievement First, the charter school corporation he was once associated with, manage as many schools as possible.  The teachers ideally would make a 2 -3 year commitment and have undergone 5 weeks of training. These teach for a whiles will not stay long enough to earn a decent salary and never be vested into a pension. The goal would be to reduce the salaries and the professionalism of the CT teachers. If you can reduce the labor force, you can funnel the money elsewhere. Check out Amplify and inbloom created by Rupert Murdoch and Bill Gates.

Why would our dear leader, Governor Malloy and the lawyer/non-educator Commissioner of Education want this to happen?  All you have to do is look at the mission of hedge fund Global Leeds where Jonathan Gyurko, the man that Pryor paid with SERC money to “write” SB24, works. Their sole mission is to turn public education into a money maker for private equity. Pryor is pimping public education while keeping salaries down; he also desires to deprofessionalize teaching and this is always a big money maker for the circling eduvultures. Kids are props. Teachers are robots and testing is teaching.

posted by: OutBackJack312 | March 27, 2013  9:47pm

They should pay 230,000 to the towns that can’t afford our idiot governor’s ill advised and poorly researched reform laws.  Hopefully the legislatures in Hartford realize there are bills on the hill that kill reform all together and pass them..

posted by: ConcernedVoter | March 30, 2013  1:35pm

It is funny to see all of these shady deals coming to light and even the rats are beginning to turn on each other.

posted by: mbracksieck | March 31, 2013  4:29pm

Gyurko and Global Leeds have one goal: to monitize public education for private investment.  Either Pryor & Malloy didn’t know that when they unethically used SERC funds to give Gyurko a no bid contract to write a bill which had no chance of passage in the CT legislature or they did.  Which is worse? 

At least they have the decency to not waste any more CT taxpayer money on the hatchet job known as SB 24. 

If there was any justice, that $235,000 would go to public education in CT, not to “education” consultants whose expertise is in maximizing returns on capital, not education.