Myth vs. Fact: The Mass Insight deal

Tonight the vote went down (6 – 1 [ME]) to approve the contract with Mass Insight to create a “Transformation Zone” over several years, starting with the westside of the district (GW and Northwest and feeder elementary schools).

I raised several concerns at Tuesday’s briefing about specific language in the Scope of Work document, which is an attachment to the contract which specifies the work to be done.  Hayleigh Columbo of Chalkbeat highlighted my concerns and also posed her own questions about specific details in the scope of work: http://in.chalkbeat.org/2015/03/17/ips-board-supportive-of-plan-for-2-high-schools-but-cosby-has-doubts/#.VQue6o54pcQ

I want to outline those for you here, so you can determine for yourself, whether they should be deemed mythical or factual.

These are the items which are allegedly myths that need to be dispelled, according to IPS Administration prezi:screengrabPlease.  I invite you, implore you, to review the entire document for yourself by clicking here.  You will see that there is no mention of community involvement until phase 2 of the project, where it mentions “fostering community support” after decisions have been made.  “Hey, let me tell you what we’ve done to your schools, and then tell you why you should like it.”  Sure thing.

You will also see language indicating a change to the governing structure:

screengrab2

As well as very direct language stating that staff in the Transformation Zones will have to re-apply for their jobs:

screengrab3

Oh, and the contract will cost IPS money.  Maybe not the whole 2.1 million, but it will cost IPS money.  Look at the first bullet/checkmark above.  Mass Insight expects a financial commitment of ‘at least $750,000 per school’!!

The board should not vote on pretty powerpoints which attempt to discredit their commissioners and other stakeholders by labeling their concerns and pointed questions as myths.  That is rather dismissive, and I took offense to it.

The board should, however, vote on the legal contract and the associated documents – which include the Scope of Work discussed above.  I urged my fellow board members to consider moving toward amendments to the Scope of Work document before ratifying the contract with this company.  They declined to do so.

I guess I was just brought up to read carefully before I sign.  This isn’t even the fine print, people…it’s as plain and bold as day, right in our faces if we are only looking.  It’s like shopping for a car.  You want to listen to everything the slick salespeople say, but you know damn good and well you better read that document before you sign.

Let’s go… you know I couldn’t make this stuff up.  And I’ve got the screen shots to prove it.

My next post will most definitely be all about my 2012 campaign, and how I got here.  I will try to average 1-2 posts per week.  Thanks for your support!  Over 1,000 people viewed my first blog post, and it was shared on facebook over 200 times!  🙂

Check out the Chalkbeat follow-up article to the post above: http://in.chalkbeat.org/2015/03/19/ferebee-calls-cosbys-concerns-myths-as-board-approves-plan-for-2-high-schools/#.VQufHI54pcQ

Ideas, thoughts, suggestions, questions?  Email me at gayle_cosby@yahoo.com

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