All change in the world of computers to be used in eductaional. The USA tends to take a lead in the provision of computers in the classroom but they can get it horribly wrong. A recent plan for computers for schools in New York has gone from hero to zero in just two weeks.
A massive $637m contact to equip schools in New York city with new computers placed with Long Island-based Custom Computer Specialists, Inc. has been suddenly withdrawn. The other contractors tendering have also been advised their proposals will also be abandoned. Instead the city are to seek new proposals
David Ross, director of contracting for the city’s schools Department of Education “believes that its objectives can be better met by a new procurement that affords greater flexibility,”
Crucially the behind scenes situation is better revealed by another city official who admitted “It’s better to get things done right than to get them done quickly.” This follows a flurry of meetings in the past few weeks between school officials, City Hall aides, and a handful of elected officials furious at the way the contractor was chosen. There is also sting to the educational department as they will have to pay $23m in compensation to abandon the contract.
The bottom line is a major educational initiative has been botched. Schools and students throughout the city, where it was deemed essential to re-equip with new computers, are now left high an dry. The replacement tendering process will take some time to set up as contractors take heed of the complications and the risk from the tendering process. Still at least the event can be incorporated into the school curriculum to serve as actual case study on what not to do in commercial contracts which should serve them well for the future.
“I’m happily stunned the administration actually listened to our concerns and acted on them,” Rosenthal said.
“It is good news for taxpayers that the city decided to stop this egregious contract,” Haimson said. “Now we need institutional reforms, including a new law requiring the Department of Education to publicly disclose all proposed contracts at least one month before being voted on.”