Brian Kisida of the Mid-Riffs blog has a good shot and clean kill on the waste of money on high-dollar, no-bid consulting contracts to out-of-state consultants. His immediate target was the Fayetteville School District for a $36,000 focus group experience much like an earlier one done for the Rogers School District. The strength of the piece is that it goes beyond the blog's usual carping about all things related to public education to get at the bigger picture of waste.
One wonders what those of us here in Northwest Arkansas have done to deserve so much attention from charlatans lately. …The latest sum of money the community will be parting with–$36,000 to be exact–is going to pay Phi Delta Kappa for conducting a curriculum audit of the Fayetteville School District. Like Eva Klein & Associates did for Fayetteville (for $150,000), Phi Delta Kappa came into town for a few days and held focus groups with community members to hear their ideas. ...Good questions, we think, but maybe that's because we've been saying the same thing for years. The Eva Klein deal was just the worst of the lot, but everyone knew that from the start. It frittered away more than four times the amount of the school district's contract, and the local media treated that publicly-financed campaign stunt like it was something legit.
I don’t know exactly why organizations pay money to outside consultants, like when the city paid Eva Klein & Associates to tell us that the University was one of our strengths, and that the perception that Fayetteville was anti-business was one of our weaknesses. Don’t we already elect and pay people to think about these things and have a vision for what we need to do? So why are they sub-contracting out their duties?
Quick, without peeking, can you name one single thing that the City got from Eva Klein that we didn't already know? Didn't think so. But, maybe the City learned one thing from that slick squandering, since the new administration seems to have sharply curtailed such foolishness.