New York City schools and Wireless Generation (owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.) are forming close alliances.

According to WNYC, the New York Department of Education “plans to award a no-bid contract for building a data system to the same company that built New York City’s ARIS system for tracking student achievement.”

Here’s more:

The Brooklyn-based Wireless Generation will receive almost $27 million for its work on the project. In a document given to the state comptroller’s office, education department officials in Albany explained why it wanted to give the project to Wireless Generation without considering other bids. They stated that the cost of using Wireless Generation is reasonable, that it had experience in New York City, and that the state only has four years to build the new data system.

Though former Chancellor Klein is now a vice president for educational technology at News Corp, and was involved in the ARIS project for New York City, Wireless Generation insists he had “nothing to do with” the new state contract.

Company spokesman Zach Silverstein says Wireless told the state it was interested in the contract back in June of 2009, a year and a half before Klein joined News Corp. The state wanted to build a system for tracking children from kindergarten through the end of high school as part of its Race to the Top application. It eventually won the $700 million federal grant.

And yesterday, News Corp. announced its hiring of two public-school officials to helm its education division, including Kristen Kane, the former COO of the New York DOE, who will take over as the COO of the New Corp. unit.

I spoke with Christopher Rush, the co-founder, Chief Product Officer School of One yesterday about plans for the program’s growth possibly outside New York City, and will report on that in the coming days.

  • guest

    ARIS is a terrible system that the DOE overpaid to get.  Now they want to go back for more.  What a waste of public school money that will probably be used to line the pockets of all those named above

    • Knowwhatworks

      This is absurd!
      The city paid Wireless Generation millions to develop ARIS.
      As part of the contract, the city stipulated that they would OWN everything that was created, the code, the designs, algorithms, EVERYthing.

      What’s going on here?

      Is Wireless Generation now asking NY State to pay 27 million dollars to have access to code that the cityt owns and, if not, where’s the proof?

      * Show us Who authorized that the ownership of and distribution rights to the code should be given back to Wireless Generation!


      * Show us how much Wireless Generation paid the city for the rights to sell and suport that code base!

      Let me take a wild quess: this transfer of ownership occurred before the News corp acquistion and
      strangely, no money changed hands?

      Oh, yeah, that’s how things are done in the real world.

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