Former New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein is the CEO of Amplify, a for-profit education company owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Klein is a nationally prominent advocate of education reforms under which teachers are fired or rewarded based in part on analysis of their students’ performances on standardized tests. Such endeavors often involve the hiring of data consultants whose cost can irk teachers in underfunded schools that often lack basic facilities and supplies. During his time at New York’s Department of Education, Klein launched a multimillion-dollar data-collection system called ARIS—and his News Corp. company was paid millions to manage it after he left city government. But now New York has announced that it will be replacing ARIS while disparaging the system’s performance in harsh terms. From the New York Daily News:
“The Education Department has decided to end our contract with Amplify as a result of the extremely high cost of the ARIS system, its limited functionality, and the lack of demand from parents and staff,” said agency spokeswoman Devora Kaye.
“The shockingly low usage of ARIS shows that the vast majority of families and Education Department staff don’t find it a valuable tool”…
Most city teachers and parents have stopped using the system. Just 3% of parents and 16% of teachers used it in the 2012-13 school year, education officials said.
Klein’s new book, Lessons of Hope: How to Fix Our Schools, was published this month.
Update, November 18, 2014: Amplify, in a statement, says the end of ARIS has been planned for years. The company’s statement: “Six years ago we were called in to fix this project when it was well underway. We did so on time and on budget. Since then, we’ve been working over the past two years to wind down maintenance level work because of potential plans to transition to a new state system with similar—and in some cases—overlapping functions.”