A widening scandal envelopes Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, revealing how his employees in the UK hacked into the cell phones of murder victims, paid off policemen, and may have stolen the medical records of the former Prime Minister’s newborn son. What is indisputable is that his papers used offensively bullying tactics against elected officials to dissuade them from criticizing his methods or investigating his activities. The latest allegation is that News Corp’s journalists may even have hacked into the phones of American victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, leading several US Senators to call for a Congressional investigation.
NYC’s former Chancellor, Joel Klein, now works for Murdoch, and has been put in charge of the “internal investigation” of this scandal. At the same time questions have been raised surrounding several no-bid contracts that the NY State Education Department and the NYC Department of Education intend to award Wireless Generation, the company that Murdoch bought immediately after Klein announced he would run Murdoch’s new online learning division.
The state no-bid contract would pay Wireless $27 million to build a statewide version of ARIS, the expensive data system that has received widespread criticism from NYC parents, teachers, and principals alike, who say that there are far less expensive and more useful data systems available. There are also troubling conflict of interest questions, given that these contracts were announced shortly before and after Joel Klein’s departure from the DOE. See also the summary of this controversy from Think Progress.
Sign our petition now, asking the State and City Comptrollers to reject these no-bid contracts , with copies sent to the Commissioner John King, the NY Board of Regents, NYC Chancellor Walcott, and the Investigator General of the US Dept. of Ed (since the state contract will be paid with federal funds.)
A timeline of these events, with more explanation and links to back-up information, is available here.