Petition Closed
Petitioning NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and 21 others

Ask the NYS & NYC Comptrollers to cancel no-bid Wireless Gen contracts!


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.

Letter to
NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott
Bd. of Regents member Harry Phillips
Bd. of Regents member Geraldine Chapey
and 19 others
Bd. of Regents member Anthony S. Bottar
NY State Comptroller NYS Comptroller Di Napoli
Bd. of Regents member James C. Dawson
NYC Comptroller NYC Comptroller Liu
Bd. of Regents member Robert M. Bennett
NYS Education Commissioner Commissioner John King
Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch
Bd. of Regents member James R. Tallon Jr.
Bd. of Regents member Lester Young
Bd. of Regents member Dr. Betty Rosa
Bd. of Regents member Charles Bendit
Bd. of Regents member James E. Cottrell
Vice-Chancellor of the Bd. of Regents Milton Cofield
Bd. of Regents member Wade Norwood
Bd. of Regents member Dr. James O. Jackson
Investigator General of the US Dept. of Education Kathleen Tighe
Bd. of Regents member Christine Cea
Bd. of Regents member Roger Tilles
Bd of Regents member Kathleen Cashin
We want to call your attention to the widening scandal over News Corp misconduct in England, which has now reached our shores, with allegations that employees of the company may hacked into the phones of 9/11 victims, leading to several US Senators to call for a Congressional investigation. At the same time, the NY State Education Department and the NYC Department of Education have proposed to give several no-bid contracts with the News Corp subsidiary, Wireless Generation. As you know, Wireless Generation was bought by Rupert Murdoch only days after Joel Klein announced he would resign as Chancellor of DOE to head News Corp’s new online learning division, and though Rupert Murdoch has claimed that he did not consult with Klein before purchasing the company, this is hard to believe. Not only do these contracts provoke troubling conflict-of-interest questions, but also deep concerns that many other companies may be able to provide similar services and products at lower cost. In regards to the proposed contract for Wireless to build a statewide version of ARIS, numerous reports in the media and elsewhere have revealed that principals and teachers have deep dissatisfaction with this program, and that there are many other systems available that provide more useful information at far less cost.

We urge you to reject these no-bid contracts in order to ensure that taxpayers’ funds are not wasted, and that our schools are not subjected to inferior products, just because those who run the company have powerful political or personal connections. A timeline of these events, with more explanation and links to back-up information, is available here:

Sincerely yours,

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