D.C. Dumps Contractor Hired to Build Schools Database

By Bill Turque
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The District has fired the contractor hired to build a $12 million data repository for critical information about D.C. schools, citing missed deadlines, software defects and failure to make available the personnel it promised, officials said Monday.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and State Superintendent of Education Kerri L. Briggs announced the dismissal of Williams, Adley & Co. , an accounting and management consulting firm, at a late afternoon news conference. The firm was awarded a contract early last year to create the Statewide Longitudinal Data Warehouse, which was to compile information about student academic growth, teacher quality and graduation rates and make it available to policymakers and parents. Much of the data is scattered among government agencies, public charter schools and the D.C. public school system.

The project, headed by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, has been in trouble for several months and has fallen behind schedule. In October, the firm was due to deliver systems to track enrollment, grades and demographic trends. Linkage of student data to detailed information about teachers was planned for February 2010. Elements of the system that were supposed to be in place earlier this year, including a 10-digit identification number to track each student in the system over time, are not fully functional.

Calls to Kola Isiaq, managing partner of the firm's District office, and to chief executive Tom Williams in Oakland, Calif., were not returned Monday.

Briggs said she hopes to have a new contractor in place within a couple of months.

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