Consulting Firms Invade DC

Today's Washington Post has an interesting piece about the use of
high-priced management consultants -- Deloitte, KPMG, McKinsey, Alvarez
& Associates (of St. Louis and NOLA fame) -- in DC, a good reminder that it's not just the policy wonks and
think tanks that drive real live schoolpeople crazy.

"Two dozen
high-priced consultants have set up shop on three floors of the D.C.
public schools' headquarters, wearing pinstripe suits, toting binders
and BlackBerrys and using such corporate jargon as "resource mapping"
and "identifying metrics," begins the piece (Big-Name Consultants Greeted With Wariness).
"They come from big-name restructuring firms, and the city is paying $4
million for their services this summer."

As the article points
out, few of the consultants offer project management services or stay
on to implement the plans that they make. Binders and powerpoints are
all well and good, but making the plans work and building buy-in and
capacity are the real keys.

UPDATE:  The usually-insightful Kevin Carey mystifyingly defends the management consultant crowd by blaming incompetent management for DC schools' problems.  A post written, perhaps, on a Blackberry.

Filed under: The World Outside CPS

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