CCSD paid consulting firm Education Elements $1.2 Million

CCSD paid consulting firm Education Elements $1.2 Million
July 19 20:17 2018 Print This Article

In 2012, Charleston County School District (CCSD) applied for a $19.4 million federal grant for personalized learning.  CCSD received funding and implemented the grant in 2014. The grant called for the establishment of an Office of Personalized Learning.   There were 19 schools identified in the grant to implement personalized learning,  The personalized learning grant enabled the students in the 19 targeted schools to complete self-paced learning objectives in reading, math, and other subjects, which were loaded onto computer tablets.  In addition, the Office of Personalized Learning provided staff development training for the 19 schools and full-time personalized learning coaches in each school.

In 2016, CCSD dissolved the Office of Personalized Learning, including the elimination of the full-time personalized learning  coaches for the 19 schools.  This  may be in violation of the terms of the federal grant, since the creation of that office was among the terms specified in the 2012 grant application.

School Board candidate Jake Rambo recently revealed that CCSD paid $1.2 million since 2016 to consulting firm Education Elements to take over the personalized learning program.  The education advocacy group Flip The Board produced a video showing the confidence participating students gained in the self-paced program from 2014 to 2016 before the consultants took over. The Education Elements consultants do not provide full-time staff to the participating schools, which are not the same schools covered in the original grant.

It is unclear whether the school district and consulting firm are meeting the terms of the 2012 federal grant or whether the federal Department of Education might ask CCSD for re-imbursement for terms not met. It is also unclear about how much money CCSD spends each year on consulting contracts.