At a hearing yesterday, New Jersey thinks it may have discovered just who was responsible for the Race To The Top application typo that cost the state $400 million in federal education funding. It turns out, the consultant did it!
The state paid consultant Wireless Generation over $500,000 to help the state with the lengthy application, and Daniel Gohl, a Newark Public Schools official, said he flagged the mistake for them to review. However, he was told there was nothing they could do about the error, as they found it after the June 1st deadline. The state never corrected the error in their presentation to federal officials, and the Assembly Republicans say the consultant "failed to assure the technical accuracy of the application in violation of their contract."
Gohl says he didn't alert state education officials to the error even after he flagged it to the consultant, so it sounds more like the mistake was an inside job. But former education commissioner Bret Schundler (who was fired in the wake of the application drama) said, "I should not have assumed anything, and Wireless, our consultant, should have caught the error." Or, as Governor Christie previously suggested, the federal government could have just asked the Internet if they wanted to know the real information so badly.