Two months ago, it was revealed that the NY State Department of Education had awarded a $27 million, no-bid contract to a company owned by News Corp., which seemed especially convenient because former NYC School Chancellor Joel Klein had joined News Corp. to head its growing student technology division. Alas, the lurid phone hacking scandal at a News Corp. tabloid has made the Empire State powers that be rethink things, as State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced last week the state was dropping the deal.
Critics had objected to News Corp.'s deal, pointing out that the company would have access to the personal information of thousands of students via the student grade-tracking contract with Wireless Generation. A State DOE spokesman said, "The controller has allowed political pressure to get in the way of vital technology that would help our students." However, the state will now open the project to bidding from other vendors—maybe some other company has vital technology?
Klein isn't as focused on News Corp.'s student technology these days—he has bigger fish to fry.