WCSD Responds To Globe, Moves Forward With Controversial Equity Consultant
Sup. Enfield: ‘Invitations for planning teams and the promotion of community forums will be shared mid-January’
By Megan Barth, January 11, 2023 5:46 pm
On Monday, The Globe reported on the $105,000 contract awarded to Performance Fact, an organization led by CEO Mutiu Vagbayi who made national headlines for his work in the Fairfax County Public School District whereby he explained that “to have true equity, you have to be purposefully unequal when it comes to access.” The Fairfax County consulting no-bid contract awarded Performance Fact $455,000. In relation to his work, Princeton Public schools hid National Merit Awards from students and parents for years and the district is now the subject of two civil rights investigations by Attorney General Jason Miyares.
The six-figure contract with Performance Fact, (see below), was supposed to start in December with related payments starting on January 15 , but according to a response from Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield, the planning meetings needed for the District’s “strategic plan” has been delayed due to a variety of reasons listed below, although staff has been working with Performance Fact since the contract was approved. The Globe is publishing Sup. Enfield’s response to The Globe in it’s entirety:
A couple of individuals have referenced page 10 of the contract with Performance Fact and a January 10 date where an update to the Board would occur. This is not correct. The January 10 date that is referenced is from an illustrative project calendar only and is noted as such. In fact, the dates listed are from 2016 and 2017. At the top of the page it clearly states, “A Washoe County-specific version will be developed collaboratively with district leaders, in line with the December 2022 start-date and June 2023 end-date set by the district.” Staff is in the process of scheduling dates for the Board to receive updates from the Performance Fact team, including the final plan for approval in June. These updates will be during a Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees, which is a public meeting. In the meantime, I will provide any pertinent updates in board meetings during my superintendent comments.
We originally planned to hold the first of many stakeholder planning meetings in the middle of January but made the decision to have the planning meetings begin in February. This was our decision to delay and was not the vendor delaying the process. The move to February was made to account for pre-planning with students (winter break was the last 2 weeks), provide more notice for community members with the goal of increased involvement and to compile and analyze the data from the 2022-2023 Student and Staff Climate Survey. The survey closes this week on January 13. By using the data from the climate survey, we eliminated the need to survey students and staff an additional time.
While we made the decision to move the first of many stakeholder meetings until February, the completion of the strategic plan has not changed.
The strategic plan process will center on extensive community engagement involving our families, students, staff and community members. Involvement and input from all stakeholders are essential for a successful, effective strategic plan. Invitations for planning teams and the promotion of community forums will be shared mid-January.
Staff has worked with the Performance Fact team since the approval of the contract by the Board. Work has included, but is not limited to, pre-planning meetings with several department chiefs and directors, developing the planning calendar (dates/times/locations) for planning teams and community forums, organizing the logistics for those meetings and the compilation/analysis of data (this will be ongoing).
Lastly, the contract does list a payment schedule and deliverables. With the delay, the January payment will not be made, and the payment schedule will be adjusted accordingly. I want to point out that our financial team intentionally includes a payment schedule with deliverables in many contracts. This contract is no different.
The Globe has asked for a copy of the Student and Staff Climate Survey and will continue to provide updates as provided and needed.Contract between District and Performance Fact, Inc.