Media Blog

WaPo Publisher Involved in DC Cronyism?

La Shawn Barber reports for the DC Examiner:

The day after Christmas, The Washington Post published a story about an “unusual deal” brewing between a nonprofit called EdBuild and the D.C. government. (“D.C. Schools Considering Unusual Deal With Nonprofit,” Dec. 26). According to the article, the government intends to enter into a no-bid contract with EdBuild to “upgrade academics and facilities in some low-performing schools.” But EdBuild, which has been in operation only 15 months, has a scant track record of upgrading either academics or facilities.
There’s more.
The Post characterizes Neil O. Albert, one of EdBuild’s founders, as an “associate” of mayors Anthony Williams and [Adrian] Fenty, but he’s much more than that. Albert served as a deputy mayor and director of the Department of Parks and Recreation under Williams. Last week, Fenty appointed him deputy mayor of economic development. Albert said he’ll resign as EdBuild’s president and CEO. […]
Albert told the newspaper that it was possible his organization would become part of Superintendent Clifford Janey’s Master Education Plan to improve schools. If Fenty’s takeover bid is successful, EdBuild, created by high-level D.C. government officials and business leaders, would carry out Fenty’s own Master Education Plan, benefiting those same officials and leaders.
Was the nonprofit created with this end in mind? The EdBuild momentum has been building for at least two years, but the Washington Post has done minimal investigative reporting about the lack of transparency in the government’s dealings with EdBuild. […]
Why isn’t The Washington Post, an award-winning investigative national newspaper, asking questions about EdBuild’s connections to the D.C. government generally or its founders’ and creators’ connections to Adrian Fenty specifically? Donald Graham, chairman of the Washington Post Co., just happens to be the vice president of Membership and Finance at the Federal City Council, which created EdBuild.

Barber has more on her blog.