At BloomBoard, our mission is to empower people to be demonstrably great in the work they do. Since 2010 we’ve been leading the change towards competency-based educator growth and advancement. We’ve partnered with hundreds of districts across the U.S. and in these relationships, we strive to demonstrate integrity, humility, caring, and authenticity. Our district and state DOE partners love us for it. Our employees love working here because of it. We hold ourselves accountable for, and hire according to it.
On July 10, 2019 KDKA-TV, the local CBS news affiliate in Pittsburgh, published an article entitled Pittsburgh Superintendent Anthony Hamlet Is Paid Consultant To Business That Hosts Vendors. The article implies that educational technology vendors, including BloomBoard, paid a consulting company to gain access to Superintendent Hamlet in order to secure “big-ticket contracts.” Thus, we thought it would be helpful to share the facts surrounding BloomBoard’s contract with Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) and our relationship with ERDI to clear up any potential misunderstandings created by the article.
- BloomBoard is not a “client” of ERDI as asserted in the article. BloomBoard’s President Jason Lange attended one ERDI meeting approximately 6 to 8 years ago. As a result of attendance at that meeting, BloomBoard is listed as a “Professional Colleague” on a page linked to the ERDI website. BloomBoard’s attendance at the ERDI meeting predated both Dr. Hamlet’s work with ERDI and his appointment as superintendent of PPS. No one at BloomBoard interacted with or presented any BloomBoard services or products to Superintendent Hamlet or any other PPS employee at any ERDI event.
- BloomBoard does have a contract with PPS, which was executed following the evaluation of vendors via an RFI process (RFI Title: Evaluation and Professional Learning Software, March 19, 2013) and approval by the Board of Public Education on October 23, 2013. Both the RFI and the subsequent purchase orders occurred three years before Dr. Hamlet became superintendent. The superintendent at that time was Dr. Linda Lane. All communications regarding the RFI were directed to Ellen Botkin.
- PPS has continued to renew its contract to use the BloomBoard Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform each year. These renewals have never involved any direct discussions with Superintendent Hamlet. All communications regarding the renewals were directed to Scott Gutowski, CTO. No one at BloomBoard has ever spoken to Superintendent Hamlet.
In an effort to clarify BloomBoard’s history with PPS, we reached out to KDKA and shared the facts outlined above. We hope this information clears up any confusion surrounding the authenticity and legitimacy of the long-standing relationship we have developed with Pittsburgh Public Schools. At BloomBoard, we are proud of the strong partnerships we’ve developed over the years and we remain committed to ensuring their success while demonstrating integrity in our work.