When the controversy over his unilateral decision to award a multi-million dollar contract for a K-3 reading assessment tool to computer-based Istation boiled over, NC Superintendent Mark Johnson’s reply to concerns voiced by the North Carolina State Superintendents’ Association included a warning.
In the email, Johnson claimed that those who were involved in the procurement process had signed non-disclosure agreements and “are not to share any information about the process with anyone outside the team.”
The message was seen by some as an effort to keep those with inside knowledge of the flawed process from sharing what they know, and by others as a possible pretext for not fulfilling public records request for documents related to the fiasco as required by state law.
Now the actual non-disclosure agreement form signed by members of the voting and non-voting committees that evaluated reading screeners and reportedly recommended adoption of mClass to Superintendent Johnson has surfaced in a Facebook post by former DPI employee Amy Jablonski.
As you can see for yourself, the document states the following (note that italics and bold are mine):
Pursuant to North Carolina’s Administrative Code 09 NCAC 06B.0103, all information and documentation (verbal and written) relative to development of a contractual document is deemed “confidential” and shall remain confidential until successful completion of the procurement process.
Therefore, Evaluation Committee Members (both voting and contributing advisors) are required to keep all comments, discussions, and documentation confidential until a notification of award has been made by the Issuing Agency for this solicitation. By participating in this Evaluation Committee you agree to not divulge any information to an unauthorized person in advance of the time prescribed for its authorized release to the public. This includes coworkers, supervisors, family, friends, etc.
Mark Johnson’s claim that those with detailed knowledge of the procurement process that ended with his decision to award the contract to Istation must keep their mouths closed is 100% false. Any obligation by those involved to stay silent ended when the superintendent announced his decision on June 7.
Here’s hoping this revelation is one more step toward the truth.