By a vote of 8-2, the North Carolina State Board of Education today delayed action on Superintendent Mark Johnson’s request for a $1.2 million extension of the Istation contract.
The board’s decision was to table a vote on the contract and wait to see whether state legislators will waive formative assessment requirements under Read to Achieve legislation.
Standardized testing for the end of this year has already been cancelled, but there are a number of other laws that rely on data from testing that still need to be addressed by the General Assembly.
A number of concerns were raised by State Board members in the lengthy discussion that preceded the vote on Istation:
➼ Can we ensure equitable access to the technology required to use Istation?
➼ How should the fact that only 6-7% of eligible students are currently using Istation inform our decision?
➼ Is progress monitoring data collected when students are at home valid and reliable when we have no idea who is actually taking the assessment?
➼ Is it prudent to spend $1.2 million for at-home reading support when there are so many resources being offered for free by other companies?
In the end, State Board member Jill Camnitz moved to table action on the proposed contract. JB Buxton seconded, and the only two members who voted no were Dr. Olivia Oxendine and Amy White.