NC Department of Information Technology pauses Istation implementation in order to review contract award

The North Carolina Department of Information Technology (DIT) has granted Amplify’s Motion to Stay the Istation contract pending administrative review of the process the Department of Public Instruction followed in awarding it.

After Superintendent Mark Johnson denied Amplify’s official protest of his decision to award the K-3 reading assessment contract to computer-based Istation, Amplify appealed the denial to DIT. With the school year set to begin, Amplify also requested the contract itself be paused while the matter is considered. DIT has granted that motion and Istation implementation now appears to be on hold.

In a statement, Amplify CEO Larry Berger said, “We learned today our motion to stay the K-3 reading assessment contract award to Istation has been granted by the NC Department of Information Technology (DIT). This decision means that Istation must halt its implementation while the proceeding is pending with DIT. We look forward to working with NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and DIT to ensure that all educators in the state have the critical opportunity to understand their students’ reading development at the beginning of the school year, just as they have in the past.”

Amplify now has 30 days to prepare Prehearing Statements, and a Prehearing Scheduling Conference is set to take place at DIT on October 8.

You can read DIT’s motion below:


One thought on “NC Department of Information Technology pauses Istation implementation in order to review contract award

  1. I am very glad to hear of this decision. When I first heard about the program at a recent Board of Education meeting in New Hanover County, I was very concerned. I believe school systems and Educators need to have the opportunity to be convinced that this product is going to well serve their children. I have concerns that children who have variant dialects will be poorly rated by the AI system. We all know that Alexa does not interpret southern accents or Ebonics with the same accuracy as a more neutral accents. I also happen to believe that teaching is not just about grading but about the interaction that happens between the student and the instructor. I do not see how this can be accomplished with a software program. I am glad that Educators have an opportunity to evaluate the product and give feedback before it is implemented.

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