Today just as the State Board of Education meeting was beginning, Superintendent Mark Johnson had DPI send the following message to the Department of Public Instruction’s email distribution list.
The message requires no editorializing, but I’d invite you to take a moment after reading it to celebrate the fact that Mark Johnson will not be in elected office next year.
Of course, guys like this usually land on their feet. I could see Mark Johnson having a very bright future in marketing for Istation.
Dear School Leaders,
We know these are challenging times, and we appreciate all of your efforts to support students, staff, and your community. While we don’t want to add to your workload, we have an obligation to make you aware of the consequences resulting from the expiration of the state’s Istation contract.
A majority of the State Board of Education, against the recommendation of DPI and some other Board members, declined to extend the Istation contract. As a result, the state contract with Istation expired yesterday. This means you will lose that access to the assessment platforms and, unfortunately, the remote learning platforms. The Board’s decision also means that state-provided rostering and authentication will be deactivated.
Superintendent Johnson has requested that the State Board reconsider their decision and that work is still ongoing, but for your planning purposes, please see below for how this may impact you.
• Districts and teachers will need to take time this week to download and print the student summary report or any other data needed, as it will no longer be available. Some data will be archived at the state level and uploaded into Schoolnet.
• Parents will no longer have access to Istation’s parent portal or the remote learning tools that have been utilized more heavily due to school closures. You may receive questions and complaints, so we suggest that you please prepare your staff with talking points.
• State-provided rostering data for all Istation products will be deactivated. Depending on whether you use other products from Istation or if your district wants to conduct impact assessments upon return to school to measure lost learning, your district may have to build and maintain new local rostering data feeds from local PowerSchool instances to Istation. (We recognize this will be a tedious process in an already challenging time, but it is the only option due to the state’s contract expiration.)
• Access (authentication through the NCEdCloud IAM Service) to the Istation platform will be disabled. Districts who would like to continue using the NCEdCloud IAM Service for authentication purposes will need to contact DPI.
• Districts and teachers will lose access to students’ personalized data and Istation resources.
• We, unfortunately, will likely lose the opportunity to measure the impact that the school closures had on all K-3 students’ reading skills. As you are aware, baseline assessments via Istation were taken in December and January. Due to the contract’s expiration, we won’t be able to conduct an impact assessment upon return to school.
Thank you for your time on this important matter. DPI regrets that we have to add another burden to your plate during this already difficult time. Please let us know if you have any questions.