Look at these action opportunities from Patti's post on Monday.

Now is a good time to follow up with the #MarkJohnsonDebacle as we have some interesting developments. For some background read last month’s post Parents Demand Transparency and an Investigation. So Should You.

Well, many of you did demand an investigation, and I thank you for advocating for what's right for our public school children and transparency in government. I am happy to say that the "the state Department of Information Technology granted Amplify Education’s motion Monday for a temporary stay against the use of Istation while a dispute is heard over how the contract was awarded.” Read more from the News and Observer.

Mark Johnson is quoted as saying, ‘I am disappointed in this stay as it sows unnecessary confusion for our educators just as the school year starts . . .’ It’s amazing to me that he is suddenly concerned about causing confusion for educators. He did not seem concerned about causing confusion back in June when he announced the $8+ million contract with Istation just after traditional teachers went on summer break and there was no time for training. He did not seem concerned about causing confusion with just weeks before the new school year started for year round schools. Maybe he did not know it sows unnecessary confusion to sit 5-year-olds in front of screens to determine their reading ability. (Seriously I heard a teacher report crying from a child just in the training modules.) Perhaps he is unaware that it caused confusion to withhold public records to benefit his agenda or to send an email to educators to push his agenda.

So let’s briefly talk about this email, sent by Mark Johnson on Monday to every public school employee, days before many traditional schools start. Many teachers, including myself, are disgusted by this email for many reasons. Stu Egan, Caffeinated Rage, points out how Johnson is trying to point the blame elsewhere and then does a great job pointing out several thoughts that point to his continuous lack of transparency. Read more and see the email here.

In the email, he uses the phrase, “the truth is,” over and over. Well Mark, we’ll wait and see what the truth is after they thoroughly review the contract process.

One of my concerns is that our state superintendent used the public schools' email system to promote his agenda. This is something that would be seen as inappropriate if it had been done by an educator. Furthermore, if he has nothing to hide, let the investigation take place and let the findings speak for themselves.

For now, I’m happy for the pause in the Istation action. My own child starts kindergarten next week, and until more light is shed on the procurement process, I had full intention of refusing to allow him to participate. Many of us will breathe a sigh of relief and wait for next steps.

According to Justin Parmenter, Notes from the Chalkboard, “Amplify now has 30 days to prepare Prehearing Statements, and a Prehearing Scheduling Conference is set to take place at DIT on October 8.” Read more and see DIT’s motion here.

Tags: (Education, Istation, State Superintendent)

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