State’s choice of reading test stirs bigger questions August 20, 2019

North Carolina officials’ switch in reading-test vendors just weeks before the new school year got underway is spotlighting the often murky process of contracts and procurements for K-12 services.

Deep disagreements linger over whether the $8.3 million, three-year contract was properly awarded to the Dallas-based company Istation. Some educators, including a former state education department employee, are seething that top officials ignored an internal panel recommendation to award the contract to New York City-based Amplify, not to Istation.

But State Superintendent Mark Johnson contends that members of that committee failed to follow the right procedures and violated their confidentiality agreements—thus requiring the state to redo the competition, where Istation eked out the

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