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Education

NC Blocks Istation Reading Contract For State Schools

North Carolina Superintendent of Education Mark Johnson speaking in Charlotte, February 8, 2018.
GWENDOLYN GLENN
/
WFAE

A controversial new computer reading program for K-3 students has been temporarily blocked from use in North Carolina public schools.  

The Raleigh News & Observer reports the state Department of Information Technology issued the stay against the use of Istation while a dispute from the company’s competitor is heard. The competitor, Amplify, argues state Superintendent Mark Johnson improperly awarded Istation the $8.3 million contract in June. 

Johnson chose Istation despite an evaluation committee he formed recommending the state stick with Amplify, which it had used in the state’s Read to Achieve program since its inception in 2013.  

Some teachers across the state have questioned the switch to Istation so close to the start of the new school year, saying it gave them little time to train on it.

In a statement last night, Johnson said the stay causes “unnecessary confusion” just before the start of the new school year.  He added he’s confident his choice to go with Istation will stand.