Superintendent Mark Johnson unilaterally signed a contract with Istation to be the new Read to Achieve K-3 reading diagnostic. He disbanded a committee tasked with making the recommendation. No educators were involved in the decision.
As educators, we can smell BS from a mile away and it was later determined that Istation used the same lobbyist as ClassWallet. It was also determined that this lobbyist has also heavily donated to politicians in the North Carolina Republican Party.
I realize at this point that I’m restating information that a lot of people know already thanks to people like Justin Parmenter, Chelsea Bartel, Amy Jablonski, and Stu Egan. It’s just hard to fathom how terrible this decision smells. Money and politics never smell good, but it smells even worse when it involves the lives of our youngest students.
Amy Jablonski was a member of the committee that was disbanded so she has the knowledge of how that went down. Chelsea Bartel and Justin Parmenter were analyzing the information that DPI provided due to numerous freedom of information act requests.
Istation’s response? Silence them with cease and desist orders. Everything that was said was based on information witnessed in person or by citing the documents that DPI released.
If Istation thought that this would help their public relations campaign to force their product down the throat of students and educators, they’re sorely mistaken.
In a twisted sort of way, this whole saga is kind of funny really. Many educators were not the biggest fans of mClass, now, they will take it back in a heartbeat.
With all of this being out in the open, we are far past the point where Superintendent Mark Johnson needs to resign. Educators, and parents, across the state do not trust him or his ability to leader our public school students. Our students deserve better. They deserve better than Mark Johnson.