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Statement from Superintendent Mark Johnson regarding NC DIT injunction

Superintendent Mark Johnson issued the following statement last week about the Department of Information Technology stay on the implementation of Istation

I’m the NC Superintendent of Public Instruction, but I’m also a lawyer. That’s a good thing on weeks like this one.

DIT improperly issued an injunction on the reading diagnostic contract this week that ignored due process and was in contradiction of state law and their own agency rules. DIT rendered a decision after only hearing arguments from one party, the losing vendor, and failed to give DPI its proper chance to respond.  

Today, DPI has filed a motion to dissolve this improper stay. DIT lawyers need to understand they are accountable to North Carolinians, not the CEO of Amplify. Given that DIT procurement specialists advised DPI throughout the procurement process, it is odd to begin with that the same department that approved the process is now in charge of reviewing that same process.  

We are reviewing our options to eliminate the uncertainty in our schools that DIT and this frivolous protest have recklessly created. 

Istation is the best reading diagnostic for NC students, parents, and educators. If you get outside the Raleigh Beltline or out of Uptown Charlotte, you get to read how Istation is already working. In Scotland County for example, the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction told the Scotland County Board of Education, “This is something that is really solid for students that’s going to make a difference,” and “It [Istation] is something that can really make a difference for the students.”  

And, we are getting similar feedback across North Carolina. The State Board and I made the right decision after a fair, just, and legal procurement process. It might not be supported by those who prefer to always go the more of the same route regardless of frustrations from teachers or lack of results for students. But, this is the right decision for the State of North Carolina. DIT has thrown this process into chaos, which is unacceptable, careless, and unnecessary. We are moving forward at DPI because we owe nothing less than positive change for our students and educators. 

Mark Johnson

Superintendent of Public Instruction


EdNC staff reporting relies on staff, interns, and columnists.