BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — BocaNewsNow.com has learned that Palm Beach County’s nightmarish i-Ready $5.7-Million assessment system will continue its iPad incompatibility and poor Mac support through the 2017-2018 school year. Created and marketed by “Curriculum Associates” of North Billerica, Massachusetts, the Palm Beach County School District entered into a $5,701,822 contract for the i-Ready system on May 2, 2016. It runs six years. You can read a section of the contract documents below.
BocaNewsNow.com has been told by several teachers — mostly in the district’s gifted program — that the system is ineffective for children identified as “gifted and talented.” Teachers complain that it is sluggish, ineffective in its assessments and lacks the visual pizazz that advanced students need to stay interested. Tablet compatibility, which provides students a more personal — and faster — interaction with the system, was promoted as being available by the mid-2016 school year when the multimillion dollar contract was signed. The Palm Beach County School District has not responded to requests seeking information about a possible partial refund.
Curriculum Associates spokesperson Charlotte Fixler has not responded to multiple calls and emails over several weeks seeking comment.
The iPad issue is an issue as the system only operates effectively on Flash-based computer systems. Apple, notoriously, has rallied against Adobe Flash which has long been tied to computer viruses and sluggish behavior. Students are constantly told to use i-Ready at home, but in parts of the county where iPads and Macs are ubiquitous, using the system at home is rendered impossible — leaving the $5.7 million system vastly underutilized.
Curriculum Associates recently updated its 2017-2018 compatibility documents with the PDF below. You’ll note the second listing states “Adobe Flash Required for the 2017-2018 school year.”
BocaNewsNow.com received this internal marketing document, stating that HTML5 versions of the system will not be available until the 2018-2019 school year.
States Curriculum Associates: “Our transition to HTML5, which will be nearly complete for the back to school 2018, ensures educators and their students will have an i-Ready platform that enables ongoing innovation, including use on iPads.”
Supporters of i-Ready say it is helpful for underperforming or special needs students.
BocaNewsNow.com has requested comment from school board members. We will update when comments are received.
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