BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The $5.7-Milion student assessment system known as “i-Ready” must not be assigned for home use. Any teacher assigning the system as homework, according to a new statement from the Palm Beach County School District, should be reported to the school’s principal or an area administrative office.
The statement, which comes just weeks before the start of the 2017-2018 school year, was released after BocaNewsNow.com revealed that i-Ready developer “Curriculum Associates” would not have a version of the i-Ready system adherent to modern-day computer standards until the 2018-2019 school year at the earliest.
Palm Beach County School District entered into a six year, $5.7-Million contract with Curriculum Associates in 2016.
Principals and administrators last year encouraged teachers to assign use of the system as required homework. Parents at several elementary schools countywide were provided with usernames, passwords and implicit instruction that their children were to use the system for at least 20 minutes a night.
But parents soon realized that the web-based system was non-functional on iPads and Android tablets. Use on Mac systems running OSX required an overhaul of the computer’s security settings. Macs, by default, do not allow Flash. Even Adobe — maker of Flash — announced on Tuesday that the buggy, virus susceptible software would be killed off in 2020.
While the i-Ready system is supported by parents of children with special needs, i-Ready is heavily criticized by parents of advanced and gifted children who say i-Ready’s sluggish behavior, poor graphics and overtly politically correct storylines detract from use of the system as a legitimate gauge of student learning.
Curriculum Associates Spokeswoman Charlotte Fixler has not responded to several telephone calls and emails from BocaNewsNow.com over the past several weeks.
It remains unclear if Curriculum Associates will issue a refund to the Palm Beach County School District for part of the nearly $6-Million cost. The Massachusetts-based company provided literature last year stating that iPad and Android tablet functionality would be available towards the end of 2016 or start of 2017 calendar year.
Here is the official statement from the Palm Beach County School District:
The District chose i-Ready to ensure a consistent and effective adaptive learning platform for reading and math in every school. During the time the District started using i-Ready, it has also been approved by the Department of Education to utilize i-Ready scores as necessary for third grade promotion.
i-Ready’s primary purpose is for classroom use. While students benefit from additional at home use, it should not be assigned as required homework. There are features for each grade level that students can enjoy on the IOS operating system if they are accessing i-Ready at home from a tablet.
While teachers are likely to encourage students to access i-Ready as part of their at-home enrichment, parents whose students are being assigned i-Ready as required homework should contact their Principal or Regional Office.
There is one “i-Ready” app in the iOS app store which is complimentary to — but not the same as — the i-Ready system. It is poorly rated.