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School Improvement RFP of the Week (1): Buld a Turnkey Online Platform for Indiana

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Announcement: Teacher/Learning Portal Application Due August 7 (Jun 13) Indiana Department of Education

Their Description:
The purpose of this RFP is to select a vendor that can satisfy the State’s need for the development/implementation of a statewide teacher/learning portal solution. It is the intent of IDOE (Indiana Department of Education) to contract with a vendor that provides quality application development/implementation solutions....

The IDOE currently has two such solutions/tools in place. It is our intention to merge these tools to a common solution for potential use of all school teachers and administrators in the state.

The Teaching and Learning Portal is envisioned as a service to P-12 educators in the state of Indiana. It will provide a common platform for lesson planning and curriculum design; collaboration; access to rich digital content; and collecting, reporting and analyzing student achievement data. With role-based access to a set of features in an environment that offers users some control of preferences and display, the Teaching and Learning Portal is expected to serve as a point of connection between the classroom, homes, schools/districts, and educational organizations....
The Teaching and Learning Portal will be constructed to comply with the technical frameworks already in place at the DOE and to the extent possible, take advantage of existing software licenses and databases....

The system described in this document is intended to serve as the backbone for technology services to schools from the DOE. As such, the system must be robust and scalable to support increasingly intensive use. Initial architecture, development and performance testing for each phase of construction will require third party resources and expertise. The DOE will ultimately assume responsibility for deployment and ongoing support of the application....

This document is intended to capture the design of a new system provided to Indiana educators by the Indiana Department of Education. Initially this design will be influenced by the functionality in existing systems such as ICAN and the smartDESKTOP .... The Teaching and Learning Portal will depend on data from data stores created by other systems and on data currently existing in legacy systems.

Individualized Classroom Accountability Network—ICAN: ICAN is a system that could be used as a working prototype for some of the functionality outlined in this document.... Some user data from this system will need to be migrated to the new Teaching and Learning Portal....

The smartDESKTOP is a system that could be used as a working prototype for some of the functionality outlined in this document. The requirements that follow draw heavily on the design of this system. Some user data from this system will need to be migrated to the new Teaching and Learning Portal....

Current users of the smartDESKTOP and ICAN are the potential first users of the Teaching and Learning Portal. Current use of these systems on a daily basis is approximately 1,000 users per day. To illustrate, the smartDESKTOP system experienced 3,465 unique visits in March 2008. Total visits for the month were 9, 284.... [W]e expect that the system will need to at least support several thousand concurrent sessions within the next three years.... All work done under the resulting contract will meet all technical, security, accessibility and privacy standards in effect with the Indiana Department of Education at the time of implementation

My Thoughts:
Will k-12 information systems be standardized by vendor or state, or will every system be slightly different at every level? Is this industry segment susceptible to the economies of scale of utilities or just big consulting firms? The 10th Amendment leaves public education markets more like pre-war Europe than post-war America. I see continued structural fragmentation.

K-12Leads and Youth Service Markets Report is a comprehensive weekly web-enabled report delivered by email on Monday. It covers grant and contract RFPs issued by every federal and state education and social services agency and every school district over the internet. K-12Leads is for school improvement providers who understand that their offerings are not commodities, rarely displayed as such, and so easily missed by traditional computer-based “word search” systems.


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1 Comment

Have any of these big portal projects actually worked as they are envisioned?

That's an honest question, not snark.

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