STEVENS POINT, WI (WSAU) - Skyward in Stevens Point has another ally in the battle against the State of Wisconsin. That’s Portage County Executive Patty Dreier. Dreier commented in an interview that several observations point towards mistakes being made by the state.
Dreier has a great deal of experience handling request-for-proposals (RFP’s) and evaluating vendor offers from long before becoming the County Executive. She says Skyward allowed her and Portage County’s procurement director the opportunity to privately review the documents and judge for themselves... and she’s not impressed with the State of Wisconsin’s actions. “I have seen the protest documents. There’s no surprise. There’s obvious flaws in this procurement process.”
Dreier says the issues she noticed in the RFP and the evaluations raised a red flag. Now, she wonders if the state needs to review it’s entire procurement process. “If this is happening on this particular high visibility case, what’s happening to all of the other cases in the background who don’t come with 15-million dollar price tags.” Dreier adds, “Processes that we believe should be transparent, should be fair, should be following the rules and should make sense, and this particular RFP and evaluation process is full of multiple issues.”
The state announced February 1st their intent to award a statewide student information software contract for every school in the state to Minnesota based Infinite Campus.
Skyward has filed a protest in an effort to show Wisconsin what they believe are several errors in scoring the vendor proposals. They also contend that the state is severely underestimating the real cost to taxpayers for implementing their chosen system statewide. Skyward already has half of the state’s school districts as customers.
Assistant State Superintendent-Division for Libraries and Technology Kurt Kiefer is known to favor Infinite Campus, but it’s not clear if he had any influence in scoring the vendors. Kiefer’s endorsement of the product was listed on the Infinite Campus website when he worked at the Madison Metropolitan School District. Infinite Campus has removed Kiefer’s comments from their website. The Department of Public Instruction has not yet responded to several questions posed by WSAU Radio.