In an offer letter (pdf) written Friday, Feb. 1, Wisconsin’s Bureau of Procurement (no, I didn’t know we had one, either) named Minnesota-based Infinite Campus as the winner of the process to provide a statewide school information system.
School districts across Wisconsin currently use a variety of information and data management systems. The Milwaukee Public Schools, for example, uses eSIS; PowerSchool is another popular local choice. However, a few years ago the state legislature required Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction to select one system to be used by all districts, which would allow for faster and better collection and reporting of student data. The goal was to have the provider selected a year ago with some schools already using the new system this fall, but the process didn’t happen quite that fast. All districts are supposed to be using the new system by 2017.
The letter says the offer is still contingent upon successful negation of the details, but Infinite Campus’s product and bid beat out offers from a number of other companies, including edu-giants like Follett and Pearson, as well as Wisconsin-based Skyward. Skyward, you may recall, was the subject of a minor scandal when it appeared the administration of governor Scott Walker was rigging the process in favor of the home team, offering Skyward tax breaks if they offered the lowest bid.
Though not the home team, Infinite Campus is no stranger to Wisconsin, as it currently provides the information systems for dozens of districts all across the state, like Madison, Greenfield, West Allis-West Milwaukee, New Berlin, and Mukwanago. If any readers with IC experience want to offer comments (hint, hint), I’d be happy to hear, as I have no personal experience with the system.
As for me, I’m just glad MPS might finally be rid of eSIS, which looks, feels, and acts like a product of the 1990s.
UPDATE: Apparently the home team isn’t done yet–Skyward plans a lawsuit to challenge the award.