JLF Piedmont Triad Blog

GCS tablets: Cleanly or messily

So the Rhino’s Paul Clark puts it as the Guilford County Board of Education ponders its do-over options following the GCS tablet debacle:

The school board has several choices. It can stick with its current contract with Amplify, hoping that Amplify will come up with functional and kid-proof tablets in time for the next school year; it can issue a new request for proposals (RFP), inviting Amplify and other companies to submit new proposals to provide tablets, software, digital textbooks and training; or it could review the proposals submitted for its original RFP, which the school board members never got to see.

…Issuing a new RFP or accepting one of the 10 unseen original proposals would require the school board to end its contract with Amplify.

That contract could be ended cleanly, or messily. The clean way would be for Guilford County Schools and Amplify to come to an agreement to scrap the contract and move on. The messy way would be for Guilford County Schools to determine that Amplify had not fulfilled its responsibilities under the contract by supplying the school system with computers unsuited for use by children.

The messy way could result in a lawsuit instituted by the school board or Amplify, although Amplify might decide to cut its losses and avoid the bad publicity a lawsuit would generate.

Whatever the board decides to do —stick with Amplify or request another round of RFPs — the timeline for rolling out more tablets for the 2014-2015 school year will be tight. Could be messily.

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