Maine Announces State Technology Contract Award – But Not Apple (Kind Of)

We're in the middle of (a contentious) budget season, and I haven't been able to blog as much as I would like lately…

But things took an interesting turn last Saturday, and even though I still really don't have time to blog, I need to get some of this out there…

Saturday, Gov. LePage announced that the MLTI contract would go to HP, not Apple. Apple has been the state's partner in MLTI, Maine's learning with laptop initiative, for the last 12 years.

This was a shock to Maine's educators, because the RFP Evaluation Team had identified 5 finalists and the HP solution had an RFP evaluation rating almost 14 points lower than the top proposal, coming in 4th, and costing almost $20 more per seat than the highest rated solution…

The Governor stated that it was the least expensive solution, but his spokesperson clarified later that he meant to say “least expensive laptop solution.” Also, he made his belief clear that a Windows-based laptop was the best choice for preparing students for work (despite the fact that MLTI is supposed to be a learning initiative, not a job training program).

The really interesting thing, however, is that the Governor also said that districts could choose from any of the 5 finalist proposals, but (for 7th and 8th grade, that the State pays for) would only cover the cost up to what the State would pay for the HP solution. If a school chose a more expensive solution, then they would have to pay the cost difference. (Auburn is likely to choose the iPad solution, the “Apple (Primary)” proposal, which costs less than the HP solution.)

Schools can also buy into MLTI for non-middle grades (high school and elementary school) at their own cost.

There are still lots of questions and lots of concerns, and I'm going to try to blog about some of them over the next day or two…

But in the meantime, here are some resources:

 

About Mike Muir

I'm an educator interested in collaborating with other educators on engaging all learners, proficiency-based learning, technology's role in learning, and leadership for school change.
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