David Varela said he is still hearing negative things about the Illuminate assessment software. The board is being asked to approve continuation of services from Illuminate. He asked Kirk Nicholas how things are progressing. Illuminate costs $160,000 a year and the contract would run through fiscal year 2013-14, but it would only be a one-year approval. Categorical funds would be used. Nicholas said the district should revisit in April to ensure things are better.
Jose Morales asked if there is an alternative program. Nicholas said that’s why there’s a one-year buy, with the option to continue if the district is satisfied with Illuminate. Chief Technology Officer Robert Torres explained the problems, giving the sort of explanation one might expect from a techie. Torres said the program “is ready to blossom.” “I don’t see any issues we can’t overcome.”
Melissa Neuburger, the district’s research chief, said there is no way the district could replicate the data it compiles without the Illuminate software. “We probably have one of the best district assessment programs in the state of California.” Sal Ramirez said, and Marie Nakamura confirmed, that the district can get out of its Illuminate contract with 60 days’ notice.
The vote: 6-1 to keep Illuminate. Ramirez voted no.