Amplify Insight Wins Contract from Common-Core Testing Consortium

Managing Editor

One of the two consortia developing tests for the Common Core State Standards has awarded a $12.5 million contract to Amplify Insight to develop a digital library of formative assessment professional learning tools for educators.

The award from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, announced Tuesday, will come from a four-year, $175 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, given to support the group of states’ efforts in crafting the exams.

The consortium estimates that it has given out $90 million in contracts so far, and that it plans to award about $70 million more, a Smarter Balanced official told Education Week.

Amplify Insight is a division of Amplify, an ed-tech company whose chief executive officer is Joel Klein, the former New York City schools chancellor. Amplify is the education arm of the media conglomerate News Corp., led by Rupert Murdoch. Last week, Amplify received a blast of media attention when it unveiled a new tablet device, loaded with classroom management tools and interactive lessons, at the South by Southwest education gathering.

This will be the second contract awarded to Amplify Insight by Smarter Balanced, with the first one being granted last year to what was then Wireless Generation, in partnership with ETS, to develop software to report and analyze results from the assessments.

A competitive procurement process was used to issue the award, one that was overseen by Washington state’s office of the superintendent of public instruction. (Washington state is one of the member states in the Smarter Balanced consortium).

An evaluation committee of representatives from the Smarter Balanced governing state reviewed and scored the proposals, said consortium officials, who provided details on the procurement process here.

9 thoughts on “Amplify Insight Wins Contract from Common-Core Testing Consortium

  1. It’s comforting to know the teacher bashing, public education hating, profit seeking "reformers" have found their voice in the likes of Rupert Murdoch and Joel Klein. I look forward to more entrepreneurial endeavors from this great team (e.g., FOX "news", Wall Street Urinal, and continuing World Corp’s "hacking" scandals but in a new venue- education. Woo-hoo!

  2. I wonder how many people will trust something associated with Rupert Murdoch. I would be more inclined to trust someone who actually had Education experience, for example Educational Resources have been around for more than 26 years and they have an award winning solution called the LearnPad.

  3. US Dept of Education under Duncan has revealed its true mission- to enrich the donor class with crony contracts and an endless stream of tax revenue. The pretense of improving education for poor children is exposed. "The civil rights issue of our time’ according to Duncan is a fraud.

  4. Apart from the controversy surrounding it, Amplify looks expensive, there is a $99 yearly subscription fee on top of the $299 as well as requiring 1000 unit purchase to get the $299 pricing and 2 year commitment on the subscription. Educational Resources’ LearnPad looks to be the best Classroom Tablet Solution to date and is $299 with no fees.

  5. I think that there is cheaper, better and more trustworthy on the market. In another article it was claimed that Amplify is open source, yet I have not seen any evidence of this.

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