February 15, 2013
STEVENS POINT, WI – Skyward, Inc., an industry leading K-12 school administration software provider serving 50 percent of Wisconsin school districts, has filed its formal protest with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). That filing identifies significant discrepancies in evaluation of technical requirements, a flawed pricing structure analysis, and disconcerting behavior by parties involved that failed to provide a fair, transparent, and open process.
Skyward found that the cost analysis did not evaluate the long-term costs for individual districts, including realistic implementation, training, and recurring annual licensing fees. Over the 10-year contract span for this project, Skyward will cost $14.5 million less than the selected vendor. The Department of Administration (DOA) review also did not include the substantial implementation costs, ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 that 90 percent of Wisconsin schools would be required to pay above the allotted amount provided by the identified vendor.
While the DOA notice of intent indicated the identified vendor had the highest technical score, Skyward’s review shows that:
· The first tabulation of technical scores awarded Skyward the highest technical points for all vendors that were later lowered.
· Based on the rubric scoring guide provided to the evaluation committee, the identified vendor received overinflated scores above the limits of the scoring matrix, including numerous instances where the selected vendor received double the possible points.
· Final tabulation scores show Skyward received deflated scores in numerous criteria where Skyward’s response clearly meets or exceeds requirements outlined in the scoring rubric.
· The selection committee chose to remove a committee member it felt was against the identified vendor, although the independent observer selected by the DOA identified no bias was evident to warrant removal.
The identified vendor has classified its implementation plan as confidential within the RFP response, preventing Wisconsin school districts from evaluating these services to determine what additional costs they will fully incur as an unfunded mandate. In Skyward’s opinion, the inability to review and include these costs raises serious concerns on the viability and sustainability of this project if the identified vendor is awarded the contract.
During the final stages of the evaluation process, three separate Best and Final Offer requests were issued by the DOA with additional requirements defined by the DPI each time. These additions were beyond the initial scope of the Request for Proposal. One major technical requirement that was added contained language that was significantly similar to product descriptions of the vendor that was ultimately identified.
Skyward’s protest with supporting documentation has now been submitted. Skyward believes that when the DPI carefully reviews and considers the material provided, it will be clear that the intent as announced by the DOA on Feb. 1, 2013 does not conform with the Request for Proposal requirements and is not in the best interest of the State of Wisconsin, its school districts and taxpayers. That decision should be voided.
Skyward is a leading provider of K-12 school administrative software that surpasses districts’ needs in state reporting, improves operational capabilities, and opens communication between schools and families. Today, the Skyward School Management System™ is used in more than 1,600 school districts worldwide, ranging from districts with as few as 50 students to statewide implementations supporting more than 1,000,000 students. Founded in 1980, Skyward serves school districts with its integrated student, finance, and human resources suite of products and is proudly made and supported in the United States. To learn more, visit www.skyward.com.