It only seems to be a matter of time and not a question of if the Wake County school board will renew the district's contract to use Blue Diamond through the end of the school year.
The item was pulled from Tuesday's school board meeting agenda to give staff more time to get the backup information needed for the vote. The contract will likely come back before the board in January.
The contract was discussed previously by the board in closed session for legal reasons. School board members and administrators aren't saying why it was discussed behind closed doors but that usually means someone threatened legal action.
Tom Reichstetter, the president of Blue Diamond Information Solutions, which developed the assessment software, said you'd have to ask the school system why the contract is being renewed.
But Reichstetter provided more information about the development of Blue Diamond. He also said he wanted to clear up some of the conjecture that posters have made about Blue Diamond.
Reichstetter said he developed Blue Diamond as a Microsoft Access database about eight or nine years ago for in-house use by his mother, Rosemary Reichstetter, an employee in Wake's Evaluation and Research Department.
Reichstetter said his mom's supervisor found out about Blue Diamond and liked it so much that he was asked to turn into a program that could be used by the district. Once that happened, Reichstetter said his mother was taken out of the loop and not involved in Blue Diamond.
Rosemary Reichstetter later retired from Wake to form her own education consulting firm — Crystal Learning Concepts.
Tom Reichstetter said his mother paid for him to develop the CLC website.
Tom Reichstetter also said that his mother has never profited financially from Wake's use of Blue Diamond.
Tom Reichstetter said that over time some other school systems have adopted Blue Diamond. But he said that Wake remains his main client and that he has continually refined the program over the years to meet the requests of the school system.
Reichstetter said helping Wake is important to him because he's a product of the school system, having graduated from Broughton High.
Reichstetter said he was surprised in July when the prior board voted not to renew his $209,000 a year contract.
Reichstetter argued that based on the value he provides and the refinements he's made over the years to the program to meet Wake's needs that he offers something competing assessment programs can't provide.
The assessments are supposed to provide teachers the ability to know how well their students are learning the concepts as the year goes on without waiting until the exams at the end of the school year.
There's talk that the state may develop its own assessment program similar to Blue Diamond. Reichstetter said it would make sense for Wake then to keep using Blue Diamond rather than go through the time training staff on a new program before the free state program is provided.