Friday, October 18, 2013

Enrollment reports are stalled statewide

By now,  we'd normally know how many students Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and other districts have.  N.C. public schools take their official enrollment count on the 20th day of school,  which was Sept. 23.

But as of Thursday,  the 38th day of school,  nothing had been reported.  The principals' monthly report for September,  the formal document that contains the 20th day numbers, has been held up statewide because of problems with PowerSchool,  the data system for all public schools in North Carolina.

Superintendent Heath Morrison says CMS knows how many students it has and feels confident in the numbers.  On Monday,  staff said they could give me the unofficial enrollment count,  but that hasn't happened yet. Update:  Friday afternoon CMS released its total enrollment: 144,140 in K-12, an increase of about 3,000 over last year and about 300 more than projected. The district has not yet released demographics or school-by-school numbers.

Vanessa Jeter,  spokeswoman for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction,  said the state anticipates having the problem fixed this week,  which by now means today. But we've heard that from local officials for at least the last three weeks,  so I'm not holding my breath. Update: CMS now says they're expecting the PowerSchool problem to be resolved  "within the next two weeks."

Jeter says the delay in official reporting isn't holding up state money for schools. But Morrison said this week that it does create some snarls.  For instance,  he said,  until the state releases enrollment for charter schools,  CMS has to pass along county money based on the numbers in their applications.  In some cases that's off quite a bit.  Invest Collegiate,  for instance,  applied to open with 558 students,  hoping to lease the former Professional Development Center from CMS.  When that didn't happen,  the charter resorted to modular classrooms that could only hold about 100 students.

So stay tuned.  Surely we'll get the numbers sometime soon.

And if anyone missed Thursday's online chat about CMS and CPCC bonds,  you can read the questions and answers here.


Anonymous said...

Yes, but they are still competent to evaluate the "whole child" with their tests.

Even if they can't be sure how many they have.

Shelly said...

My first reaction when I read the headline was "shocking". Powerschool is the new bane of our existence. Pearsonview owns the world now and has quite the monopoly on educational computer programs. I am certain they are behind the Common App issues this week also. Someone needs to investigate their hold on the public schools.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is due to the state implementation of new student accounting software. The state did no testing of the software and wrote as they built this system for NC. Sound familiar?

Wiley Coyote said...

This statement sums up nicely how woefully inadequate CMS is at producing "facts":

Superintendent Heath Morrison says CMS knows how many students it has and feels confident in the numbers. On Monday, staff said they could give me the unofficial enrollment count, but that hasn't happened yet.

1 - Morrison knows how many students CMS has

2 - Morrison feels confident in the numbers

3 - But the count is "unoffcial"

Laughing here but..... Morrison sounds like he's a little bit pregnant.

Either the numbers are official and you have them or you don't.

Seems I've heard this same scenario recently.

Oh yes, signing up for Obamacare. They have no clue as to how many have signed up but 10 million have tried to (majority are curious onlookers), but reports put the number at, well pick a number.

Blame it on the company that built the Obamacare website and blame PowerSchool for unofficial CMS enrollment numbers.

Anonymous said...


Maybe this will help:

Not that there's a conspiracy or anything.

Just look at how well GW turned out with his "limited" education...

Shamash said...

Don't forget about Gates.

He's in this as well.

Maybe a Microsoft-Pearson merger will be in the works someday.

It's all part of the push towards putting Microsoft-Certified teachers in the classroom.

Which will do to education what "certification" did to the IT industry in the US.

Then we can begin the serious work of outsourcing our "education" to India through videoconferencing.

Kinda like Khan Academy on steroids

Our only hope may be "open source" education.

Maybe someone will create the next Linux of the education world to combat the Windowfication of education.

(My personal opinion, of course. Can I copyright a conspiracy theory?)

Anonymous said...

No conspiracy here. Just people with lifetime jobs who can't do them.

What an absolute crock. How hard can this be? Each principal adds up their students in each class and sends the number to the BOE offices and they add each school's numbers. All it takes is a few people on minimum wage with adding machine skills.

The real question seems to me to be why does Helms have her knickers in a twist to find out how many students there are? Doesn't matter to me but it gives her something to write about.

Anonymous said...

You'd think "headcount" would be one of those core competencies for a school system.

But, then, maybe not with todays generally lowered expectations.

For what its worth said...

At what point will we find out the racial, ethnic, gender breakdown of these students? Are we looking at white students being sub 30% this year?

For what its worth said...

1:51, good observation. They can not do a headcount but believe they are responsible for whole child development.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, when I get that info I'll report it. Every week the state tells CMS it's almost ready and CMS tells us it's almost ready ... and then it's Friday evening and we start all over.