Monday, June 9, 2014

Will PowerSchool finish strong?

The school year is ending across North Carolina,  and I'm curious about how the problem-plagued debut of PowerSchool will shape this stretch.  Will schools be able to calculate grade-point averages needed to name valedictorians and salutatorians?  Will they be able to generate timely reports on which third-graders need to take summer school to meet Read to Achieve mandates?

The N.C. Department of Public Instruction and Pearson,  the education technology company that provides PowerSchool,  say they've been working all year to resolve the problems.  Let's hear from the folks in the classrooms:  Have they gotten it right?

2013 education rally in Raleigh

I'm heading to Raleigh this week to take a turn on General Assembly duty,  First stop:  today's Moral Monday protest focusing on education  (it will be livestreamed here starting at 4 p.m.).  I'm guessing the crowd won't match the one from last July,  simply because school isn't over so it's hard for out-of-towners to make the trek.

Meanwhile,  Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools boosters have started their virtual rally on social media today,  in advance of Wednesday's Mecklenburg County budget hearing. The Twitter hashtag seems to be #CMSpsf,  for the new Charlotte Mecklenburg Public School Friends group that's organizing the push.


Take our schools back said...

Teachers and their supporters have done themselves a disservice associating with Rev Barber and his band of "riders on the backs of the taxpayers".

NC has the highest taxpayer burden of Medicaid in the US and the second highest burden of unemployment.

Anonymous said...

Good luck on your trip to the General Assembly. Let us know if you find any form of intelligent life on either side of the aisles and if Larry is at the Moral Monday protest.

Anonymous said...

Teachers don't have much of a choice. They really don't have a voice in NC. I know hard core conservatives that teach. What else can they do?

Anonymous said...

I could less about power school and am starting to question my support of traditional public education, where they embrace being mediocre! Excellence is neither strived for or respected when achieved! This past school year has really opened my eyes and I really don't like what I am seeing. Perhaps Larry has been right all along and I have been the one who is mistaken. My apologies Larry!

Anonymous said...

10:28 I feel the same way. We can't wait for this school year to be over. My two children did worse this year than any other school year that I can remember. Many teachers are disconnected, administrators are too focused on directives from CMS and climbing up the ladder, and many parents are clueless and unreasonable, and expect the school to do everything. Common core is a joke for the mediocre student, and has turned kids off from learning.

I do the best I can for my two, work with them at home and tell them to hang out with the "good" kids and stay out of trouble, and do your best work.

Shamash said...

Anon 10:28pm.

"I could less about power school and am starting to question my support of traditional public education, where they embrace being mediocre!"

Funny, but I was going to post something on EXACTLY this topic, but restrained myself.

But now I'll just put it out there for the benefit of those who care.

But be warned. This paper discusses a taboo topic in US education.


Even for smart, average, and dumb kids.

Yes, even the "poor" can benefit from this, too.

And apparently, it's effects are color-blind, too.

Here's a paper from a British trained educator, Deborah Eyre, on just this topic:

Of course, this is a foreigner talking about her experience with foreign kids in foreign countries using foreign techniques crafted in foreign gifted and talented programs using a foreign curriculum.

(A lot of it was "tested" in Hong Kong using an enhanced British curriculum.)

So none of it could POSSIBLY apply here...

Except that the UK is experiencing exactly the same kind of "problem" in education as the US.

And for pretty much the same reason, too.

Shamash said...

An example of what I mean by the US and UK having similar issues:

What might hold us back? (UK)

1. Beliefs about capacity to achieve – outdated views
on inherited ability

2. Fate and destiny in relation to educational
outcomes - socio-economic background and expected
educational performance

3. Over focus on ‘floor level targets’ – insufficiently
aspirational diet and training regime for the majority

4. Disconnect between academic and vocational – all
endeavours not seen as having both academic aspects
and skills


Sound familiar?

Of course, she's no Diane Ravitch political commentator with millions of "followers", just someone who has implemented more than a few gifted and talented programs across the world which actually work...

Oh, yeah, and who also happens to believe that hard work is part of the process of learning.

Even for the "gifted".

How novel.