Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Truants Love our School Grading Software

Posted by David Keelan on Saturday, July 29, 2006

I was speaking with someone in the school system about the Chancery SMS software that is causing massive problems in the school system.  My previous post on this.

I was left with the impression that a couple of middle schools may be using the software.  That contradicts the press reports I read.

Additionally, she told me that the ability to track truancy has been severely compromised.  Their are 16 employees in the school system that are responsible for managing the attendance of school kids.  If they are truant then they intervene with the family and will on occasion bring the parents to court.  Well to do that effectively one needs accurate absentee records to use in court with a prosecutor and a judge which are now a lot more difficult and cumbersome to get.  One also needs the ability to easily monitor attendance to spot trouble and to know when to intervene.  That isn’t easy to track any longer either.

If I recall correctly these positions were created about 4 years ago.  Now their effeciency has been slashed to the bone.

I asked her who was responsible for the software upgrade, did they have a project plan, and was the school board providing oversight.

She told me that she thought it was a rogue employee who purchased the software and got fired for it and therefore the BoEd didn’t know anything about it.  Excuse me.  How can a rogue employee authorize an expenditure of $650,000?  What do they do?  Walk into accounts payable with a $650,000 invoice and say “Please pay this”?

As well intentioned my friend is I don’t believe that a rogue employee could have been responsible for this.  However, she is passionate about the work she does and she feels as though she makes a positive impact on these kids lives.  She is pissed about the software issue and how it effects her job and how it effects her kids and her families.

The PTA has a summary of the issues located here


14 Responses to “Truants Love our School Grading Software”

  1. Bubba said

    When you command the kind of budget that “Queen Courtney” does you can do things like surround yourself with unknown and or rogue employees. And I would imagine that with a budget the size of the County School Boards you can easily handle the loss of $650k on software that could have been used to renovate a school?

  2. hocomd said

    Molly, this is your first warning. Your comments are unwarranted and insulting and have been deleted. If I see anything like that again I will block your ip address.

  3. Mary Smith said

    I just read the Hayduke posts via the link on this blog, in addition to an emotional and agitated response to my post on his site last week, and now this deletion above.

    Maybe the heat is a factor. Do emotional responses get to this level each summer? Is the election a factor? It’s good to see people obviously care, but even for the most tolerant, sometimes things go overboard.

    I’d like to ask a question, amid all of this conflict. What is important to people? Really. What is in the top 10? This is not a rhetorical question.

  4. hocomd said

    1. Accountability. Elected officials taking responsibility for their actions and their commitments

    2. Respect the process as it exists and amend it when it needs to be fixed. Don’t circumvent the process and then claim to support it.

    3. When you make a mistake admit it and accept the consequences

    4. When confronted with facts of an issue one may disagree with or may doubt their basis in reality do not resort to name calling or charges of racism when no basis in those types of charges exist

    5. Address the facts presented and don’t change the subject.

    6. Don’t insult the people/voters

    7. Don’t stand on the sidelines during an election cycle. Even if you just come here to learn what the issues are you don’t have to agree with what you read. Go find out for yourself.

    8. Politics is important even if one thinks it is boring. Find a candidate you are aligned with and work for them otherwise you have no right to complain.

    9. Zoning

    10. Schools/Education

  5. Molly said

    wow. my comments were offensive? what exactly was offensive? the fact that I disagreed with Bubba’s insulting condescending label of “Queen”? Are you trying to limit political differences of view? Or just folks that call out male bigotry when they see it? Elaborate a little so that I can avoid a second warning?

  6. hocomd said

    Molly, if you disagreed with Bubba’s condescending label of Courtney you should have left it at that. You should not have used the race card. It was even more inappropriate to your perceived slight of Courtney. You didn’t do her any favors by stooping to that level.

    BTW: Why do you and Jen have the same IP address?

  7. Jen said

    Molly is my evil twin. I am the nice one. So it’s ok to out someone for being sexist, but not assume that one kind of bigotry begets another? Would that be like assuming that being in favor of one kind of tax begets being in favor of another? Are we only sensitive about bigotry inflammation and not just general run of the mill misrepresentations? Wait! Darn! I’m beginning to sound like Molly. I hate that.

  8. hocomd said

    Molly, I mean Jen,

    At least you have a good sense of humor.

    Outing someone for being a sexist when they behave like a sexist is ok. Accusing someone of being a racist isn’t ok especially when they didn’t mention race.

    It is debatable as to whether Bubba was being a sexist. Was it sexist when Russ Feingold called President Bush “King George”? Or when conservative pundits refer to Bill Clinton as “King Bill”? Both have happened and I don’t recall anyone pulling the racist card on them.

    I think, when put in context, Bubba was only saying that given her position and oversight of 60% of the County budget she is queen like. A reference to her influence and power. I also think Bubba was implying that he felt the power and influence have made her ambitious for more power and influence ie: Russ Feingold’s comments.

    If I hadn’t taken it that way I would have deleted the comment.

  9. Jen said

    Well, I see your point. (Jen). Now, can you go back and fix the tax information to be fair and accurate, as well? (That was Molly).

    Also, there seems to be another duplication of IP addresses, did you catch that one, as well? Those source codes are tricky things. Do you have an evil twin, too?! Or are we looking at static vs dynamic IPs?

    Being a nony mouse sure gives folks liscense to be unfair and untrue. Let’s put a stop to it and all come out of the closet together. (Molly says that is NOT an inference to gay rights- really!! Please don’t take away her rights of free speech anymore!!)


  10. hocomd said

    Everyone knows who I am. David Keelan. The author of this blog.  Also, dynamic ip addresses are not as dynamic as one might think.   No one has the right to accuse someone of being a racist without proof.  Molly can say what she likes as long as she behaves…

  11. Bubba said

    To Molly/Jen/Whoever else I like Dave’s explanation – I had no intent of implying anything other than Courtney was in a VERY POWERFUL position as Chair of the School board – no racism here, no sexism – just an acknowledgement of an apparent “let them eat cake” approach to running the board……

    Sorry for the implied offense where none was intended….

  12. Jen said

    I’m glad there is no offense intended. I’m glad that Molly will behave so that we don’t have to play the censor games. It’s easy to keep arguing that a post was inappropriate once it has been removed. Talk about VERY POWERFUL. Wow!

  13. hocomd said

    Fix what tax information?

  14. […] […]

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