Still, I just can’t help but comment on this statement by Pearson spokesman Brandon Pinette:
“We are confident the system is working better every day, and that the majority of users are satisfied with the new capabilities they have.”Now that statement is a bit puzzling. From where does Pearson obtain this “confidence?” Also, where do they get information about the "majority of users being satisfied with this product?" As far as I know, I haven’t seen any surveys or any other ways they have asked us, the customers, how things are going. When a company makes those assertions you just have to wonder who they're talking to.
I just had to email my parents today and apologize once again for problems caused by their issues. That makes three times this year, that I can recall, that I have had to apologize to parents for problems caused by Pearson’s PowerSchool. I can’t even count the number of times teachers have expressed frustration with the software. Parents have been understanding so far, but one can only imagine what's going to happen when some student loses out on getting into college because of a Pearson mishap on a high school transcript.
Pearson and the state needs to refocus their efforts to get PowerSchool to do the simplest of things. For example, the main capabilities that need to always work for high schools ( I can’t speak for elementary or middle schools) are:
- Attendance Data: Need to flawlessly be able to enter and retrieve accurate attendance data.
- Grading Data: Need to flawlessly be able to enter and retrieve grading data.
- Reporting Functions: Need to be able to print effectively our most important reports. These include: progress reports (with accurate attendance data), report cards (with accurate attendance data, GPAs), and accurate transcripts.
The state should have paid the extra money for a later roll-out or somehow negotiated better terms with Pearson. Yes, it has been difficult. I was around with the roll-out of NC WISE and it was difficult as well, but this Pearson PowerSchool rollout, in my opinion is ten times worse. And, to make matters worse, we actually have individuals who work for Pearson who think the majority of users are satisfied. Perhaps its nice when your company has a virtual monopoly on a product.