Tuesday, July 6, 2010

70K for new student attendance software to be approved tonight by EUSD

In perfect form, the EUSD has yet another school board meeting scheduled this evening, the day after the fourth of July holiday. Two meetings ago they held a meeting the day after the Memorial day holiday. There appears to be a pattern here of holding meetings when most inconvenient for parents, community members and business owners to attend, but perhaps I am simply reading into it too much.

Nonetheless, an among several agenda items is a little doozy about approving some fancy new software called Illuminate. This is a software that teachers and administrators will use to traack attendance, among other things. According to a quick google it is a tool that: "that provides administrators and educators with a single web-based point of access to student demographics, attendance, and schedules, as well as discipline, grades, assessment history, state reporting mandates, and more."

Sounds great at first sight. The price is $11.00 per student for the first year, and $6.00 per student for each year thereafter. (see page 16 of the July 6th agenda found here:


So with about 5,000 students thats roughly $55,000 for the first year of this new tool for teachers. Oh but that's not it, they also must purchase another tool called Intel-Assess to be used in tandem with this Illuminate software. The cost for this for the 2010-2011 school year will be $15, 102. (see page 21)

So roughly 70K this next year on a software to take attendance. I wonder what teachers think of this use of funds? It is also a fact that EUSD contracted for a similar, more widely-used attendance software for the district just two years ago which they are still paying off.

At the last board meeting Board member Muir wished to bring to light a letter from the County Board of Educaation warning the district that the Corono-based company that created Illuminate was still in it's phase of ironing out kinks and it would be unwise for the district to sign on when the technology was still in the guinea pig phase. She was shouted down by the Superintendent's trusty lapdog Skiljan.

Like petulant children the Superintendent, the lapdog Skiljan and Board president dismiss any real concerns brought up and trudge ahead being the educational tool peddler's wet dream that they are, buying up every new shiny tool dangled before them without consultation from educators, parents or god forbid, The Technology Advisory committee.

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