Large District Superintendent’s Clique’s Letter to Pearson

The NC Large District Superintendent Consortium (NCLDSC) has a beef with Pearson and Powerschool. In a letter I obtained through a FOIA on the NCLDSC, it would seem Pearson’s Powerschool is not well thought of by the Large District Clique.

From that FOIA, it would seem that this Large District clique is working closely with NC New Schools and BEST NC. Both of which have promoted the Common Core or have ties to the NC Chamber of Commerce’s attempt to drown out parents on the topic– Hire Standards. More on the NCLDSC Clique later, back to Powerschool.

According to the letter, the reps from Pearson have been rude and the NCLDSC is asking for “no charge” for the 2014-15 school year “as a good faith investment in our long-term partnership”.


NC DPI has dropped millions of dollars into Powerschool and it was never intended to support a whole state. It was built with single districts in mind. The single, initial contract for Powerschool was over four millions at $4,303,150.  Between personnel, hardware, software, installations, migrations and CEDARS spending — the number goes way higher.  I’m still digging through the 4 big boxes of paper DPI sent me to comply with my FOIA for Powerschool.  Related: Pearson Powerschool Contract – September 2012

For those of you not up to speed on Powerschool and what a cluster it’s been, get up to speed with some of these articles.

The irony of Pearson and Powerschool being tied to the Longitudinal database required by Common Core and the big push by the NCLDSC to lock Common Core in for 7 years in North Carolina should not be missed here.



A thank you goes out to Ann Doss Helms of the Your Schools Blog for linking.

A quick note about part of Philip Price’s response:

There are several incorrect statements included in the write-up around the letter.  PowerSchool was designed and is supporting the entire State (the comments state that it was never intended to support the whole state). CEDARS has nothing to do with PowerSchool other than the fact that data will come from PowerSchool to CEDARS.  The contract w/Pearson does cover all the costs for implementation.

Incorrect? Oh really?
Powerschool was never designed for a whole state to implement. It was designed and meant for implementation for individual districts — and Mr. Price knows it. NC is the first to ever try to put Powerschool into place on the state level.

It is not really ‘supporting’ a whole state. It’s been riddled with errors and plagued by “glitches” that included the delayed report cards and continues to drop entire chunks of data. One teacher reported to me this week that all of her grades had vanished and a second reported to me she spends more time doing data entry and then RE-ENTERING that data because Powerschool keeps dumping it on her. Elementary parents can’t even get access this year!

CEDARS does have something to do with Powerschool. Powerschool is a Pearson product, as was the system NC used previously. Pearson is also very closely tied in with Common Core, which requires a state longitudinal database system (SLDS). That SLDS is CEDARS. Price himself states “data will come from PowerSchool to CEDARS”.  If you think that’s coincidence, I have oceanfront property in Kansas to sell you. By the way, what data does Powerschool send CEDARS? I and another parent have been asking for this information for almost a year now.

On the costs covered by contract: Which contract? So far, I’ve found 3 different ones for various moving parts that make Powerschool possible in the four big boxes of documents I received back in my FOIA on Powerschool.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
This entry was posted in A.P. Dillon (LL1885), Common Core, EDUCATION and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Large District Superintendent’s Clique’s Letter to Pearson

  1. Jennifer Schrand says:

    At my last teacher conference I was told that PowerSchool was broken so they had to manually write the grades/evaluations and our teacher was so happy because it was faster. Faster to hand write everything rather than deal with PowerSchool! They need to get rid of that too.


  2. Dave says:

    The CommonCore is hire standards and it requires our teachers to hold the students to a higher standard and to set higher expectations for children so they can be ready to work in a global society.

    Why do Republican “conservatives” always blame schools for failing and not living up to international standards. But now that we finally have a curriculum that is equivalent to other industrialized nations your suddenly against it. Not to mention that the Common Core movement was started by Conservative Republican Governors.

    I truely believe that the Republican conservative movement wants to see Public Schools fail so that they can create a Private/charter school model of education in the United States. There are several NC representatives who have their hands in the pockets of the Charter school movement.

    Why aren’t you investigating how much money those folks are getting from their “relationship” with Charter schools. I think you would be suprised. Charter schools are not about helping kids or improving education. They are about wealthy lawyers and business people finding another way to make a profit.


    • You packed a lot of assumptions and false claims in there. I’m choosing to ignore the rhetoric and address fact.

      1. Common Core is not a HIGHER set of standards, in fact many states had superior standards – NC included. By the way, I think you meant Higher, not Hire.
      2. Common Core is not internationally benchmarked. Period. Also, Common Core was not created by “Conservative Republican Governors” but by two DC trade organizations – the Natl. Governors Association and the Council of Chief State school officers with the help of Achieve Inc and a windfall of money from the Gates Foundation. If you want specific deep influences on how Common Core came to be, you have to look no further than Democrat Former Governor Jim Hunt. Please do your homework before you make your accusations.
      3. No one wants to see schools of any kind fail. What kind of nonsense is that claim? Seriously?
      4. What NC Reps have their hands in the pockets of the “Charter school movement” as you put it?
      5. What kind of investigation would you like to see? Finding out that *gasp* conservatives might be funding school choice?


  3. Dave says:

    I am concerned over the fact that NCLB and Common Core were started by a Conservative Republican President (Bush) NCLB and by Republican Governors Common Core.
    I always thought that Republicans and Conservatives wanted less Federal mandates and intervention not more. Or does that only apply to idea’s they support.

    I’m totally fed up with both parties!


    • NCLB was Bush’s, Clinton’s ed reform was also fail, Race To the Top under Obama was really race to the middle…
      Common Core was created by the Natl Governors association and the Council of Chief state school officers. Yes, republicans were involved and so were Democrats. Just look at one of the biggest pushers and one who helped originate the ‘career and college’ ready theme — Former Democrat Governor of NC, Jim Hunt.


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