Powerschool Glitch Messes With NC Grades (Shocker)

For years I’ve chronicled how PowerSchool is the gift curse that just keeps on giving – everything from hacks to outages to the $7 million a year cost.

The latest gift is a glitch that has potentially messed with grades for students all over the state.

Keung Hui at News and Observer has the scoop; emphasis added:

The PowerSchool PowerTeacher Pro application shifted grades of students whose final term average ended with one of three decimals — .3, .4 or .5, according to Drew Elliot, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Instruction. It wasn’t immediately clear how many of the state’s 1.5 million public school students are affected.

“We continue to investigate the scope of the issue; for now we can say that as many as 109 school districts and 59 charter schools may have been affected to varying degrees by the grade-calculation function in PowerSchool’s PowerTeacher Pro application, which teachers use to enter assignments and grades,” Elliot said in an email message Thursday.

Schools or districts that use a different tool for calculating term grades are not affected.”

Elliot said that DPI contacted the vendor immediately when it learned of the issue and has been in communication with districts since mid-December.

So for a month now, grades have been out of whack which can impact a final grade, class rank etc.

The N&O article says NC’s largest district, Wake County, claims not to have been impacted. For what it’s worth, I am a parent in Wake with PowerSchool access and I haven’t seen anything odd.  It’s a very limited platform and I despise having to use it, but the grades it tracks for one of my kids looks correct.

PowerSchool is one of the main feeder sources of the state’s longitudinal database (SLDS). For those not familiar with the SLDS, it was a database created as a condition of accepting Race To The Top Grants and Common Core.

Was this faulty grade information sent to the SLDS? If it was there might be an issue. In my pursuit to view my child’s information in the SLDS, I learned there is no editing function of data in it. Once the data is in there, it’s in there for good.

PowerSchool used to be a property of the education textbook and software behemoth, Pearson. In 2015, Pearson sold off PowerSchool. Gee, wonder why?

Maybe because they realized it was a piece of junk the software is to start with. Couple that with the fact North Carolina adapted it in a way that it was never meant to be adapted.  PowerSchool was meant to be used at the district level and not as a statewide tool like North Carolina is.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips: APDillon@Protonmail.com
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1 Response to Powerschool Glitch Messes With NC Grades (Shocker)

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