Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
The Fort Worth school districts is seeking to change vendors after problems with a student data software system that created inaccurate transcripts, incomplete grade reports, and incorrect attendance records.
FORT WORTH, TX (Catholic Online) - Tyler Technologies, the district's current vendor, was put on notice in November being told that it had 30 days to solve the known problems. Even though the company worked with the district, the problems still persisted.
The system still crashes during high-usage periods and has trouble identifying students in special programs to help track important information, such as state testing data.
Superintendent Walter Dansby said "Tyler officials are working with us, but the fact is that we're still having problems. We're not happy and we're looking elsewhere for a nicer and more user-friendly system that has the systems we need for Fort Worth ISD."
In January 2009, the district began using Tyler Technologies payroll software and immediately ran into problems including employees being overpaid, underpaid, and some were not paid at all.
A group of principals told trustees that while the implementation had been rough, schools were getting by with the new system and pleaded for them to keep the software. However, problems continued and district workers had to correct hundreds of transcripts as students applied to various colleges.
Coyia Cleveland, a Dunbar High School senior, said she was shocked when she received a rejection letter from Prairie View A&M University in the fall. Cleveland, 18, said she did not realize her transcript listed her GPA as a 1.8 and her class rank as 130. She actually has a 3.9 GPA and is ranked 21 of 156.
"I didn't look at the transcript before I mailed it because I assumed it was right because I got it from the school," Cleveland said. "I was very stressed-out."
With help from her aunt and school officials, her college applications were resubmitted to Prairie View and other colleges. She was accepted by Prairie View but decided to go to the University of Texas at Arlington to study social work.
A new system should be selected by January so that it could run parallel to Connects. The district would convert fully to the new system in 2013-2014, according to Chief financial Officer Hank Johnson.
The district did not run a parallel operation when Connects was put into action because it did not have a central student data system. The three-year cost of Connects, including implementation and maintenance, is roughly $879,000.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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