Back to School

So…Zoe here. School started last Monday. It’s been, if nothing else, an interesting start to 7th grade. I love the teachers, as usual, and I am far from loving the Common Core, also as usual.

Last year, our school was using a program called Engrade to track the students grades in every class, or at least, every class whose teacher liked the program. But this year, however, we have switched to a new program. It’s name is PowerSchool. Or should I say, Pearson PowerSchool.

Here is a quote on it from http://www.pearsonschoolsystems.com/products/powerschool/: “PowerSchool is the fastest-growing, most widely used web-based student information system, supporting 12 million students in all 50 states and over 65 countries.” It began in 1997. On the last day of the year 2001, it was acquired by Apple.

It has many features that are, apparently, all needed by administrators. Among those features are these: Family Management, Immunization Screening, Health Screening, and Address Management. In the Address Management, you input your address, and it is checked with Google Maps. In Family Management, “Thanks to PowerSchool’s central database, managing even the largest families in the district is a snap!” Apparently, they want to make sure that the data of all family members across the district is the same.

Immunization and Health Screening are fairly self-evident; the problem with all this, however, is not necessarily the fact that they are collecting the data on the students. The problem is that it’s Pearson doing the collecting: a for-profit corporation that is taking in a lot of information about us.

So, that is PowerSchool from what I make of it; no doubt it does have use, but it has multiple uses, and likely not all of them are purely for the good of education.

Well, like I said: it will be an interesting year. If people reading this are students, teachers, or admin, I hope you enjoy your year! Not to exclude everyone else, of course…okay; EVERYONE, have a great year!

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