23 September 2007

WCCUSD spends BILLIONS on Technology, hows that working for our kids?

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TWO VERY BIG THUMBS UP
> AND
>
> A
>
> THANK YOU FOR CONTINUING TO BE THE RAY OF COMMUNICATION FOR
> EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE IN OUR DISTRICT
>
> TO
>
> PAUL EHARA
>
> Mr. Ehara - in case anyone does not know
> OR
> forgot
>
> was given the JOY of the OPEN POSITION of webmaster for our
district
> website, along with his job of overseeing communications, being in
> charge of community engagement in HIS office, and doing damage
> control with media AS WELL as overseeing all requests for
> public information.
>
> I am hopeful that all the BILLIONS of dollars this district is now
> spending on technology outside experts that perhaps there is some
> support there? At the very least I hope Mr. Ehara has been asked
> what the staff there can do to assist him in keeping the website
all
> right until we get someone.
>
> Ahhhhhh, funny $$$$ time might even make that webmaster position
> POOF! and disappear - as we have seen that happen in the past.
>
> HERE IS THE LINK TO THE PDF - EVERYONE IS BEING ASKED TO PRINT IT
> OUT (THAT CAN PRINT IT OUT) AND MAKE SURE YOUR SITE HAS THIS
> INFORMATION POSTED SOMEWHERE. OTHER PARENTS/TEACHERS/COMMUNITY
> MEMBERS WOULD LIKE TO SEE THIS. THIS IS NOT PRIVLEDGED INFORMATION
> SO LETS POST IT
>
> http://www.wccusd.k12.ca.us/Communications/e-Weekly/2007/09_14.pdf
>
> amedina

--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Tammera Campbell
<tammeracampbell@> wrote:
>
> Alicia,
> I also give kudos to Paul Ehara for taking on a very big job.
He has always been supportive and responsive to the public given the
tasks he must accomplish on a daily basis.
>
> I am a bit disappointed by your disingenuous remarks regarding
the IT needs and costs of this district. When you make a statement
regarding the "BILLIONS of dollars on IT" do you understand what you
are saying and how you affect the public's perception? Being in the
IT business I do understand the installation, repair, and
maintenance costs of both local and enterprise computer systems and
they are not cheap. Not to mention the applications running on
these systems such as SASI. I want you to consider the following:
>
> 1. Enterprise email server serving thousands of employees across
this district including the installation and maintenance of
security, virus prevention, accounts management, diskspace, backup
of server, etc.
> 2. Enterprise webserver serving the public. This includes the
maintenance and backup of the server itself, its OS, the website
structure and any databases behind it, and the nightmare of keeping
this server secure from any hackers.
> 3. Enterprise networking across this district specifically to
remote sites.
> 4. Enterprise file servers to store district and school data.
The maintenance of these servers, the proper backup of this data,
and access permissions across the server disk space.
> 5. An IT department that maintains the thousands of desktop
computers across this district not only in the offices, but in the
classrooms and labs.
> 6. Then let's talk about the major applications and databases
that track our children's identity, employee payroll, school
finances, etc.
>
> Many of these systems are outdated and need updating because we
the public demand information sooner and expect answers. There is
no way this district can afford in house experts on all of these
issues 100% of the time, especially the systemwide financials and
student info systems that are being upgraded now. These are complex
systems and databases that store confidential data about employees,
district business and students. If we need help converting this
data, then we should request that help.
> Tammy

--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Alicia" <ladyluvslife@...> wrote:

Tammy,
I am flattered to think my remarks here could affect the public's
perception. If that is the case - I say SO BE IT.

Regarding my remarks about the billions of dollars spent by the
district on IT? Its no secret that this district invested lots
in technology to ensure that it was easier for administrators to
keep track of the "data". This started with the merging of the
Accountability Dept with the MIS (Management Information Systems)
dept when Emily Vaughn Henry came on. Someone who knew so little
about what was required of her that another person was hired to
train her ON THE JOB. Is she even employed with the district
still? She knew so little about technology, she had to enlist
Mike Jung to overhaul her own department's website! That would
have never been done, had it not been for Dr. LeBlanc. Dr. LeBlanc
always felt strongly about giving the sites the support needed for
the children. When there were sites who were clueless as to what
technician was assigned to their site, that must have been the
red flag for her. Who knows.

Its nice to think about those brand new computers in those
brand new computer labs at those brand new schools. However, one
must think about these not so nice things:
Most sites do not budget for a computer teacher (even once a
week), so many sites have computer labs sitting empty.
Technology is NOT enhancing the learning. Hey as you
pointed out, I am not IT expert. HOWEVER, it does not
take a rocket scientist to see that the BILLIONS we
spend on Technology is very hard to see at the kid's
level. I am speaking of elementary level, perhaps I
may see another side at middle school. Who knows.

Technology Plan - Have you read this thing? Its more of a puff
piece with those nice words that need to be said. Who is in
charge of ensuring these things are done? That our children
are having access to the computer to enhance their learning?
My son was at a elementary school that for ONE YEAR paid for
a computer teacher out of their site monies. And even THEN,
because the school was under construction the kids had no
working computers! Yes, they went and sat and looked at
blank computer screens and talked about what they were going
to do when they got on the computer. You see, the kids were
thought about LAST. Again, only when it was brought to
Dr. LeBlanc's attention did those kids have working computers.

Enhancing Communication - The idea of a teacher having the
ability to email parents is great! The last couple of years
there has been so many problems and stories with this one.
At one point, I believe when Dr. Harter got here every
teacher had email address set up for them & a directory
list given to the principal at every school. We were
then hearing that teachers could not access the internet
on district systems. Fine, maybey that is even OK since
the teachers ARE at work. HOWEVER, are we then to
say that the teachers must work on their own time to
communicate with their parents? Whatever, most of them
do anyway. We still had yet to discover if these email
accounts set up for the teachers were actually used or
not.

School sites having
their own websites - AWESOME! Mike even made a simple
template for every site to work with. Go and look at the
school websites now. You can probably count on one hand
how many are CURRENT. Why is this? We ask the questions,
I suppose it is the parent's fault? Hey, I tried to help
with the website - unfortunatley the principal decided it
was not a priority item even when it was made perfectly
clear by the SSC and the PTA it would be a valuable tool.

I used to be the person hollering
"What about the people who do NOT have Internet access?"
when the district would direct folks to the district
website or attempt to engage and communicate via email.

Now I'm the parent that says
"Look, whatever it takes. I know the website is a powerful
tool - PLEASE make sure this information is accurate!"

Which brings me to the original reason why I posted what
I did. Not to be told I don't know what I am saying. But
for someone to pay attention to the fact that Mr. Ehara
is doing it ALL. This makes no sense, perhaps you the
expert can enlighten me.

I also want to learn more about:
this district DEPENDS on continued funding (such as e-rate?)
that is figured on during budget time. I don't even want
to know what the district must do to keep getting e-rate.
Cause if that stops, you will be looking at a lot more money
to cut out of the budget. Don't believe me, check for yourself.
Our district technology needs are budgeted with this e-rate
discount.

amedina

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