Sunday, February 17, 2008

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

If the leadership of the APS bought computers and software
that don't work, and they then don't work;

who is responsible?

Is it the "leader" who bought computers and software
that no one can figure out how to make work,

or the people who can't figure out how to make it work?

- link Journal sub req.

"In 2004, APS projected spending $16 million
to get the system fully running and to purchase
all necessary hardware and software.
To date, the district has spent $24 million,
according to APS records.

Technology Director Tom Ryan said the latest figure
includes maintenance, which wasn't in the original
projection because upkeep is budgeted separately.
(red herring?)

But even without maintenance, SchoolMax has cost
APS $23 million— $7 million more than projected.

Ryan attributes (most of) the extra money to … extra training.

Whenever a new system is rolled out, "the hardest part is the human capital, to teach (people) how to do something in a different way,"


Ryan apparently admits that the leadership of the APS deliberately low balled the costs of training in order to mislead budget stakeholders.

Zsombor Peter wrote;

"“Ryan suspects cost pressures led the district to (deliberately?) underestimate training demands.

Ryan said the company has promised two more years of support, though he has nothing in writing.""

Andrea Schoellkopf adds; - link Journal sub req
"(Tom Savage) said the finance, human resources and
construction departments need employees
who understand the systems well enough
to program them rather than relying on programmers
in other departments or outside consultants.

"We spend a lot of money paying consultants to come
and build systems, write the software and make the repairs,"
he said. "When the consultants leave,
we haven't done a good enough job of training
our own people to do the job."

Also, staffers and decision-makers who are familiar
with the system are asked to get it up and running
on top of their usual responsibilities.

"It burns people out and they don't stay,
so you lose whatever knowledge they uniquely may have had (about) the project," he said."

As per usual we don't know who

in the leadership of the APS, screwed up;

only who got screwed

... again.


Anonymous said...

This its at all levels.
When the school did a "Sudden" implementation of SCHOOLMAX, the training for admin, data processors and counselors was.. "here's your 150-pg manual. If you need annything, scan through it."
Unfortuantely, the 150-pg manual did not have the mandatory district specialty codes, nor whatever pertains to NM State law, nor the basics to fulfill NCLB requirements.
Others tell me that it was onlt partially installed and even till today, some parts of it do not function at all.
That was a very EXPENSIVE program, and a necessary one.
Again...."What happened?"

Anonymous said...

Parents in APS have been requesting for years online access to their child's attendance records so they can see if their kid is truant or not on a daily basis.
ICUE online was implemented, and it does have a parental-view program, but is still unavailable.
APS keeps promising schools and parents to get it up and running every year, but rumor has it they either don't know what they are doing, or they don't want to shell the extra money for full implementation of the ICUE online program.
"APS..expect great things" should be changed to: "APS ...expect great things...someday".

Joseph Lopez said...

a few well paid and uncorruptable accountants. A few cops who are not afraid to arrest criminals. Some cool Geek God guy who can make Word, Excel and Access do more than that expensive program. A few lawyers who are not afraid of Modrall.

With those things, you could enforce standards like laws and policies or financial best practices so that APS kids got the bulk of the money meant for education, rather than software developers and such.

I worry for the kids who will grow up more ignorant than they have to because APS spent all its money on lawyers and software, and not on an extra EA to help them learn to read, or a new textbook that speaks to modern children.

So sad.

Anonymous said...

There are other school districts that refer their software and technology concerns to their local universities. Not only is this extremely cheaper, but it keeps the money local and provides a good bond between secondary and higher education.
UNM could have developed these programs and could send student techs to handle most of the problems... but no!
Follow the money trail. Someone in APS made a pretty profit getting these software packets.
Follow the same money trail for the "canned" English and MAth remediation programs APS is buying for next year. WHy didn't UNM or the well-paid big brains at APS develope those remediation programs? Why are we buying some out-of-state "Canned" programs? More waste! And I bet money (pardon the pun) the remediation programs are weak and not even NCLB compliant!

Anonymous said...

"You have to balance the institution, what institution it is you're working for, with the public's right to know, and that sometimes is difficult, because you'll have people within the institution who don't understand the public's right to know," said Rigo Chavez, spokesman for Albuquerque Public Schools.

Albuquerque Public Schools spends about $235,000 for four PIOs.
Albuquerque Public Schools, Monica Armenta, $105,000.

Anonymous said...

Today's Trib has an article about the guy in charge of this mess wanting to take over the Superintendent's job. LMAO


Current job: Executive director of technology.

Strengths: Eight years on superintendent's Cabinet, former principal and teacher, 27 years in APS, doctorate in curriculum.

Weaknesses: Lacks business experience and experience at the superintendent level, limited time in principalship, low-key computer guy.