The Greenville News reported that Greenville County Schools has undergone its review by AdvancED for accreditation. Here’s one of the things they found…
The review team from the AdvancED Accreditation Commission conditioned its approval on a “required action” that the district improve its use of technology to provide equity for students in all schools and develop a better system-wide technology infrastructure…
The district’s lowest rating was in the use of technology by students, which was based on 20-minute observations in 191 classrooms…
Also related to technology, the team found a need for “development of a robust system-wide infrastructure, to make sure things keep working and not need to wait for somebody with the expertise to fix it.”
The team also heard complaints from teachers and school officials that the district is lacking a comprehensive data system that could help compile better information on individual student performance, Barker said.
“You have a wealth of information about students, you have a wealth of information about a lot of your operations in the district,” he said. “It’s not housed in one place — not physically, but in technology — where it can be easily combined, disaggregated and reports written.
“We urge you to consider the strength of a comprehensive data warehouse to provide current information, particularly to your teachers, about what Susie needs this week, not what she did on last year’s MAP (Measuring Academic Progress) test.”
Now isn’t that interesting. The Spartanburg Five review said pretty much the same thing, but didn’t have any problems with our infrastructure or use of data. It’s also the same thing they said to Spartanburg Two. It’s as if AdvancED has a script they are checking off.
While this gives me some slight vindication, I’m glad I’m out of that business. It’s been almost six months since I retired, and the Greenville News article brought it all flooding back. I still love teaching, I care about, and love working with students, and I still think technology, used appropriately, is a necessary tool for today’s teachers. However, being a director of technology was always a no-win situation.
I once said that as a tech director I got only three kinds of calls (or e-mails, or whatever.) These came from 1. someone wanting me to buy something for them, 2. someone wanting to sell me something, or 3. someone complaining about something not working. Nothing else. Ever. There were those that complained that our technology was not advancing fast enough, and those that said that it was moving too fast and that they couldn’t keep up. It was enough to drive one crazy.
So, just when I think I’ve recovered, I read an article like the one in today’s Greenville News, and it all comes flooding back. I think when that happens I’ll just have to dive back into my book project, or do more photography, or do more paddling. Those options are much, much better than what I had been doing previously. It will take time, but I will get over this. I already like life much better.