Tuesday, April 01, 2008

the day the grading program died

Recently students in Evansville, Indiana woke up to a nightmare--or dream, depending on their GPA:
Second semester grades for thousands of students in Evansville's public schools vanished during last week's spring break.

A computer crash, officially described in a news release as a "hardware malfunction," zapped the information Thursday.

It happened during scheduled maintenance on the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corp. server.

"Disk errors occurred when the system was powered back up," the release stated.

News of the mishap was spread Monday via an e-mail from EVSC. Teachers, parents and students were stunned.
Of course it would malfunction in the middle of a backup. That's the way Murphy's Law operates.

My favorite quote comes from a high school math teacher who kept her grades on paper:
"So it's not a major inconvenience for me," Oliver said. "I guess I'm a bit old school."
Here in the Olympia School District, we use Skyward. Sometimes it goes down. I don't think it's ever erased data. Sounds like it might be time for once-per-month mandatory paper trails, just in case.

Ah, technology. Makes life easier.

1 comment:

Dr Pezz said...

We use Skyward as well except that we keep our grades on Easy Grade Pro (or in the old-fashioned paper grade books) and transfer report card grades to Skyward.

I can't imagine keeping everything on a single electronic program. Good way to lose it all. Of course, I'm known for my organization and multiple back-ups (and get humorously teased for it). I got a bit paranoid about grades when my neighbor lost everything half-way through a semester.