A controversial $95 million computer system that tracks and distributes student scores and other data is headed for the scrap heap, the Daily News has learned.
The Achievement Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS) was implemented by the Education Department in 2007. It’s one of the city’s biggest computer systems, with records on more than 1 million current and former students. But it has been blasted by critics for being clunky and slow.
Former schools Chancellor Joel Klein, who oversaw the creation of ARIS, has also drawn fire for taking millions to maintain the system with his company Amplify.
That’s all coming to a screeching halt by 2015, Education officials told The News.
“The Education Department has decided to end our contract with Amplify as a result of the extremely high cost of the ARIS system, its limited functionality, and the lack of demand from parents and staff,” said agency spokeswoman Devora Kaye.
“The shockingly low usage of ARIS shows that the vast majority of families and Education Department staff don’t find it a valuable tool,” Kaye added. “By developing an internal program we’ll not only save millions of dollars, but better serve parents and school communities.”
NY1 did a couple of reports on ARIS years ago that demonstrated how many teachers and administrators found the system to be mostly useless and a huge waste of money.
I'm sure the Bloomberg DOE knew that, but I would bet Bloomberg kept it around because it was Klein's baby.
Now, a year into the de Blasio administration, the de Blasio NYCDOE is trashing it.
To which I say - good.
Next up on the trash heap?
Another Klein technological boondoggle - iZone, the computerized learning program that costs a bundle to run and does little to educate students or aid educators.
Pass/fail rates for iZone classes are abysmal - as is the cost to run them.
They stick kids who have failed classes in the past in front of computers for "credit recovery" classes.
Many of these kids already have difficulty paying attention in real live classes - that's why they have failed some of their classes in the past.
Who would think sticking them in front of a computer for hours a week and forcing them to slog through online material would work with students who already struggle in school?
Why Joel Klein, that's who!
More and more, we see the vaunted Klein track record fall to scrutiny and the light of day as the failure it was.
Of course, the real idea behind the system was to steal money from children and give it to edu-entrepreneurs:
“Good news they’re junking it,” said Arthur Goldstein, an English teacher at Francis Lewis High School in Queens. “They spent $95 million on that thing and my kids are in trailers. What they did with that money is criminal.”