Connects, the million dollar student accountability system owned by Tyler Technologies and leased to the Fort Worth schools that has never worked will finally be scrapped, according to Superintendent Walter Dansby who announced today that the district will seek a new software program to phase in by next year. Connects was bought a couple of years ago by then-superintendent Melody Johnson who touted it as the best thing since sliced bread. What the district got were “sliced” student transcripts, “sliced” data, “sliced” attendance records, “sliced” health records, dropped grades, frequent crashes and, it even lost students.
Teachers, data clerks, and all those on the ground trying to make it work were pulling out their hair, and crying out for the district to drop the program. Other districts in Texas were dropping the program like a hot potato and suing Tyler to get their money back. However, until Dansby showed up, the district kept digging the hole deeper.
Then in November, this paper reported that Dansby had given Tyler notice that it needed to fix the problems in “thirty days” or the district would exercise its option to cancel the contract on the grounds that it was not doing what it had promised. It has been thirty days and then some, but finally the district says it is scrapping the program.
Many here hope the district will look for a replacement just up the road. The Texas Education Agency’s Region 11 has provided numerous districts in the area with a program that those using it say it works, is user friendly and cheap. And with offices not far from the district’s ad building, help would be just a hoot and a holler away.