Out With The Old, In With The New

[after Kirk knocks an Ekosian unconcious]
Spock: Your uniform, Captain.
Capt. Kirk: Yes, it’s a pity yours isn’t as attractive as mine. Gestapo, I believe.
Spock: Quite true. You should make a very convincing Nazi.

Star Trek, "Patterns of Force" (2/16/68)


Come this summer, school systems across the state of Maryland are required to use the same document for the Special Education students’ Individual Education Programs (IEPs). This is a good news/bad news kind of thing. It’s good news because we don’t have to work nearly as hard to figure out what, say, Anne Arundel County had in mind for a given student, but on the flip side the document was created by the state and is kind of cumbersome. In fact, I’m still not sure how it’s going to work for students who receive only speech therapy. My understanding is that the "easy" meetings, which we can usually keep to about 40 minutes, will run well over an hour. And that’s if you type fast, like I do.


In order to change over to the new IEPs, we had to get an entirely new software system for BCPSS. And we’re at the point where we have to comb through data every day to get the errors as close to zero as possible, to smoothen the data migration from the old system to the new. Naturally, as the Lead for my area, I’ve spent so much time helping other people get their error count down that my own school’s data is a trainwreck. But this means that there are multiple levels of people on our asses every single day with this "Data Cleansing" project. Because that’s what we need is more sticks and fewer carrots.

One of the things that needs to be explained on a regular basis is that we’re still having meetings for the kids. Which means that every time we have a meeting, new "errors" crop up. They’re not really errors as such, but the fact is that the data are going to be fluid until the end of the school year.

What might be worthwhile would be to create a team of people whose job it is to do retrospective clean up of the data in the two weeks between June 15 and July 1. And maybe even keep them on hand throughout the summer when the translation errors start cropping up. Or does that make sense?

One thought on “Out With The Old, In With The New”

  1. I am an slp in Baltimore County and we are having the same problems. Let’s not forget that MSDE has a great sense of timing eh?
    Good luck with all that….it’s a mess everywhere and getting worse on a daily basis.

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