Tuesday, June 17, 2008


The Homeroom


June 17, 2008 - Los Angeles Unified elementary school teachers have had a tough time this week dealing with the district's computerized grading system.

Administrators at Lockhurst Elementary have advised teachers to fill in grades and comments by hand, if necessary, said Rod Wylie, who teaches third grade at the Woodland Hills campus.

"It just frosts me that this is happening now," Wylie said. "It's a real inconvenience to do it by hand. We used to, but it seems like wasted time when the technology is available to input and print."

"The culprit was an old system working at capacity and the lingering effects of a probable virus infestation," said Tony Tortorice, chief information officer for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The system, set to be replaced in the fall of 2010, was a popular step forward in the 1980s, Tortorice said. It works best when teachers access it from school sites. When thousands of teachers enter data from home, however, the system can grind to a standstill, he said.

"The aftereffects of a computer virus made things worse last week. This virus had been hijacking district computers to send e-mails elsewhere, which exacerbated the traffic jam caused by teachers putting in grades. The virus gained entry on computers whose virus software had not been set to update automatically."

-- Howard Blume

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