Today and tomorrow, the Wilson County Expo Center in Lebanon is hosting the statewide Pre-K/Kindergarten portfolio scoring event.
Well, they were. That is, until 350 teachers who were also trained peer reviewers showed up and the Internet didn’t work. At all.
Teachers present reported that some were able to access the Internet via cell phone hotspots. But … Then, the Portfolium platform didn’t work. At all.
Teachers who had traveled to Lebanon from outside middle Tennessee were advised to return to their hotel rooms and use hotel WiFi to attempt to access the evaluation platform. That also didn’t work.
Finally, teachers were advised they could just return home and attempt to assess portfolios. Or, they could spend another night in a hotel and return to Lebanon tomorrow. All at state expense.
Teachers who chose to be evaluators were told they would receive $750 stipends PLUS reimbursement from travel expenses for the statewide scoring event.
An email sent to teachers after today’s event indicated that teachers now MUST complete assessment of at least 10 collections by June 10th in order for the first wave of funds ($300) is released to districts. Upon final completion of 40 collections (roughly 60 hours of work), the final payment will be issued. So, to be clear, evaluators are paid a paltry $12.50 an hour to do this work.
Readers may recall that a similar scoring event in Lebanon last year was also met with problems.
It’s also worth noting that Portfolium has an interesting background:
Portfolium is a startup company designed to provide college students with a way to highlight accomplishments and work samples for future employers. Yes, you read that right: The new evaluation platform is a startup company that was founded in 2013 and just three years ago, began raising a small amount of capital to launch:
Portfolium, a Web-based social network for students preparing to start their careers, said it has closed on $1.2 million in new venture funding, bringing its total funding to $2.1 million since 2013, when the San Diego-based startup was founded.
It’s nice to know that even with a new vendor and a new Education Commissioner, the same rank incompetence can be expected from TDOE.
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