Database nerds will like this one. The state of Nevada has a database system for the permanent records of children in the state education system. One parent, an opponent of the Common Core national curriculum which is sweeping the US public education, wanted to know what his childrens' permanent record said. He asked for a copy, but it wasn't available for free:
Because the SAIN system is not designed to create reports that display individual student data in a readable format, the parent was initially told that the requested reports do not exist and cannot be producedNot designed to create reports that "display individual student data in a readable format"? That's a new one on me. So when education officials threaten to put a student's trangression on their permanent record, that actually means "a place that no-one will look because it's not readable"?
[Nevada Department of Education] staff determined that it would take at least 3 weeks (120 hours) of dedicated programming time to fulfill the parent's request. At the applicable wage rate of $84.95/hour, the requested work resulted in a $10,194 price tag.
The really shocking aspect is that Nevada is employing IT experts at $85/hour who can't knock up an appropriate couple of SQL statements like:
SELECT GradeReport.Grade, GradeReport.Text, Students.StudentName, GradeReport.ReportDate FROM GradeReport INNER JOIN Students ON GradeReport.StudentID=Students.StudentID WHERE Students.StudentName = "Fred Eppolito" AND Students.SchoolID = 12345; -- choose whatever fields are needed to uniquely identify a studentI'm fairly sure that writing the query, testing it, dumping that data out in CSV format, eyeballing it to check that nothing's bad and then sending on the file can be done in the space of an hour.
If the Department of Education IT staff can't do this for $85 per hour, which is about $175K per year, perhaps they shouldn't be paid so much. Otherwise, one might think that the state of Nevada can't be trusted to spend taxpayer money at all...