Registration Dashboard: The school selections are now a lot more open

unit4-dashboard  First, go here: http://choice.champaignschools.org/onlineforms2013/firstchoice.aspx

Yes, Unit 4 finally has a good (ie, decent) look at registration numbers. Armed with this knowledge (for those whom take advantage of it – not everyone will), I can see two things happening:

  1. Some parents will want to “rush” to be first on the list (which is not counted at all – first or last gets the same priority), some parents will tarry until the end of March to see what the numbers look like. I am betting more will wait (of those that look at the dashboard).
  2. Parents will see some “overchosen” schools and make different choices. I think that is a good thing – it increases the chances of getting the school you select for everyone involved.

The tricky part will be “is this too much information?” Will it lead to more confusion with statistics, proximity and priorities? Will the not-so-tech-savvy utilize this tool much by asking folks at the Family Information Center (FIC)?

Overall, I think it is a great thing; I have been looking forward to this information for several years. It is encouraging that the school district sees this as important as well.

Also, the vendor (enrolledU and his software partners) have fixed a number of problems, including the issue with seeing my child’s name, but at the cost of removing the notification of a sibling priority altogether. Probably safer than sorry, but I hope they meet a compromise next time. Also, they fixed an issue with picking the program which I had not noticed before.

PS – I still prefer pictures (ie, a pie chart). Maybe that’s just me.

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2 Responses to “Registration Dashboard: The school selections are now a lot more open”

  1. Molly Says:

    I think this is a confusing table. I’m pretty informed with how the choice process works & consider myself to be well-educated and good at deciphering information, but this wasn’t intuitive to me. I with there were at least footnotes to explain what each column represents. ie, does ‘approved applications’ mean the number of applications to-date that have been turned in? Why do so many people have no priority?

    I definitely hope that this was a free tool provided, because, while I’m glad to see this information being made public, I don’t feel that it is anything special. And cannot imagine that it took longer than a few hours to create. If it was free, then I feel much more positively about it & appreciate whomever went about putting it together! If it cost money, then I think it should be made more intuitive.

  2. charlesdschultz Says:

    Molly, I hate to break it to you, but we paid at least $92,000 for software that was initially delivered with lots of problems. I have an outstanding request to find out if we are being billed to have the problems fixed.

    Yes, I totally agree with the information needing to be more intuitive. I have argued, cajoled and filed FOIA requests left and right for the past 4 years to get this information out of EnrolledU and to make it more intuitive, but I don’t think they get it. This is but another reason why I have been waging a somewhat silent war to have the software designed and maintained locally by software companies. Alves is an Educational Consultant, not someone who inherently understands the gestalt of web interfaces nor the user-friendly requirements of “normal” people.

    To answer some of your other questions:
    “approved applications” means the number of folks that have submitted their schools of choice requests (either online or via paper forms) and have also visited the FIC to submit the required proof of residence (which cannot be done online, yet). Many more registrations have been submitted with no accompanying proof of residence (I know several of us have submitted bogus forms just to test it out). So many people appear to have no proximity because either 1) they are getting in via the magnet problem, or 2) they chose a school they actually do not have any priority to (I would wager this is a relatively small number).


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