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NYC Department of Education Bans PupilPath: What Now?

NYC+Department+of+Education+Bans+PupilPath%3A+What+Now%3F

On June 30, 2022, the New York City Department of Education banned the use of PupilPath in schools, in short, due to continued security issues. Students around the city are frustrated with being unable to see grades posted online, which can result in surprises when seeing report card grades. But after learning more about what exactly happened with PupilPath last year, a question arises: is it critical to have an online grading system? Mr. Ebanks, the Assistant Principal of Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) was kind enough to give us some information on the school’s grading system, PupilPath; it is no longer used due to a data breach that occurred last spring. In the process of using technology, data is the driving force when it comes to information, and due to PupilPath’s inability to securely keep student and parent information safe, someone was able to hack their system and get students’ data. Alarmingly, this included home addresses and parents’ contact information.

After PupilPath’s discontinuation, it became imperative for the Department of Education to find something to fill its place. However, after the events that occurred last Spring – including a class-action lawsuit – the DOE decided to create their own application, effacing any third-parties. Unfortunately, it has not been timely. Students were supposed to be able to log into the system in app format on their phones by mid-December, but this date has been disregarded and the new date of unrolling this system is tentative.

Nothing is 100% unhackable.”

— Mr. Ebanks

In a meeting with Department of Information Technology officials, Mr. Ebanks was told that if every student, teacher, and parent in the NYC DOE logged into the system, there is a potential that we could crash all of Google. However, as a guidance counselor, Mr. Ebanks has access to a new system which is currently in the early stages of development. He expressed that the start of the school year was challenging with the new system, but it will be a more effective source of communication. Mixed reviews were given from other guidance counselors. “We’re working on it,” has been the resounding message from the NYC DOE, which saves them from the responsibility of sticking to a deadline. So, we would advise students and teachers to stay hopeful for the future… hopefully the not-so-distant future. Until then, our advice is to continue to discuss your grades face-to-face with teachers.

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About the Contributors
Autumn Marin
Autumn Marin, Op-Ed Editor
Autumn Marin is a member of the class of 2025, as part of the Carl Sagan Academy. She was the Assistant Editor-In-Chief('22-23), and enjoys writing more than anything else. :}
Ren Viayrada, Photographer and Artist
Ren Viayrada is a junior at Forest Hill High School. She loves to listen to music and read.
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