West Virginia Education Information System: Addressing the Issues
WVEIS is a 22-year-old-system that is based on antiquated technology called text-based computing. Text-based computing has arguably been obsolete since 1992. As such, maintenance of the system is cumbersome, while users are left to deal with a system that looks and feels out of date. It is also not considered sufficient for supporting some management operations, including human resources. This has led to counties having to implement their own systems to make up for WVEIS shortcomings.
The county systems are not integrated, often due to the difficulty and complexity of integrating with a WVEIS that is based on 22-year-old technology. WVDE technology personnel are reluctant to make changes to the system unless absolutely necessary, which ultimately results in less and less compatibility with newer modern systems which the districts would like to use.
Known problems with WVEIS include:
- WVEIS was originally designed as an administrative tool, not an end-user. WVEIS was never intended for teacher use. It has a design foundation that was not intended to support personalized learning.
- The WVEIS program, when compared to recent software programs that many in-state users are beginning to use, is not intuitive and difficult to migrate throughout the system.
- A myriad of organizational dynamics have recently come into play whereby multiple offices at the WVDE are responsible for giving direction for data input and extract. Unfortunately, not all the offices are on the same page with one another in WVEIS development and use.
- The WVEIS program has limited accessibility. There is no access available for parents; this is why counties purchase outside vendor grade book, attendance and discipline programs. A user must be on the West Virginia K-12 network to access the system (teachers can't access WVEIS from home).
- By 21st century technology standards, an AS400 system is not cutting edge and in itself creates problems for incorporating high quality cold fusion language or industry standard Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF).
- Generated WVEIS reports are difficult to request, prepare and interpret. (Queries have to be generated outside the local school system's area of influence).
- WVEIS data entry is labor intensive and enhances any and all opportunity for human error.
- WVEIS support documentation posted is out of date (some refer to 2007).
- WVEIS and annual measurable objectives (AMOS) for career and technical systems do not interface. Data must be entered twice.
- WVEIS and the State Finance System do not interface.
WVEIS on the Web is little more than a web-based redevelopment of the standard WVEIS system. Known problems with WVEIS on the Web include:
- WVEIS WOW has been in development for over six years and is still incomplete.
- Random occurrences of errors and glitches, especially with STU.301 Maintain Student Information.
- Users are not confident that data entered into WOW will be saved to the main database, especially in the scheduling module.
- Multiple errors with the piloted employee evaluation system.
- Lack of centralized support for all new modules.
- Access to all administrative levels is shielded.
- Consistency of use, frequent downtime for users.
- The graphical user interface design is not user friendly and not current with today's programming availabilities.