Beginning in August, Carthage ISD switched to an updated gradebook application known as Ascender Teacher Portal. The software is created and maintained by the Texas Education Service Center for Region 20 and replaced another application called txGradebook which the Region 20 ESC7 also created and maintains. Carthage ISD has been using the txGradebook system since its inception. The upgrade affected all Region 7 school districts using txGradebook and at the time, there was no option to stay with the aging txGradebook.
From the start, the new gradebook application has been plagued with problems. There were numerous reports of teachers entering grades only to find the grades missing the next morning. Parents were receiving multiple Parent Portal notifications for the same grade over several days. For others, the new gradebook software worked well. The software was not reliable and became very frustrating for our teachers to use, some of which worked past 2 a.m. entering grades to meet their deadlines.
After over 150 problem reports, campus leaders found this situation unacceptable and began searching for alternatives. Changing gradebook vendors is a big step and requires months of planning. Therefore, the logical step was to work with Region 7 personnel and have the more reliable txGradebook turned back on for teachers at Carthage ISD until the Ascender Teacher Portal was fully updated and operational. After weeks of collaboration and with an assurance that the first six weeks grades and data would not be compromised, Region 7 agreed to turn the older but more reliable txGradebook back on.
“This was the best possible solution right now for our teachers, students and parents,” Chief Learning Officer Allen Koch shared. “We know this was a major headache for everyone involved during the first six weeks and we hope this solution will take the additional burden off our teachers and help keep our parents accurately informed of their students' grades.”
C.I.S.D. is confident that parents will now be able to see all grades in Parent Portal and teachers will have a fully functioning gradebook. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your campus principal.