What’s the deal with GradesFirst?

I heard some rumblings and grumblings about GradesFirst this week from enough peeps to warrant a post.

The good, the bad, the ugly on the matter as follows:

Good – Emails have been sent to keep us informed of all we have to do. Good to see the transparency. I think. (Sorry, I’m like Pavlov’s dog, only the dog got something good after the bell rang. For a while. I keep hearing the district bell and a bowl of district’s finest get’s placed under my nose. Unfortunately our tastes differ, but they never ask what I would like.)
Stop by the CAST room and get some assistance with GradesFirst and maybe get a cookie. Not a bad deal. Last time I had administration hold my hand and walk me through difficult times was when I voted on a new contract. Oh wait, that was an administrative ally from District disguised as a union president.

Bad – This all feels so rushed and discombobulated (don’t care if it’s a typo, adds to the spirit of sloppy and messy). I believe this GradesFirst was formally brought to our collective attention during FDW. You know, that week that was one week early, but not really if you read the contract and I could excuse myself from any kind of development? Looks like we were told what to do, but we weren’t really part of the discussion as to how it would have both a positive and negative impact on students and faculty. Funny how District was able to get this integrated into Blackboard, but we still can’t combine sections in PeopleSoft. When there’s a will from the top, there’s a way. My goodness! If only they could have given this much priority to a contract for the adjuncts; but alas, there is no facultyfirst software to take care of that. Which makes me wonder why this software isn’t called StudentFirst?
If you want to have some fun, go to the GradesFirst website and see if there is a clear indication of what their goal is. In philosospeak, that’s “telos“. Look all you want. You ain’t gonna find it. Scary, right?

Ugly – “Do I have to do this?” Some peeps aren’t sure what to do. They may not have “at risk” students but they still have to report something? Per one of the emails, looks like you gots to log in no matter what. If that’s true, and it is, are we mandated to do this? Which brings me back to “Do I have to do this?” Confusing mess all around. Guess that’s what happens when District takes an idea and runs with it. They ultimately run us over with the application of their collective thoughts. Any connection to the buses they just ordered? Somebody get an educator or two to enlighten those corporate-oriented minds. (Its’ a college district, not a private business!)

Please, please, clarify any mistakes I’ve made. Be critical of my facts. I want to be wrong. I really, really do.