I don't know how much has changed with PowerSchool in the two-and-a-half years since I first wrote this. I suspect their technical debt remains and integration leaves a lot to be desired. That being said, there's an absolute tsunami of funding coming into K-12 from the federal government by way of stimulus funding and the upcoming infrastructure bill. PowerSchool is well-positioned to absorb a lot of that and I think the $6 billion post-IPO valuation estimate is appropriate. Hopefully they will transition from running lean with a pretty façade to paying their employees competitive wages and hiring developers to deliver on all their promises.

I will be buying.

The megalithic conglomerate is making all the right moves, but what’s happening behind the scenes might be cause for concern.

NOTE - This post is a continuation of another post I wrote back in March of 2015 that delved into the SIS market.

As a private company we have no visibility into PowerSchool’s financial statements, but it’s a safe bet that with all the recent acquisitions, the company is working hard to cut costs as much as possible. In the world of private equity this usually means layoffs with jobs moving overseas and long-time employees being cut loose or pressured to leave. New hires tend to be younger and have less experience, but they require a much smaller salary.


Sharing my notes on the 10-day Master Cleanser

Friends will often ask about my fasting experience and want to learn more about what I know and how I go about it, so I send them an email with the information below. Figured it was time to just post it all here for anyone who might be curious.

Every year I do a 10-day fast. This type of fast has its detractors with some who will assert that it is not safe or that it provides no health benefits. …

I have some experience with both PowerSchool and Apple, and have a few thoughts I’d like to share relating to a recent article by Bradley Chambers that appeared in 9to5Mac. You can read his article here.

In his article, Mr. Chambers states that “…Apple’s decision to sell PowerSchool back in 2006 looks like one of the worst decisions in K–12 in quite possibly their history.”

I respectfully disagree. I believe the biggest mistake that Apple made in U.S. K-12 education was an apparent dismissal of cloud-based computing and an audacious effort to radically transform teaching and learning with iPad. …

Deconstructing the myth of “hardening” our schools.

Just a group of kids going to school.

Three steps:

  1. The next time you drive by or visit a school, take a moment to stop and look around. Look into the distance and into the windows of nearby buildings. Examine every bush and every hill and ask yourself, “Where could a shooter come from? How exposed are the children? Where would security be to protect this location? How many armed security guards would it take to protect this school?”
  2. Now, recall that the high school in Parkland, Florida had a trained police officer assigned to the school who never engaged the shooter either because he feared for his…

It either has a 0% or 92% chance of hitting Earth in 2062.

Please note: The following is at once, very much a true story with real-world consequences, and a work of fiction designed to foment the appropriate level of alarm warranted by such an impending disaster. I’ve provided links wherever possible to source the facts presented, but the determination of what is fact and what is fiction is ultimately a matter of common sense. Good luck.

In April of 2017, in the middle of another late-night of insomnia funk, I read a post on Reddit that caught my interest. The post was from a person who claimed to be a member of…

Hardline immigration reformers have made their position clear: They seek to curtail immigration and are only interested in accepting a small number of high-achieving immigrants from predominantly white, western nations. Many in Congress claim to support legal immigration, yet they also support the administration’s restrictive policies and insist that immigrants “assimilate” to their ideal of a white, homogenous monoculture. This is antithetical to everything America stands for. It’s also incredibly short-sighted and dangerous to our economy.

We would be wise to remember that without a healthy influx of immigrants, the number of working-age Americans will drop from 175 million in…

Examining resource allocation from one side of the tracks to the other.

This charter school gets slightly better test scores than its traditional counterpart. #winning

Education shouldn’t be political. Relative to other areas of our national budget, it’s not that expensive; about 15% of our state budget, and only about 6% of our national budget. But, it’s always been near the top of the list of issues that voters care most about because most everyone understands that how well our children do in school affects nearly every other aspect of the state of our union: Crime, economy, employment rate, national defense, health, etc.

Last spring, two northern California schools relatively close to each other saw shockingly disparate results on the state test. Only 61% of…

Note — This post originally appeared back in 2014 on a blog for a company I worked for. The company was acquired and the blog taken down, but with school back in session and flu season approaching, I thought the information might be useful.

Those of us who have been in K-12 education long enough can tell you that illness is one of the leading causes of absenteeism in our schools, but how does it compare to other causes? In working with customers over the past couple months, we’ve had the rare opportunity to view longitudinal attendance data spanning multiple…

Note: I wrote this a couple of years ago for another blog which is no longer active, but with the new USDoE’s Civil Rights Data Collection report showing that up to 40% of students might be chronically absent, I thought it might be worth republishing. I’m willing to bet that the numbers we’re seeing are just the tip of the iceberg.

I have a confession to make. When I was in high school I was a less than stellar student. My grades were mediocre, my attendance was spotty and if it weren’t for a small group of studious friends and…

Paul Smith

I write about EdTech and education, but mostly this is where I rant about politics. On Twitter @prsmith2009

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