Computer Systems Efficient or Inefficient?

March 7, 2011
By Andrew Partnick SILVER, Roslyn Heights, New York
Andrew Partnick SILVER, Roslyn Heights, New York
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Recently, the usage of computer systems in order to place students in the high schools of their choice have come under question in both the media and many figures put in charge of managing the computer system. The cost of implementing this system is far too high and inefficient. It is estimated that, although the contract for the computer system was initially set at 3.6 million, the department spent an additional 13.5 million, and then an additional 9.4 million after the initial system had to be scrapped and replaced.

The processes in which these systems are implemented are clearly inefficient. In addition to this, the individuals who are hired to implement these systems cannot always be trusted. It has been revealed, for example, that a previous company called Sphieron was convicted of a scandal consisting of a stolen 80 million dollars. Companies such as these are perfect examples of how this system is inefficient and can lead to disaster.

It has, in fact, even been reported by the New York Times that, in a letter to Cathleen P. Black, the schools chancellor, H. Tina Kim, the city’s deputy comptroller for audits, wrote, “Clearly, savings could have been achieved with better planning and coordination.” Obviously, there is more than one individual who disapproves of this system. This complaint, more importantly, is coming from an individual with an important position in the school district that had to manage the school’s budget.

Other critics of the system consist of individuals such as the renowned City Comptroller John C. Liu, who criticizes the system for its unnecessary use of budgets. In addition to this, individuals are now upset with people such as Mayor Bloomberg, who they believe should be better managing the situation at hand.

One who may support the system could possibly state numerous benefits that the system provides and why it is a necessity to have. They may say that the system is necessary, regardless of the expenses required to manage it. A person may say that, although the method may be costly, there are no other alternative methods in that could be used in order to place high school students in the school of their choice. One may also say that the priority of the high school students is far more important than that of the financial stress of the city, as the high school students are the future of the city. All of these examples could theoretically be used in a counter-argument against one who does not support the system.

Here would be an appropriate response to this argument. First of all, there are many alternatives to the system. People could be used as opposed to computers in order to place the students in the high schools of their choice. Although this system may take longer, it is far less expensive than an unnecessary system of computers. Secondly, the notion of the high school students being the future of the city, the high school students are directly affected by the productivity of the city. If the city and their schools are not doing well, then the students cannot do well. Finally, the system is just overall not trustworthy and, being electronic devices, may break down and need to be replaced for an extremely expensive price. For the following reasons, I am in disagreement with the currently implemented computer system used to select high school students for the high schools of their choice.

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