Common Goal Systems: “Missouri Statewide SIS RFP Neglects Small-And-Medium Sized Districts, Luckily They Can Opt Out”

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The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) recently released a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a statewide student information system (SIS). Common Goal Systems (http://www.common-goal.com), a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider to small-and-medium sized school districts, believes the RFP is heavily slanted in favor of large districts to the detriment of smaller districts. In Missouri, about 2/3 of districts have fewer than 1000 students. The selected SIS will likely be far too complex and burdensome for the majority of Missouri districts.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) recently released a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a statewide student information system (SIS). Common Goal Systems (http://www.common-goal.com), a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider to small-and-medium sized school districts, believes the RFP is heavily slanted in favor of large districts to the detriment of smaller districts. In Missouri, about 2/3 of districts have fewer than 1000 students. The selected SIS will likely be far too complex and burdensome for the majority of Missouri districts.

Fortunately participation in the statewide SIS is voluntary. DESE will neither fund nor mandate the use of the selected vendor. This means that small-and-medium sized districts can choose systems geared toward their needs and not those of large districts.

“Someone needs to stand up for the little guy,” says Mike Xakellis, CEO for Common Goal Systems. “Big and small districts have very different needs. I’m surprised anyone would assume that one product is best for all districts. Big districts have big IT staffs. They want complex, customizable systems and have the headcount, time, and specialized technical expertise to manage them. In contrast, smaller districts are leaner organizations with versatile employees who ‘wear many hats.’ They need intuitive, low maintenance systems with affordable cost structures. The lack of non-classroom support staff makes complicated systems impractical in smaller districts – the majority of districts in Missouri.”

The RFP, which can be found at http://oa.mo.gov/bids/b2z11018.htm, has about 1300 individual items in the selection criteria – a very high level of complexity for smaller districts. The selected product must be installable software (smaller districts typically prefer the ease of cloud computing), School Interoperability Framework (SIF) 2.3 compliant, support unnecessarily sophisticated reporting/query technology, IEP tracking, health records management, and other large district requirements. It also gives preference to products with human resources, payroll, professional development, finance/auditing, library, food service, transportation, library, and Medicaid modules. Systems meeting all these large district requirements are too costly and burdensome for smaller districts.

As a result, Common Goal Systems has chosen not to respond to the RFP. Instead they will focus on supporting and expanding their small-and-medium sized SchoolInsight customer base in Missouri.

SchoolInsight (http://www.schoolinsight.com) is a MOSIS-compliant SIS designed for the unique needs of small-to-medium sized districts. The system is user-friendly, has outstanding technical support, uses the latest cloud computing technology, and is used by about 30 satisfied Missouri school districts.

Common Goal Systems provides SaaS products to help educators work more efficiently. The company delivers its products via the Internet and is responsible for all deployment, operation, and maintenance. Founded in 2001, Common Goal Systems has hundreds of thousands of users worldwide.

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Linda Murrin
Common Goal Systems
(866) 847-3405 x108
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