In April the WRDSB trustees motioned that staff request the private sector offer solutions to their reckless use of Internet technology. That report
has arrived (p. 8-10 of the .pdf). Board CIO Mark Carbone will present the report at Monday’s board meeting. You should attend. It’s at 7:00 PM on Monday at 51 Ardelt Ave. in Kitchener. Better yet, come as a delegation and speak to the board.
Mark Carbone is the Chief Information Officer of the WRDSB. He told my wife and our (former) school’s parent council that this problem would be fixed by May 2015. It’s now June 2016. And the problem is not fixed.
Let me offer a few thoughts on report.
First, things are changing at the board. They’re not fixed. But they’re changing, very slowly albeit, but yes they are changing for the better.
Second, the report indicates they’ve had the ability to filter out porn and other harmful content all along:
“Overall, the RFI process revealed that our current information technology infrastructure is fully capable of meeting our current needs. Additionally, the Board’s current vendors are the primary suppliers of content filtering services in the Ontario education sector. The use of both Spyder Inc. and Integra Data Solutions provide a variety of filtering methodologies that provide a high level of both protection to our network and control access to our content. Finally, current ITS staff possess the necessary qualifications and experience to manage our network filtering system.”
We raised this issue in February/March of 2015. We’ve been pushing for change for well over a year. And we’ve just been told they’ve had the tools to fix this all along. But they didn’t. For over 15 months Mark Carbone has known that 6 and 7 year old children can unwittingly be exposed to porn in public schools. For 15 months Carbone’s had the tools to fix this. For 15 months (and counting) it has not been fixed.
At Monday’s meeting, the report will be given. And then trustees can ask question and make motions. My hunch is they will motion to implement the technology that has been available all along. Then the problem should be fixed by September.
But I’m not holding my breath. I’ve been told it’s been fixed more times than I can count. Each time we learned it wasn’t fixed. So it will be up to parents to test their children’s school Internet portals themselves and hold the staff accountable.
I hope to see you Monday at the meeting.