PowerTeacher Gradebook and upcoming Java updates

I’m very happy that Pearson is making an effort to do this change. I can only imagine what a challenge it is to completely change your platform.

Dear PowerSchool customer,

At Pearson, our top priority is to provide our customers with the very best solutions to reliably and accurately improve education.

We are proud of our PowerSchool product, including our PowerTeacher Gradebook and ReportWorks components. We believe they offer a world-class user experience combined with the convenience of a web-based delivery model. As you know, PowerTeacher Gradebook is – by far – the most popular gradebook attached to an SIS anywhere in the world. We never forget that more than 775,000 educators use it every day as they teach over 13 million students, and that those educators are counting on Pearson to ensure PowerTeacher Gradebook delivers the same great experience 24×7.

Unfortunately, we are aware that recent updates to the underlying Java technology used by PowerTeacher Gradebook and ReportWorks have, on several occasions, interrupted that reliability which all of our customers rightfully expect. While we have no control over Oracle, the 3rd party who supplies Java technologies, Pearson has made minimizing the disruption created by these updates a top priority.

To that end, Pearson is working on two parallel efforts:

First, Pearson is working more closely with Oracle on better coordination with future Java releases so that we have any necessary PowerTeacher Gradebook updates ready in advance of the Java updates. To this end, we want to make you aware of a planned Java update Oracle has targeted for January 2014. Pearson is actively testing the pre-release version of this Java update (Java 7 Version 51). In the coming weeks, we will release a new version of PowerTeacher Gradebook with changes to maintain compatibility with the new Java version. Please arrange to install the update prior to January to avoid any potential problems with the new Java release. Pearson hosted customers will be automatically updated.

Second, Pearson is reducing PowerSchool’s reliance on Java technologies. As you may imagine, this is not a small project. We have assigned our top development resources to this effort and we will keep you updated on our progress. We will continue to offer the same great user experience that our customers are used to in the current versions of PowerTeacher Gradebook and ReportWorks, and we are working hard to make this technology change seamless.

Pearson is committed to providing you with the highest quality technology tools to improve teaching and learning. We recognize how important PowerSchool is to our customers and how difficult disruptions can be. We reiterate our apologies and thank you for your loyalty.

Sincerely,

Bryan MacDonald
Chief Technology Officer
K-12 Technology
Pearson