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Pinnacle, Online Grades, Skipping School and More

chrisd posted about 11 years ago | from the begin-florida-counting-jokes....-now dept.

Software 912

Ishkibble writes "The Matrin County School Board has a new way of post a student's grades online for a parent to check. Pinnacle is the name of the program, a simple java applet. Not only does Pinnacle log student's grades, but also attendance and conduct. The way grades are accessed are by inputting the first 6 digits of your social security number and the first 5 letters of your last name. With a logon system as simple as this, one has to question the security and privacy of the students. This has been making my life a living hell for the past 2 months, every night my parents go on and check to see if i have any homework and won't let me do anything till it's done"

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So... (5, Funny)

Nipok Nek (87328) | about 11 years ago | (#5700669)

So, the only way your parents wouldn't be able to check up on you would be if, say, the site gets Slashdotted? :)

Nipok Nek

Probably Good and Bad (5, Insightful)

abcxyz (142455) | about 11 years ago | (#5700674)

I agree that the security of the system is lacking and probably wouldn't take a lot of effort to circumvent.

However, as a parent, having access to my child's progress in school without continually bugging all 7 teachers is an excellent idea. It gives me an opportunity to see if he needs help without waiting 9 weeks. (Mind you, he has NO problem with asking for help when he needs it.)

You indicate that your parents are putting you through hell daily to make sure you've done your homework -- is this an indication that you've had problems getting it done in the past? Maybe if the HW is finished before the fun is started, they might lighten up a bit in the future.

-- Rick

Re:Probably Good and Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5700729)

thank god i'm not a parent

Re:Probably Good and Bad (5, Insightful)

Captain_Stupendous (473242) | about 11 years ago | (#5700782)

LOL. Typical parent's response. It's interesting to see the difference in age of Slashdot readers. Parents think this is a great idea, and kids think it's an invasion of privacy. As with all things, this is obviously not a black & white issue.

Re:Probably Good and Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5700830)

There is no such thing as privacy for children. Until you are 18 or are legally emancipated you parents are responsible for your actions both ethically and in some cases legally.

I also don't see how any child could ever justify hiding grades from his parents. I got bad grades in High School but I never bothered to hide them. I knew that my good grades would offset them.

Re:Probably Good and Bad (5, Insightful)

Gefiltefish11 (611646) | about 11 years ago | (#5700850)

Remember that kids (aka "minors;" those under the age of 18) have, with a few examples that are far afield of this issue, virtually no right to privacy where their parents are concerned.

If a school system can post grades, homework, progress, etc. on the web and the parents want that, then this may be a good thing. However, it is important to recognize that families and parents have a right to privacy from outside sources and the "security" scheme for this system seems sorely lacking.

Re:Probably Good and Bad (4, Insightful)

st0rmcold (614019) | about 11 years ago | (#5700855)

I am in between this issue, I can see the parent side, they want the best for their children, which is completly normal, and moral.

But on the other hand, you have the child, might be trying hard, might not, but with this, you're kinda taking all the trust away, by not believing them, so I feel for the kids that actually do their homework and have their parents watching over every turn, it's gonna bring feelings of resentment.

The child's best interest is not always to be watched like a hawk, sometimes it's to let him/her make a few mistakes and realize the importance of such things. Without realizing this, you can force them until they are like 14-15 and if they never realized it on their own, they will revolt, and you will have completly lost the battle, even if you're original intent was to give the child reason.

It's a form of over-protection, and it has had very detrimental effects in the past.

Very touchy issue indeed.

Re:Probably Good and Bad (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5700883)

Somehow I don't think that over-protection is an issue in this society. Most parents let their kids run rampant without any supervision. When I go to the movies at 10 PM and see dozens of kids that can't be more than 14 smoking cigarettes outside I can only wonder where their parents are.

Re:Probably Good and Bad (5, Interesting)

einer (459199) | about 11 years ago | (#5700885)

No, I've gotta say, this is pretty black and white. If you're not going to school to study and learn, then you're probably disrupting the study efforts of your fellow students. I'm a big fan of privacy. Your grades and homework status should be made available to parents (and in fact at my highschool, parents could call teachers individually if they were so inclined). They are an evaluation of your performance AND the performance of the teachers in a (usually) publicly funded program. What's wrong with accountability? What's wrong with parents knowing the status of their child's education? Would you prefer that the parents not have access to this information, or be forced to listen to the biased evidence presented by the student or teacher?

I will save my rant on the public school system for another time, but in this particular case, I think they've found a great solution (I do admit that the security scheme is rather silly, but were it not for that, I would have no complaints).

By the way, I'm not a parent. :) I think it's a great idea because it fixes something I hate about public schools. They seem to have quite a knack for allowing the dumb disruptive students to 'never get left behind,' and this happens at the expense of those students who recognize free education as a wonderful opportunity.

No ones 'rights' are being violated here. The spirit of this idea is great, the implementation may need some work.

Re:Probably Good and Bad (1)

sigep_ohio (115364) | about 11 years ago | (#5700812)

i remember when i was a student and my perents would ask if i had homework. i told them no and went off with my friends. of course i always had homework, but none so hard that it couldn't be done at a later time. if my parents had something like this, i would have asked to transfer to a new school. students need to learn on their own that doing homework is important.

i don't think this is a very good idea, as it also seems to be another step in the total elimination of the human element in the learning process. i think a lot of the learning that takes place in schools isn't the reading and writing but the interactions between people. by moving more and more of this process on to the web we are setting up a future where no one knows how to talk to each other except through a chatroom.

Re:Probably Good and Bad (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5700864)

I disagree totally. I think this passes some of the responsibility back to the parents where it belongs. Most parents are surprised when they find out their child is failing and they could always blame lack of communication between teacher and parent as the reason. Now they have no excuse. This is especially important in areas with larger class sizes when teachers may not have the time to keep constant tabs on every student. Is this a replacement for small class size, of course not but until somebody figures out how to contain the population explosion, especially in poor minority families, this is the next best thing.

Re:Probably Good and Bad (1)

odyrithm (461343) | about 11 years ago | (#5700846)

Ive been working at a tech college in the uk for over 2years now with ePortal and CMIS from ccm software, eportal is a web based front end that was originally based on asp, js and had a serious lack of security; however it wasnt really designed then to allow student access. Recently though they have brought out a new version thats based on tomcat which I cant say is much better but it does take the load of our citrix servers.. anyway this new version allows for students/parents to login and is far more secure.. however! because the source is closed and untill they open it which they proberly wont Im not going to allow external access to the schools database because at the end of the day it will be my nuts on the chopping board when the system fails and thousands of student information gets out because of some stupid bug in there software I could have spotted if allowed access.

so my advice.. dont do it, theres no real need apart from convinience and making the school look techy.. but when that data falls into the wrong hands you can kiss your rep good bye.

Re:Probably Good and Bad (0)

Qaless (621291) | about 11 years ago | (#5700869)

I agree that the security of the system is lacking and probably wouldn't take a lot of effort to circumvent.

Why would you care about security if all it will do is show how your little darling's grades are? It would be great for "Phonics Game" advertisers.

Wow (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5700675)

Maybe that's because you SHOULD BE doing your homework? Stop whining you fucking four year old and do what you're supposed to do.

Re:Wow (1)

Jeehoba (650927) | about 11 years ago | (#5700698)

The system reports conduct .. so with language like that buddy .. you wouldn't be getting good marks!

Re:Wow (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5700715)

Yeah, it must be a real burden to have parents who care that you're doing well and bother to find out how you're doing. You'd be much better off with inattentive parents that didn't give a shit about you.

Re:Wow (0, Redundant)

cabraverde (648652) | about 11 years ago | (#5700798)

Yeah, it must be a real burden to have parents who care that you're doing well and bother to find out how you're doing. You'd be much better off with inattentive parents that didn't give a shit about you.

Good point. Even if your parents are getting obsessive over this, the problem lies between you and them. Not with the report system.

Living Hell? (2, Funny)

ShrikeDOA (118272) | about 11 years ago | (#5700689)

So you being expected to do what you're supposed to is a "living hell"? The real world is gonna eat you alive. :)

Waahhhhh....... (0)

ajakk (29927) | about 11 years ago | (#5700692)

Why don't you just do your homework and quit whining? It seems that you parents wouldn't check in on your progress if they trusted you enough to do it on your own.

Re:Waahhhhh....... (1)

Nipok Nek (87328) | about 11 years ago | (#5700711)

I seem to remember doing much of my 7th period homework during my 6th period Study Hall. Ho no longer has that option.

Re:Waahhhhh....... (1)

kzinti (9651) | about 11 years ago | (#5700762)

I seem to remember doing much of my 7th period homework during my 6th period Study Hall. Ho no longer has that option.

Sure he does. He just has to negotiate it with his parents and do it with their consent. And they can check later to make sure the homework really got done and turned it. Hypothetically speaking, of course.


Re:Waahhhhh....... (1)

sigep_ohio (115364) | about 11 years ago | (#5700849)

i always did the old check the person sitting next to you before class if there was any homework. i didn't always get A's, but B+'s were ok with me and my folks.

of course that worked until i got to college. then i just stopped doing homework(not worth my precious time). i didn't always get A's, but C's were ok with me. i still ended up getting a good job in engineering.

Its for the better... (1)

Organic_Info (208739) | about 11 years ago | (#5700696)

"every night my parents go on and check to see if i have any homework and won't let me do anything till it's done"

You'll reap the rewards for your parents vigilence.

Hhahahahahahaha who am I trying to fool...unlucky :)

Oh is that soooo? (4, Funny)

cybermace5 (446439) | about 11 years ago | (#5700703)

We'll take care of that little problem for you.

However, you should be doing all your homework without being forced! School is already too easy, and if you skip any of it you'll be the only one at McDonald's who can't make change! You should be asking your teachers for extra homework!

Re:Oh is that soooo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5700794)

I don't know. I slept through High School and graduated in the top 10%. I attended about 2% of my classes in college and graduated Magna Cum Laude. Thanks to an internship at the largest accounting firm in the world (at the time) I had a job offer before even starting my senior year and now make probably twice of what most of you make. How did I do it? Efficient use of my time. I didn't spend even waking minute to make sure that I got a 4.0. I just spent enough time to get a 3.6.

On the other hand I have several brilliant friends who worked their ass off through school and even law school and then struggled in the real world when they realized that projects have to get done yesterday.

Re:Oh is that soooo? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5700836)

I had a job offer before even starting my senior year and now make probably twice of what most of you make.

And yet you still don't have a /. userid.

Parents checking on your homework? (1)

feed_those_kitties (606289) | about 11 years ago | (#5700712)

So, just do the homework already! Geeze...

Your parents are looking out for your best interest. And you're complaining?


And a good thing too (0, Funny)

deaddrunk (443038) | about 11 years ago | (#5700713)

Damn kids always slacking. Why in my day we had to walk 6 miles in all weathers and got beaten every day whether we needed it or not. We didn't have these fancy-schmancy Nintendos we had to make our own entertainment blah blah bitch bitch ad nauseum

Re:And a good thing too (2, Funny)

eugene ts wong (231154) | about 11 years ago | (#5700828)

I hear you. We had to walk that much too. In fact, 1 day, we finally got a car. When we got to school, I said to my dad, "Father, may we ride in the car next time, instead of pushing?".

In a gruff voice, he said, "No! That wastes gas!".

Ask Slashdot:How do I stop my parents from caring? (2, Insightful)

Cyberblah (140887) | about 11 years ago | (#5700719)

The system does need better security (like issuing parents a login and password). However, there's pretty much nothing wrong with the idea. Do your homework, punk.

Yes and no (5, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | about 11 years ago | (#5700720)

Well, the authentication mechanism does seem unsecure - that is something the school needs to work on, or they're just setting themselves up for a lawsuit if it's used in an inappropriate way.

But... You complain that your parents find out what happens to you at school? That your legal guardians can find out if you try to deceive them and not do schoolwork? Hear - methinks it's the worlds smallest violin playing the worlds saddest song...

How about actually attending school and doing the homework?

+1 Funny +1 True (1)

eugene ts wong (231154) | about 11 years ago | (#5700861)

Hear - methinks it's the worlds smallest violin playing the worlds saddest song...
I say that this is the funny part because, I just love figures of speech. I totaly agree with you, even though I laugh.

Bad now, Good later (1)

Falcon 213 (647231) | about 11 years ago | (#5700727)

As a student, I know how much this sucks. But then again, when I become a parent, I know that I'll be glad that things like this are around. Security is only a small problem.. why the hell would a student hack it just to find out someone else's grades? They won't be able to change their own through it.

Re:Bad now, Good later (1)

zwoelfk (586211) | about 11 years ago | (#5700851)

They won't be able to change their own through it.

Well, if the authentication method is any sign of the security on the machine, a student there might not care about someone else's grades, but they might want to modify it to output different grades for the parents to see. Regardless of whether or not it reflects the real grades. Especially if the parents trust that system and don't bother with the periodical hardcopies.

At Uni... (1)

Kiriwas (627289) | about 11 years ago | (#5700731)

... we use similar systems for checking grades and such. There was a big debate over whether or not it was secure enough, and they eventually switched everyone over to a different system using random numebrs and letters. The result? EVERYONE hated it. They immediately switched back, it turned out no one really cared. Its my guess it'll be the same in this case. -Kiriwas

They are doing only doing it because you care (4, Insightful)

rf0 (159958) | about 11 years ago | (#5700733)

Wether you believe it or not your parents are doing only because they care. You might not think it now but you will look back at some point and realise they are doing what they think is best for you.

As for the privacy issues ok prehaps its not so great but at least they are trying even though a custom username/password combination might be better


lighten up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5700738)

Could we please refrain from endless posts telling this kid to quit whining and do his homework. I am sure he was exaggerating a little for dramatic effect.

Easy way to shut it down (5, Interesting)

jvbunte (177128) | about 11 years ago | (#5700739)

Crack it once and turn them in on a FERPA violation.... (FERPA == Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, http://www.ed.gov/offices/OM/fpco/ferpa/)

I work in a Community College and everything we do with student online statistics and information has to follow FERPA security guidelines.

Boohoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5700742)

Do your homeworkd, slacker. When you're 18, then you can complain about your privacy.

Two issues (4, Insightful)

El Volio (40489) | about 11 years ago | (#5700746)

To the poster: your parents sound like they're doing their job. Be glad they're interested in your achievement. If all parents felt the same way, our society would be in a wholly different situation.

That said, the login process probably does need to be changed, but doing that might end up defeating the purpose: if they sent a login via snail mail, kids are likely to intercept it. Then again, if the whole area knows about it, parents would get suspicious about why they haven't received theirs. It's a simple problem to fix, though, and doesn't change the fact that the underlying program keeping parents informed is a great idea.

Security/Privacy (4, Insightful)

binaryDigit (557647) | about 11 years ago | (#5700749)

Well if someone has that much of your SSN, you probably have bigger security/privacy issues than someone simply looking up your grades. Though in general the idea of using ones SSN (or parts thereof) just doesn't leave you with a warm fuzzy.

As to your parents, well it's unfortunate that they feel compelled to use a tool like this in the way that they do. However, the bigger question is WHY they feel compelled to have to use it. It may be the "wow, we can do this" factor, which often times wears off. It could be that you are flakey and put them in a position to think that they HAVE to do this in order to make sure you are getting your homework done. I don't know which. But in any case, have you tried simply talking to them about the whole issue? Parents CAN be reasonable when talked to in an adult fashion (i.e. talk to them like and adult and they're more likely to treat you like one).

Be glad... (2, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | about 11 years ago | (#5700751)

Some schools require that the parents sign all homework that gets turned in!

This way, you can still do an inferior job. ;-)

What's next: radio controlled dog collars that shock you until your homework is done, or if you cut class.

Nice one. (1)

cs02rm0 (654673) | about 11 years ago | (#5700752)

I see no reason why a kid who reads /. should be forced to do the crud I used to get for things like geography homework. They should bump his grades up for trying to get the site /.ed

Ahh, yes... Pinnacle Gradebook! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5700757)

I a Customer who uses this *thing*. It has a Win32 "thick client" that back-ends into a Sybase SQL Anywhere database, and this Java client to allow external users to access the database. The dumb thing uses its own security database, so now when we add new teachers to the district-wide LDAP single-sign-on system, we also have to go manually add them to the "Pinnacle" database.

The company that installed it into my Customer site encouraged teachers to use *hard* to guess passwords like their first names. Further, anybody with an ODBC driver for Sybase SQL Anywhere can just "connect" to the back-end database and "go at it". Couple this with the *rancid* filesystem permissions that the installer put on it ("Oh-- why is is a problem that any user can write to the directory where the "thick client" EXE is installed... Ho, hum."), and you've got a recipe for disaster...

Oh, to be young again...

Sorry (1)

mlknowle (175506) | about 11 years ago | (#5700764)

Sorry, Buddy, but this a perfectly justified use of private data- you parenst should know anyway.

And if you really think it's that insecure - prove it

Maybe you need more homework. (5, Funny)

eugene ts wong (231154) | about 11 years ago | (#5700767)

The Matrin County School Board has a new way of post a student's grades online for a parent to check...This has been making my life a living hell for the past 2 months, every night my parents go on and check to see if i have any homework and won't let me do anything till it's done
Son, this is your father. We've gone over your Engish so many times, & here you are still saying, "...has a new way of post a student's grades...". "post"? Also, you didn't finish your last sentence with a period. Come, come, now. I think we need more homework. You do want to win that spelling bee, don't you?

Oh, by the way son, until today, I didn't know that you posted on /. as well. It's good to see you here. Maybe we could troll together, as father & son? What do you think?

Cracking (5, Interesting)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | about 11 years ago | (#5700769)

This thing is crying out to be hacked.

True story: when I was in High School, an automated phone service was instigated, in which if you skipped class a computer would automatically call home and inform on you. Well, I had better things to do than go to class Every Single Day, and I sure didn't want to wait around in the evening just to be the one that picked up the phone.

So, once I got the call, I taped it; then, using an acquired phone list of the students, randomly, and at a late hour, called and played this message back. Parents were furious that the school was calling them so late; students were pissed that they were getting calls when they had attended; the credibility of the system was shot to shit. So whenever someone actually skipped, they would just report that it must've been the Mad Phone Prankster and that the call wasn't legitimate. A $30K computer system shut down with $1 worth of Memorex.

Yeah Dawgs! Garfield Class of '88.

Re:Cracking (1)

fshalor (133678) | about 11 years ago | (#5700852)

I remember attempts at implimenting a phone system. About six times, my parents got "the call". Considering I never missed a day of school for a non-sanctioned school event, I was a bit dubious. Got in trouble the first few times, but it leveled off.

I remember the system crashing once when the bubble sheet got off. It tied up the phone line for the school calling everyone on the list for hours. Funny stuff.

a few points (5, Insightful)

nuggz (69912) | about 11 years ago | (#5700770)

1. You should show up to school, it is your parents responsibility to ensure you do.
2. You should do your homework, again your parents should make sure you do.
3. You should have some privacy, and your parents should let you have it. However if you aren't trustworthy enough to do your homework and go to school, you deserve what you get.
4. The risk of use of this system by unauthorized persons is unacceptable.

This is an arguement of privacy vs responsible supervision, like having the "internet computer" facing back into the room to watch what your kids are doing.

I'd be willing ot bet that if you always show up for school, and always do your homework (or at least get near perfect grades). Your parents won't bother checking up on you.

Otherwise wait till you're 18, then bitch out any school that releases personal information without your consent.

Re:a few points (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5700866)

1. You should show up to school, it is your parents responsibility to ensure you do.

Yes. If you go to school, you will know what a comma splice [commnet.edu] is unlike this poster. Then again, our government schools are so sorry these days, they might not teach grammar any more.

Poor little guy... (1)

javatips (66293) | about 11 years ago | (#5700771)

This has been making my life a living hell for the past 2 months, every night my parents go on and check to see if i have any home work and won't let me do anything till it's done

Life is unfair isn't it? Poor little guy, he must do homeworks now! And that's because his parent now know he has homeworks to do.

Dude, you should regroup with all you exploited friends and march against the system! Maybe you can even get Bush jr. to take out the regime you are living under!

Cry me a river... (1)

EFGearman (245715) | about 11 years ago | (#5700773)

So you have to do your homework. Big, fat, hairy deal.

The real world is going to eat you alive, you little baby. If you don't do your homework, you can't go out with your friends. If you don't do your work in the real world, you don't have a job (unless you are management) and thus don't get to eat.


Minors don't have privacy (3, Insightful)

tommyServ0 (266153) | about 11 years ago | (#5700774)

My wife (a High School math teacher) will tell you that her best students usually have parents who are involved with their children's schoolwork. This will make it easier for parents and teachers to help encourage their kids to learn.

Something like this would make both the teacher's and parent's job much easier. The teacher doesn't have to arrange as many meetings with parents (only the parents of really problem kids) and the parent doesn't need to rely on the student for accurate information about their conduct, homework, and grades. I was in High School, too.

I hope people realize that parents that make sure their kids work hard in high school are all too rare these days, and it's a blessing to have them.
Just ask the students in my wife's Geometry class.

ssn? (3, Interesting)

rczyzewski (585306) | about 11 years ago | (#5700776)

So all you need is part of a social security number and a name to see what others are doing? I can see coaches doing this to check up on their student-athletes or siblings to rat each other out. Can't wait until someone hacks that system.
Whiney sibling: "Mom, Billy has homework."
Billy: "No I don't, liar!"
Whiney sibling: "Oh yeah, that's not what the webpage says!"

HomeWork Sucks (2, Insightful)

Grrreat (584733) | about 11 years ago | (#5700777)

Its really lame that the 8 hours you spend in school isn't enough time. If you have to bring school home with you then someone isn't teaching well. There should be ample to time during school hours for schoolwork to get done if the students wants, instead of being forced home with it. Its basicly training everyone to be ok with bring work home for the rest of their lives and thats not cool and most people don't get paid enough for that.

Re:HomeWork Sucks (1)

fizban (58094) | about 11 years ago | (#5700837)

No, homework is about teaching you self-discipline, so that you don't become a lazy sloth the rest of your life. Plus, you learn stuff at the same time, which is cool.

Re:HomeWork Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5700856)

hahaha.... I'm sorry, but that's pretty amusing. Maybe up until the 4th grade or so there might be enough time to get most of your schoolwork done in school, but once you start getting large reading assignments, that argument pretty much goes down the toilet.

Are teachers expected to sit around while their class reads 40 pages from a textbook? No, they do the reading at home so the material can be discussed the subsequent day.

Once you get to the college level, you are faced with the situation of having maybe 15 hours of classes a week, but 20-30 (or more) hours of homework. I'd feel sorry for anyone coming out of a school program that you administrated ;)

Re:HomeWork Sucks (5, Interesting)

sebmol (217013) | about 11 years ago | (#5700881)

RRRRRight. The point of homework is to make sure that you understand the material. Now, granted, there are teachers who will excessive/nonsensical/boring homework which will achieve the exact opposite. But for some of my classes, I'm glad I have some homework so I got something to test on before the real test. This might become more of an issue in college though where there is considerably less time and opportunity to cover everything in class.

As to the not getting paid thing, if a teacher puts efforts into giving good homework, he or she will probably also assign grades to how well you did on it. Those grades are what you get paid with in school.

Not the point (1)

Falcon 213 (647231) | about 11 years ago | (#5700778)

This is getting way off-topic.
The point isn't that his grades suck, it's the fact that this is happening, and whether or not it is legal. Plus the security.

Scrutiny.. (1)

Organic_Info (208739) | about 11 years ago | (#5700780)

What will be interesting to see is if grades are better becuse of the scrutiny your parents may put you under.

We always bang on that greater transparency of Government on Companies will force them to behave better.. I guess it also applies to individuals/smaller groups. If it improves grades great...the security of this is appaling though and perhaps has some legal/privacy implications for the education institutions that use it - in the UK the Data Protection Act requires compaies to secure their data on individuals.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5700785)

So, you've got parents that make you do homework. Deal.

WTF is this doing on /.?

You're wanting sympathy? (1)

rbolkey (74093) | about 11 years ago | (#5700790)

I don't think you're going to get too much from slashdot. Wait 'till you're older brother. You'll be wanting something like this from the school your children go to.

Though, I'd agree they need to change the authentication system.

Good parents (1)

halr9000 (465474) | about 11 years ago | (#5700791)

This has been making my life a living hell for the past 2 months, every night my parents go on and check to see if i have any homework and won't let me do anything till it's done.

Privacy issues aside, which sound dodgy--sounds like you have good parents dude.


A word of advice. (1)

Doctor Hu (628508) | about 11 years ago | (#5700795)

I'm not trying to be nasty, but it seems to me that if your parents prefer to check with an online system about your homework assignments rather than with you then that's something that is more worth worrying about than the online system's security. Just a thought.

Spelling and Grammer anyone? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5700799)

"The Martin County School Board has a new way of post a student's grades online for a parent to check. Pinnacle is the name of the program(semicolon) a simple java applet. Not only does Pinnacle log student's grades, but also attendance and conduct. The way grades are accessed is by inputting the first 6 digits of your social security number and the first 5 letters of your last name. With a logon system as simple as this, one has to question the security and privacy of the students. This has been making my life a living hell for the past 2 months(period) Every night my parents go on and check to see if I have any homework and won't let me do anything till it's done"

I'd give you a D

RE: Want some cheese with that... (1)

fshalor (133678) | about 11 years ago | (#5700800)

Seriously, this could make you a better person. I think there are less privacy harming ways of doing this, but the approach seems sound.

However, if I were you, I'd start planting inscesent viri on your parents computer and messing with their connection. (Ping flooding on the local network with a couple of linux boxes works pretty well.) Then again, if your parents are net savvy, use your judgment.

Best of luck,

Living hell? (2, Insightful)

extra88 (1003) | about 11 years ago | (#5700803)

You actually have to do your homework? OMG, more violations of the Geneva Conventions!

The security part needs improving but overall this sounds like a good idea. Homework assignments are all recorded in one place so everyone knows what was assigned, no disagreements or confusion not just between parents & students but also students & teachers. Of course parents should talk to their children about school and their homework but this site shouldn't serve as a substitute but rather a starting point, one which eliminates the dreary recitation of what homework was assigned.

Login system using SSN's (5, Insightful)

sebmol (217013) | about 11 years ago | (#5700805)

No computer system should *ever* use SSN's as the user name or password. The ubiquitous presence and use of SSN's for such purposes are one of the main reasons identity theft is going rampant these days.

Instead, they should let every parent create their own pair of user name and password that can't directly be linked back to either student or parent (well, unless they chose to use their real names, of course). That's, for example, how Washington Mutual is handling their online banking service.

On a slightly unrelated note, how is this supposed to work in school districts that by law have to give access to illegal immigrants who by their very nature have no SSN? There are quite a few places, namely in California, where the law says that schools can't ask for citizenship or immigration status and have to accept children regardless of that.

you think (1)

abhisarda (638576) | about 11 years ago | (#5700806)

that checking attendance at school is bad? What if your parents had access to your attendance at "college"? This college Christ [christcollege.edu] that my friends go to in Bangalore, India has an attendance log that is updated daily. Sucks big time

Ah, a preemptive First Whine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5700808)

I suppose this isn't the first time the normal Slashwhiners have been pre-empted by the story submitter, but it's certainly the best example of it I can recall seeing. The arrant stupidity of a young idiot complaining that its parents care enough to bother checking on its homework... well, that's just one of those pimply-faced whiners that good ol' slashie is so full of.

Say, didn't this once upon a time used to be an actual news site?

would... (1)

Tilps (226233) | about 11 years ago | (#5700809)

10million connections be
a) a simultanoues crack attempt on the 6 digits
b) a DDoS attack
c) a slashdoting
d) all of the above

Do as I say, not as I do... (2, Insightful)

jazz_hunter (545217) | about 11 years ago | (#5700810)

This reminds me of the joy I feel every time my daughter tells me that the drug-sniffing dogs were cruising the hallways at school. I certainly would not have liked that type of supervision during my HS days, but for my kid, it gives me a strange warm and fuzzy. Double standard? Hell yeah!

heh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5700822)

the first 5 letters of your last name

My last name is shorter than 5 letters, you insensitive clod!

I KNEW this would happen (2, Funny)

TerryAtWork (598364) | about 11 years ago | (#5700827)

It sucks more to be a kid everyday. (Except for the powerful cheap computers)

When *I* was a kid I was convinced my mother could hear the announcements made over the intercom everyday. Now it's closer to true than ever!

So.... (0)

Qaless (621291) | about 11 years ago | (#5700829)

OK, first of all, is this good or not? For people who want to get a good education this is good. For the poeple like the writer of this sorry /., it just seems to get in the way.

"With a logon system as simple as this, one has to question the security and privacy of the students." Why do you care? Well they can highjack your car.. Oh wait, no they can't! Its just something online showing how well you did in skool. Does anyone else know your social security number, and why would you not like people to look at your grades?

Ok, so let me get this straight, you are complaining because your parents are trying to make sure you get a good education? It may be kind of unpleasent now, but I'm sure you'll grow out of it.

What would you be doing if your parents don't intervene?

Scary poll connection (0, Funny)

GQuon (643387) | about 11 years ago | (#5700839)

Slashdot Poll

My Crime... [slashdot.org]
Token Sucking
Car Jacking
Music Piracy
Not doing homework
Lovin' too much, baby

Develop a sense of responsibility (0, Flamebait)

HBI (604924) | about 11 years ago | (#5700840)

I can't believe that we are going to help this kid out from not doing his homework. Sheesh.

The world is really a sucky place, and this is one of the reasons why.

To the kid: listen, you think this sucks now, but later on in life, if you develop a decent work ethic, you will thank your parents. They love you and are doing the right thing.

Regards the privacy concerns, school grades for a minor child just don't seem all that sensitive. I mean, our report cards used to sit on the teacher's desk and it was relatively common knowledge who did well and who didn't. Furthermore, if someone has the SSN of a minor child, something is radically wrong. No credit applications to worry about in the past, for example.

Be happy your parents care (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 11 years ago | (#5700845)

Many dont, and in time those children will live to regret it.

Just be thankfull your parents care enough to be involved.. And do the same for yours when the time comes.

First six digits?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5700848)

Sheesh, this may be worse than the uni system that which used only the social. There, of course, the use of a computer script made querying many SSN's easy; and of course the script kiddie could make his attack more successful by setting a reasonable number range based on the region most students come from.

Many of these kids were born near each other will have at least the first three or even five numbers in common. That means it is a trivial thing for your nemesis to hack into your data.

Good for them (1)

Nimrod (2809) | about 11 years ago | (#5700854)

I think it sad that it comes to this. That we feel have to use these tools in order to keep tabs on our children. But if our children put us in the position where we have to use these checks, so be it.

The part of this system I dislike is the authentication. Maybe SSN/Name combination could be used for initial login and a personal userid/PIN/password be created once for each student. Or maybe there is a better way to do it.

On the other hand, if you're that embarassed about your grades and attendance, maybe you should try going to school one in a while.

Wow, that must suck (1)

The AtomicPunk (450829) | about 11 years ago | (#5700857)

It must really suck having parents that give enough of a shit about you to check up on your schoolwork.

Don't you wish your parents didn't give a damn, so you could goof off, never complete your homework, fail tests, fail classes, and end up being a worthless leech on society?

What do they know, anyway? It's not like they've been through all this.

Just do what I did. (1)

ErroneousBee (611028) | about 11 years ago | (#5700859)

I presented by well meaning but slightly dim parents with any unmarked work, whether it was homework or not. Then for the actual homework I'd just slap out any old rubbish in the 10 minute break before the class began, or even do in the preceeding lesson. That freed up a lot of time for doing the messing about on my sisters microcomputer that eventually led me to a job thats just as interesting and well paid as all my ex-classmates, except for the guy who went into journalism and spends his days interviewing hot babes from TV shows like Buffy and Stargate. Bastard.

SSN Use (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | about 11 years ago | (#5700862)

That's really an improper use of SSN. I thought it was illegal to use it as an ID for anything other than tax purposes. I know when my unversity started using it as a student ID, they still allowed people to request another number instead of using it. As for the parents, bust your ass for a few weeks and they'll stop checking so much. It's good for you anyway. Ya, I woulda laughed at me back then too. OTOH, if your grades are acceptable they shouldn't be so picky. Who knows, maybe you schmooze the teacher to get good grades - that's as important as knowing what you're doing in a lot of places I've worked.

How exactly will this produce better adults? (4, Insightful)

wrero (314883) | about 11 years ago | (#5700865)

Those parents who are conscientious or care enough about their children and their performance in school, that is, those that will use this site, are probably not the parents who SHOULD be using this site.

There are obvious exceptions, but it seems to me that the majority [not all] of kids who have real problems in school are the children of uninvolved parents to begin with.

Sure, there will be those involved parents, who think "B" stands for "Bad" who will be all over this site and love it; they can really pressure their kid to SUCCEED! These are the same parents that probably put up "motivational" posters in their kid's room.

I thought we have established, in general, that "micro-management" in the ADULT world is a bad thing? Are kids really going to learn to be responsible if someone is looking over their shoulder every day? Or, are the periodic student-reviews (report cards) and periodic management meetings (parent-teacher meetings) a better way to allow the student to learn responsibility for themselves...

This of course is all my opinion.

It would be my contention that the rights to privacy outweigh the substantive long term benefits from such a system - because in the end, I'm not seeing any REAL benefit.


SubtleNuance (184325) | about 11 years ago | (#5700873)

CAUTION: It may be possible for someone monitoring your internet connection to view the results of this inquiry.

In marin county this is ALSO written on all windows: CAUTION: It may be possible for someone looking in your windows to view the results of this inquiry.
On Mirrors: CAUTION: It may be possible for someone looking into this mirror at the correct angle to view the results of this inquiry.
On Paper: CAUTION: It may be possible for someone to view the results of this inquiry - when you set down these papers.

Welcome to Paranoia Land, where every unlikely threat must be mentioned... no matter how unlikely... or insignificant the consiquences.

This text to overcome lamness filter: ARTHUR: How do you do, good lady. I am Arthur, King of the Britons.
Who's castle is that?
WOMAN: King of the who?
ARTHUR: The Britons.
WOMAN: Who are the Britons?
ARTHUR: Well, we all are. we're all Britons and I am your king.
WOMAN: I didn't know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous
DENNIS: You're fooling yourself. We're living in a dictatorship.
A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes--
WOMAN: Oh there you go, bringing class into it again.
DENNIS: That's what it's all about if only people would--
ARTHUR: Please, please good people. I am in haste. Who lives
in that castle?
WOMAN: No one live there.
ARTHUR: Then who is your lord?
WOMAN: We don't have a lord.
DENNIS: I told you. We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take
it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week.
DENNIS: But all the decision of that officer have to be ratified
at a special biweekly meeting.
ARTHUR: Yes, I see.
DENNIS: By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs,--
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: --but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more--
ARTHUR: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
WOMAN: Order, eh -- who does he think he is?
ARTHUR: I am your king!
WOMAN: Well, I didn't vote for you.
ARTHUR: You don't vote for kings.
WOMAN: Well, 'ow did you become king then?
ARTHUR: The Lady of the Lake,
[angels sing]
her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur
from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I,
Arthur, was to carry Excalibur.
[singing stops]
That is why I am your king!
DENNIS: Listen -- strange women lying in ponds distributing swords
is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power
derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical
aquatic ceremony.
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: Well you can't expect to wield supreme executive power
just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: I mean, if I went around sayin' I was an empereror just
because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me they'd
put me away!
ARTHUR: Shut up! Will you shut up!
DENNIS: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system!
HELP! HELP! I'm being repressed!
ARTHUR: Bloody peasant!
DENNIS: Oh, what a give away. Did you here that, did you here that,
eh? That's what I'm on about -- did you see him repressing me,
you saw it didn't you?

puh-leaze! (0, Funny)

sleeve98 (639600) | about 11 years ago | (#5700878)

"Waaaaaaahhhhhh! I can't get away with fucking off at school any more - waaaaaaahhhhhh! Next thing you know, they'll take my phone away so I can't sell drugs on campus! - Omigod! I'll actually have to stay awake and pay attention and do my homework ! Waaaaaaahhhhhh!"

Shut up, sit down, show some respect (whether it's genuine or not) and learn something, for god's sake, so you don't end up pushing a shopping cart containing all your worldly possessions and scrounging the sidewalks for change and cigarette butts...

So... (1)

kotj.mf (645325) | about 11 years ago | (#5700879)

...why haven't any of the geeks at school racked it yet?

Change a straight-A student's grades to Fs, and see how quickly they implement better security measures.

I mean, hell, one would think that the administration would realize that when it comes to this sort of thing, some of their students are probably smarter than them.

Deal with it (1)

uberdood (154108) | about 11 years ago | (#5700882)

Your job as a minor is to attend school, do your homework, and graduate. That's your job - it's what you do to earn the food/shelter/clothing your parents provide to you. It's what is expected of you. Deal with it.

The Gift of Feedback (2, Insightful)

Mr Europe (657225) | about 11 years ago | (#5700884)

Feedback is a great tool to motivate people, and I now mean especially the positive feedback. The system described above seems nice, but the teachers should use it (also) for good deeds. Try to give every day as many positive as negative feedbacks and You will be amazed of the effect !
And of course the security stinks. Now the neighbor could see how our kids are doing. That's untolerable !
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