Beyond the questions about cost and oversight, how good is the SESIS product that Maximus has delivered?
Maldonado says SESIS makes the process of tracking the IEP much easier, and when implemented correctly, everyone who needs to sign off on it is held accountable.
Connelly was at a special education district office when they tried to demo SESIS, but that too was a failure.
And if schools manage to get SESIS up and running, there's been little formal training in how to use it, and up to a two-hour wait for teachers who call a SESIS helpline.
In response to myriad complaints, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), the union representing most public school employees, has drafted a SESIS grievance form, available for download on its website, because the various teachers, school psychologists, guidance counselors, occupational therapists and so on who need to use the system are spending nights and weekends figuring out how to use it.
In a June Daily News article, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott blamed SESIS for the DOE's failure to find seats for about 2,500 kindergartners with special needs, saying that the transition to the new system delayed placement efforts past a mid-June deadline.
The latest snafu, says a source within the UFT, is that on September 15th, SESIS locked out anyone who had not yet entered a new layer of attendance-related data for students for the month of September
But as troubled as the implementation has been, some critics point to a deeper problem--a problem that on one hand has little to do with SESIS, but on another casts in harsh light the decision to prioritize an IT solution.