NYC schools ‘frustrated and angry’ by IBM’s fumble on remote learning snow day

New York City Public Schools' user validation system was overwhelmed after a quick turn to online learning, but the district's chancellor said IBM should have been ready.
NYC snow Feb 2024
People walk through the blowing snow in Brooklyn as a large winter storm makes its way across the area on February 13, 2024 in New York City. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

New York City Public Schools’ transition to remote instruction on Tuesday in anticipation of a winter storm was disrupted after its user validation system experienced capacity issues, district officials said on social media.

Initially, the district’s IBM authentication system experienced capacity issues and prevented teachers and students from being able to log on to their remote learning platforms. Within an hour, IBM added capacity to the system and by lunchtime more than one million students and teachers were able to log on, according to posts the district made on social media.

“We apologize to the families and staff who were impacted by this and we thank everyone for their patience,” the district posted on X.

The district announced on its website Monday afternoon that it was moving to entirely remote instruction and that all schools would be closed on Tuesday in anticipation for a winter storm. New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks told a local news station that the large number of users logging in at the same time should not have come as a surprise to IBM. 


“We told them that almost a million students, between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. this morning, would be coming online to go to school and at around that time, they said they were overwhelmed,” Banks told ABC 7 news. “To say I am disappointed, frustrated and angry is an understatement.”

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