LAUSD’s student information system becomes a technological disaster

Oct 13, 2014 by

With a few taps on a computer keyboard, a student’s entire school history from kindergarten to high school graduation was supposed to show up on the screen. That perfect score on a third-grade spelling test, that trip to the principal’s office for talking too much in class, that day of ditching math as a senior.

The computer software was supposed to help school officials schedule the classes a student needed to earn a diploma or attend college and to allow parents to track their children’s grades and attendance.

Instead, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s student information system, which has cost more than $130 million, has become a technological disaster. The system made its debut this semester and promptly overloaded the district’s database servers, requiring an emergency re-engineering. In the days and weeks that followed, many teachers were unable to enter grades or attendance or even figure out which students were enrolled in class.

Because of scheduling blunders partly stemming from the new system, students at Jefferson High School sat in the auditorium for weeks waiting to be assigned classes. A judge became so alarmed he ordered state education officials to intervene.

But a quick fix to the problems plaguing the system is unlikely. More than 600 fixes or enhancements are needed in the software, and there are “data quality and integrity issues” that include grades, assignments and even students disappearing from the system, Supt. John Deasy acknowledged last week in a letter. It could take a year to work out kinks in the system just to enter grades, he said.

via LAUSD’s student information system becomes a technological disaster – LA Times.

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