Despite objections from educators, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) moved ahead with the launch of a new computer system meant to streamline data management — but so far it's been a string of headaches instead.
The technology, My Integrated Students Information System (MISIS), is supposed to provide student records, plan academic paths, schedule classes, track attendance, and record grades, reports CBS Los Angeles.
The system's naysayers are up in arms since the only things MISIS has accomplished are scrambling schedules and losing student data. By the end of the first week, teachers were told to revert to taking attendance on paper, reports Thomas Himes from the Los Angeles Daily News.
The first couple days of school, many students were force to wait in lines and sit in auditoriums while their schedules were sorted out.
The system was launched due to a 20-year-old court settlement. The district admitted to losing the records of a student with reading and writing disabilities. She had to repeat the 10th grade three times due to the oversight in her educational needs.
Unfortunately the new system is nowhere near as effective as the system the district formerly had in place, reports Vanessa Romo for LA School Report.
"It's a dinosaur in what's supposed to be 21st century technology," Colleen Schwab, Secondary Vice President of UTLA told LA School Report. "It's far, far inferior to what they're using now, and our teachers and counselors are in a panic."
Some counselors have been waking up at 3 a.m. in order to try to log on to the system in hopes that less traffic will allow the information to stick better.
District officials knew that there were problems with the system prior to the start of school, but went ahead with its launch anyway, reports Thomas Himes for the Los Angeles Daily News. Many school counselors worked for weeks during the summer in order to get the students properly scheduled, but all of that work got dumped.
CBS Los Angeles reports that the system was used successfully during the summer program, but a backlog was caused by late enrollment, according to Lydia Ramos of from the LAUSD.
The teachers union is asking the district to get rid of the program until another solution can be found.
"The superintendent isn't learning from mistakes," UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl said. "That could've been said about the iPad debacle. Our members remember very painfully the payroll system debacle, which took months and months and months to clear up."
Despite all of the chaos, Ron Chandler, the district's Chief Information Officer, argues that the issues are not widespread. He said that most students are enrolled and scheduled successfully, but students who are completely new to the LAUSD are the ones affected by the news system.