By Thomas Himes, Los Angeles Daily News | http://bit.ly/1sV2awK
LAUSD’s Ray Cortines
Posted: 11/15/14, 8:47 PM PST While progress has been made in some areas, at least 2,580 students still have no class schedules, according to a report released by a computer expert hired to oversee Los Angeles Unified’s plans to fix a disastrous new computer system, MiSiS.
Superintendent Ramon Cortines has said correcting the computer system is key, especially as the district begins a second semester and students will again need to be assigned class schedules. The program launched on the first day of school caused massive disruptions, as students were missing from the system and educators scrambled to create course schedules and class rosters by hand. Middle and high schools are being asked to put together their course offerings and master schedules for the second semester by Friday.
Aside from missing schedules, 1,136 students have no identification number listed, which ensures the correct student’s records have been called up, and 1,251 have duplicate numbers. Counselors have complained that they must search the records of all 650,000 students each time they need to pull one student’s records. Even when the searches pull up the correct student, listing the right name and identification number, the course schedules and other records provided can be for a different student with the same name.
The district’s technological staff, meanwhile, is working to solve 229 programming bugs, including 34 in enrollment, 34 in grades, 30 in scheduling and 22 in attendance, according to the report.
Cortines last week took a step toward speeding up the time frame to fix the system by persuading Microsoft’s top executives to dispatch 16 employees to help fix and develop the software. Microsoft was one of the contractors hired to help LAUSD develop MiSiS, but the district’s has not identified the specific role Microsoft played in building the system, despite repeated requests from this organization.
“Already, our IT team and Microsoft have worked with schools to resolve the majority of transcript issues,” Cortines wrote in an update for the school board on Friday.
Some 300 school employees, and retirees hired on a temporary basis, were sent to high school campuses earlier this month to find transcripts for college-bound students facing deadlines for early application and financial aid.
In a Nov. 7 letter requesting Microsoft’s help, Cortines wrote: “Microsoft’s assistance with the My Integrated Student Information System (‘MiSiS’) is critical, given the that the systems malfunctioning continues to negatively impact the entire Los Angeles Community.”