Thursday, May 27, 2010

The California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System: IS CALPADS UNFIXABLE? NO ANSWER YET

by Johns Fensterwald in The Educated Guess

May 27th, 2010 -- State education officials expressed deep disappointment last week on learning that California was out of the running for money to expand the statewide student data system.

They haven’t heard yet why the state placed 26th out of 50th in a grant competition that funded only the top 20 states. But they shouldn’t be surprised if the feds’ answer is, “Are you kidding? Why would you expect taxpayers to enlarge a data system when  you have yet to get it to work right?”

Nearly one year into its operation, CALPADS, the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System, is still struggling. Five months after a consultant warned of an imminent system collapse and urged a top-to-bottom review, the student data system is still being fixed. It will take at least a month before it becomes clear whether the processes work, and the system can perform as designed. Still to be determined is whether management problems – a big factor behind the poor operation ­– have been straightened out.

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