Monday, November 10, 2014


La OpiniÓn |

Por: PUBLICADO: Nov, 8, 2014 12:01 am EST  ::  For more than 20 years the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has been required to change its students' record-keeping system. The result has been the disastrous implementation of My Integrated Student Information System (MiSiS).

It's hard to imagine that the second biggest school district in the nation would be involved in such a chaos that some high school grade transcripts are not consistent with what students wrote, which could potentially hurt their college prospects.

The new School Superintendent, Ramón Cortines, is deploying a small army of people who is manually verifying that information coming out of the computerized system is correct.

The internal analysis about the MiSiS failure seems like a bureaucratic nightmare of wrong estimates, lack of preparation, and a flawed response to the emergence of problems.

It appears that teachers and administrators had raised warnings about the system's difficulties before it was implemented, with its well-known flaws, in second grade schools.

The idea of experimenting in a school district the size of Los Angeles' with a system that had succeed in the Fresno school district was already a big challenge.

To this was added the lack of clarity in the line of responsibilities. Also, the aid system was not ready, and the magnitude of the problem was played down when students at the Jefferson High School started missing classes because of MiSiS.

Cortines' priority is now to guarantee that students have their school transcripts right, so those who seek to enter college can do so.

Cortines is also opening a technologic update process with the creation of a new Technology Advisory Committee, seeking to "to foster and strengthen relationships" and partnerships inside and outside of LAUSD. Ironically, the teachers' union (UTLA) failed to show up without prior notice to the first meeting they themselves had proposed.

There are many lessons to be learned from this fiasco. The main one is the need for transparency, and that everyone should be rowing the boat in the same direction

Una versión de este artículo se publicó en la edición impresa de La Opinión del día 11/8/2014 con el título "A Technological Nightmare"

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