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L.A. school district reports more problems with student records

L.A. school district reports more problems with student records
L.A. schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines announced new measures Friday to deal with the latest problems with a new student records system. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Unified School District suffered through another rough week with its new and malfunctioning student records system.

Outages resulted in teachers not being able to use the system during portions of the workweek. One of these down periods also caused teachers to lose grades they had input into the system.

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Supt. Ramon Cortines gave elementary principals the option of going back to paper report cards -- a work-around that proved to be surprisingly complicated.

Also, some schools are still having problems with accurate attendance data.

Another problem has arisen with data for students who are learning English.

"A significant number of English Learner student records in all grades contained errors," according to an update distributed by Cortines. These issues include missing, obsolete and incorrect data as well as incorrect coding information for linking students to their records.

"I offer my sincere apologies for putting you through these unforeseen challenges," Cortines wrote to employees. "I understand that these setbacks require more effort and time from our employees."

Also on Friday, the superintendent announced that he had asked Microsoft to assist with solving the myriad problems with the My Integrated Student Information System, or MISIS.

The records system has caused chaos across the nation's second-largest school system since it launched districtwide this fall.

A consultant's report last week faulted the district's management at many levels, though it did not assign responsibility for mistakes to anyone.

Then-L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy resigned under pressure on Oct. 15. The district's head of technology, Ronald Chandler, resigned on Oct. 31.

The district's inspector general is investigating what happened with the records system.

That office is also looking into issues related to another troubled technology project: the effort to provide an iPad to every student, teacher and campus administrator.

Purchases of iPads have been suspended, and the district is trying out other devices.

Twitter: @howardblume

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