Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Resolving issues with the Los Angeles Unified School District’s troubled computerized student information system is going to take time and it will cost money, Superintendent Ramon Cortines said Tuesday.

But Cortines said he will deliver weekly reports to the board on progress being made toward fixing problems with the My Integrated Student Information System, known as MiSiS.

“There are going to be issues for the rest of the year and it is going to be bumpy,” Cortines told the LAUSD board.

The MiSiS system has been plagued with difficulties since the beginning of the school year, leaving some students unable to attend classes they need, while others are repeating classes. Some parents have also complained that their children who are nearing graduation are unable to obtain school transcripts needed for college applications.

Cortines, who has been on the job since Monday morning following the resignation of Superintendent John Deasy, said he plans to develop a detailed plan on how the system can be repaired, along with estimates of what it will cost.

“It is clear that we’re going to need to invest more resources, development, training and support to make this work for our schools,” he said.

Cortines also said he believes the LAUSD pushed too hard to put the MiSiS system in place.

“I think that we thought some of the issues might go away, and we didn’t listen to the input before school even started” from principals and other school administrators, he said. “I think we should have done that. And that’s a judgment call after two days.”

Cortines said the board will receive weekly reports on the MiSiS situation, and the first one next week will include a discussion of efforts to ensure students can obtain transcripts in time to file college applications.

Board member Monica Ratliff said that while she believes solving the problem is a district-wide issue, she had faith that Cortines would be able to “manage us out of these issues.”

“I’m hoping you’ll be able to lead us out of this,” she said.

Cortines responded, “I know the buck stops here.”

He said he hopes to work more closely with the district’s various labor unions as solutions are developed.

“We need to have a greater sense of urgency in resolving these issues because MiSiS is the heart of the district,” he said. “It is about children and young people and teachers and our schools and education centers.

“… There’s got to be a sense of urgency. I made it very clear with the leadership staff … this is not my problem or the board’s problem. To solve it, this is a district issue.”

Earlier today, a group of parents called for a civil grand jury investigation into the district’s handling of the MiSiS situation.

“I have a daughter who’s in high school right now and because of the MiSiS issue she cannot get into the biology class in order, number one, to graduate, and two, to get into CSUs or UCs,” Khallid Al-Alim told the board. “So right now my daughter’s in a limbo stage with an English class she’s already passed. … This is a waste of time.”

Al-Alim also called on the district to be open with the public as they work on the problems.

“These children need relief,” he said. “These students out here need their transcripts, they need their grades. College applications are out there right now just in limbo. This is disastrous. Somebody really needs to pay attention to this.”

City News Service

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