Bond Committee Unanimously Approves Plan to Fix MiSiS

LOS ANGELES (May 28, 2015) – The School Construction Bond Citizens’ Oversight Committee today unanimously approved $79.6 million in bond funding for a yearlong plan to improve the My Integrated Student Information System (MiSiS) in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Diane H. Pappas, who was appointed by Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines in October to lead the MiSiS improvement effort, presented the detailed, multi-phased blueprint to committee members. She will continue to oversee the MiSiS project, and the District’s Information Technology Division in the coming school year.

The scope of the plan includes correcting problems with enrollment, scheduling, attendance, and other areas critical to operate schools and educate students. Also included are steps to improve the project’s overall quality, including updates to improve speed and reliability.

A key aspect of the plan is a restructured contract with the Microsoft Corp., preventing the vendor from receiving full payment until functions are working at schools. As part of its assurance to the District, Microsoft has committed to keeping highly qualified personnel on the project, and will bring in additional resources from around the world as needed to foster continued improvement.

Pappas and the entire MiSiS team received high praise from committee members for their hard work to steer the project in what they perceived to be the right direction. “It’s just a night-and-day difference between earlier plans we were presented, and the current details shared and depth of strategic planning,” Quynh Nguyen, a committee member, said. “I especially appreciate the degree to which you are talking to schools. There are 27 focus groups. That is significant listening and significant investment on the part of the District in making the system as real and as usable as possible.”

Members also expressed a degree of cautious optimism in their approval. “We need to continue to be mindful of just how large and difficult this is,” Nguyen added, echoing views of other committee members. “We need to steer away from implying everything is okay when there's still a long way to go. This is about students’ lives, and the impact will be deep and long-lasting."

Accordingly, Pappas agreed to keep the committee and the Board of Education fully informed of progress, while providing updates as often as needed.

“This is an incredibly large and complex program,” Pappas explained. “It’s going to take continued close partnership with our schools and a great deal of hard work, but we will get it right. We will provide what our students need to be successful.”

She added: “I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the MiSiS team. Their level of dedication is truly remarkable. And, I’d also like to thank our superintendent. Without his support, this turnaround would not have been possible.”

The committee oversees spending on construction, repair, and modernization of schools. They publicly share recommendations with the Board of Education, which must approve proposals before allocating bond funds for projects.

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Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-6766