February 11, 2010
Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:
Since January 2008, IBM has been working under contract with the California Department of Education (CDE) to develop the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS), a comprehensive, longitudinal, student-level data system that will enable the state and local school districts to track the progress of students throughout their academic career. The successful implementation of such a system is critical to increasing student achievement and better identifying and addressing our current achievement gap.
Due to unacceptable system performance issues that occurred during the rollout of CALPADS, I have directed IBM and CDE staff to focus all resources over the next two months on stabilizing the system.
The first step was to halt any additional changes to CALPADS while the system is thoroughly reviewed, top to bottom, to correct deficiencies and ensure that the system performs efficiently. Between now and late March, the CALPADS project team is performing a comprehensive system review and testing process on all CALPADS functions and components. This process will culminate in the release of a properly functioning system targeted for release on March 29, 2010. In the meantime, all previously scheduled CALPADS submittals from local educational agencies (LEAs) have been put on hold. Obviously, that will change our data collection processes in the near term.
The deadline for submitting Fall 1 data (including enrollment counts, graduate counts, and dropout counts) has been extended indefinitely and the Fall 1 information will be the only data required to be submitted to CALPADS in the
2009–10 school year. Other data submissions (Fall 2, Spring 1, and End-of-Year) will be accomplished through traditional means, the specifics of which will be communicated to your staff in a separate letter.
I am also aware that some LEAs are struggling with their own local student information systems (SIS). The CALPADS project team will continue to work collaboratively with the various SIS vendors to help them successfully support the submission of CALPADS data and make error corrections through their software capabilities, customer service, and training.
Over the next two months, the CALPADS project team will continue to assist LEAs obtain Statewide Student Identifiers (SSIDs) and submit Fall 1 data (2009–10 enrollment and 2008–09 student exit data used to determine graduate and dropout counts), but in recognition of all these challenges, the exact certification deadline date will not be determined until the system is stabilized. The deadline, however, will not be prior to May 2010.
The collection of Fall 2 data (staff counts and assignments and student course enrollments) will also not be collected through CALPADS this school year. The CDE will limit collection to only the data required for federal reporting, using traditional means. For example, for the 2009–10 year, certificated staff data, language census data, and highly-qualified teacher data will be collected through the Consolidated Application (ConApp) and reduced versions of the Professional Assignment Information Form (PAIF) and the Language Census Data Entry Assistant (DEA) software.
I have directed these adjustments to the implementation schedule to better enable all LEAs to be successful with their data submissions. I know that your staff is working extremely hard and is experiencing frustration with the transition. I continue to ask for your patience, persistence, and commitment to this system, and I apologize for the difficult transition. By working together, I am confident that when fully implemented, CALPADS will be a valuable tool that will benefit our work to improve student achievement and close the achievement gap.
CALPADS Update FLASH #16 containing more detailed information was sent to your local CALPADS administrator on January 27, 2010. All flash messages can be accessed on the CDE CALPADS Current Update Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sp/cl/update.asp.
If you have any questions regarding the CALPADS system or implementation process, please contact Keric Ashley, Director, Data Management Division, by phone at 916-324-1214 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
cc: School Business Officers