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For the second year in a row, San Diego Unified missed a state deadline to complete report cards that help parents choose between local schools, sparking a complaint from a local parent. But the school district argues that it can’t put the reports together unless California starts providing the information it needs to create them sooner.

Parent leader David Page filed a formal complaint with the school district about the delayed report cards. School districts in California are supposed to compile the reports, which include information such as school test scores, staffing data, facilities and other details, to help parents make informed choices about where to send their kids. Under state law, the reports should be online by February.

But as of this Wednesday, San Diego Unified had only put report cards online for some of its elementary schools. No information was available for middle schools, high schools or alternative schools. Ron Rode, who oversees research and evaluation in the district, said part of the problem is that California didn’t give school districts the data it needed to create the reports until January, instead of November as promised.

Some of the state information didn’t match what San Diego Unified had on file, so it had to check over the data, Rode added. “Our efforts are to produce as accurate a report as possible, rather than getting something out there as soon as possible that we’d have to retract,” he said.

Page wrote that delaying the reports means that parents didn’t have up-to-date, convenient information before Feb. 15, the deadline to file applications for magnet schools or other educational programs outside their neighborhoods. He also complained that the California Department of Education hasn’t forced districts to take the law seriously.

— EMILY ALPERT

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