Los Angeles schools official suspends iPad rollout: L.A. Times

Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:59am EDT

The leaf on the Apple symbol is tinted green at the Apple flagship store on 5th Ave in New York April 22, 2014.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The leaf on the Apple symbol is tinted green at the Apple flagship store on 5th Ave in New York April 22, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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(Reuters) - The Los Angeles schools superintendent has suspended a contract with Apple Inc to provide an iPad to each of its students as the $1 billion initiative faces problems and growing scrutiny, the Los Angeles Times newspaper reported.

Monday's suspension is the latest setback for the Los Angeles Unified School District's proposed technology rollout, the largest of its kind for any U.S. public education system.

Under a contract approved a little more than a year ago, Apple's tablet computer was to be coupled with a digital curriculum from Pearson. The program was to expand greatly over the next year.

"Moving forward, we will no longer utilize our current contract with Apple Inc," Superintendent John Deasy told the district's Board of Education on Monday in a memo posted on the newspaper's website.

"Not only will this decision enable us to take advantage of an ever-changing marketplace and technology advances, it will also give us time to take into account concerns raised surrounding the [project]," Deasy wrote.

Deasy has described the rollout as a civil rights initiative designed to give students, mostly from low-income families, access to a 21st-century tool common in middle-class households.

The landmark project ran into problems at the start of the 2013-2014 school year when about 300 high school students among an initial 25,000 pupils to get an iPad bypassed its security protocols to access social networking and other websites blocked to them.

Last week, a draft report of the district's technology committee, obtained by the newspaper, was critical of the bidding process.

The district and Apple did not immediately answer requests for comment.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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Comments (4)
AnotherNobody wrote:
Why purchase iPads, when you can get a generic version much cheaper.

Aug 26, 2014 7:28am EDT  --  Report as abuse
njglea wrote:
Good Job, Superintendent John Deasy! Apple can afford to give underprivileged children computers. Los Angeles taxpayers would rather have concentration on their kids getting a real education. Use that Billion dollars to restore art and music programs and to fund after-hours computer reading, cursive writing and how to add and subtract, multiply and divide. Teach them to think instead of tweet.

Aug 26, 2014 10:18am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Acetracy wrote:
If I was a junior in the LA high schools I would be livid. Here bureaucrats making $100Ks in salary can’t get basic technology into the hands of students?

We hear about teachers accountability all the time from the conservative right. The mantra in the press is blame the teachers. Yet where my sister works in a poor school district near Seattle, the administration had the gall to ask teachers to donate to a computer fund to buy PCs for the students!!

As with corporate America, the lack of good management in the US is rampant in our school systems. The problem is NOT the teachers who stand in front of students trying to maintain order and help students learn. The problem is the administration who often make 2x what a teacher makes.

Aug 26, 2014 10:33am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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