LA Unified School District suspends iPad deal, faces accusations that officials had close ties with

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 86
    This was a bad idea from the beginning. Whether it was a deal with Apple, Microsoft, or Google, it was bound to have major issues. As was already said, the tech/environment just isn't there yet.

    In addition, in a district that has been struggling with major budget cuts in the past few years, it seems irresponsible for them to commit to just a huge and expensive project in an emerging, untested field. Too lazy to check, but I don't recall hearing anything about a small rollout as a pilot to determine feasibility. Seems like issues like the ones mentioned in the article would have been uncovered during a proper pilot program, without having to invest so much money.

    This is a case of good ol' fashioned incompetence and mismanagement, not back-room deals and corruption.
  • Reply 42 of 86
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AWilliams87 View Post

     

    Well then you could use that same argument everywhere. A pitchfork was good enough for 1870s farmers, and it's good enough now. The only difference is my example is clearly absurd because we see the advances modern farming like the combined harvester and genetic engineering of crops. There isn't an alternative scenario with schooling; all we see is chalk and blackboard so it's easy to dismiss potential advances in education because they don't exist and we can't examine benefits.


     

    I'm not a farmer, but I have watched enough modern marvels on the history channel to know that farming today is obviously vastly superior, compared to previous centuries. I don't feel that farming is entirely comparable to education though, because education depends on the student's ability to learn and to absorb information. 

     

    I believe that having good teachers is more important than any technological gadgets and gizmos. And I also believe that students should master a few essential, non technological skills, before they are allowed to utilize technology. A dummy using a smartphone is still a dummy at the end of the day.

  • Reply 43 of 86
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post

     

     

    Don't know why, but it looks like they didn't. I'm sure it came down to money.


    Vendors supply what customers ask for, odds are the district was focused on the pad and didn't examine or request a keyboard and this is an after the fact added issue.

  • Reply 44 of 86
    r2d2r2d2 Posts: 95member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

     

    I believe that having good teachers is more important than any technological gadgets and gizmos. And I also believe that students should master a few essential, non technological skills, before they are allowed to utilize technology. 


     

    I don't often agree with you but you hit the nail on the head! Get good teachers and pay them accordingly to retain them.

  • Reply 45 of 86
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,555member
    This has zero to do with technology or the relative merits of one platform over another. It's all politics and power struggle. Nobody is really pointing a finger here at any documented wrongdoing. It's purely fabricated appearance level bs. Read between the lines and you'll see that it's really backlash to ensure that the bureaucrats who felt cut out of the decision making process want to reinsert themselves so they feel important and can justify their inflated salaries and egos.

    I'll go back to my assertion that the least of the concerns that are faced by our educational system is technology tools and toys. These will come and go over time but the value of a good quality, dedicated, and selfless teacher is timeless. Unfortunately the bureaucracy and politics and lack of parental accountability have flushed most of the caring and quality educators from the system and teachers are surrogate parents and babysitters for the masses of purposeless youth that get plumbed through the infrastructure each day.

    Plus, why should kids have iPads? The iPad is a wonderful, creative, and immersive learning tool and is actually fun to use. Students should be hardened and tempered to the reality of their soul sucking future of taking direction from The Man and slogging through decades of depressing and meaningless work and paying taxes so fat cat politicians can attend taxpayer paid junkets to the Caribbean. Using Windows PCs and brain dead Chromebooks ideally prepares them for their miserable, soulless, mechanical future, knowing that if all else fails and they acquire no marketable skills they can still be a teacher, politician, school administrator, or work for Samsung.
  • Reply 46 of 86
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,390member
    dewme wrote: »
    This has zero to do with technology or the relative merits of one platform over another. It's all politics and power struggle. Nobody is really pointing a finger here at any documented wrongdoing. It's purely fabricated appearance level bs. Read between the lines and you'll see that it's really backlash to ensure that the bureaucrats who felt cut out of the decision making process want to reinsert themselves so they feel important and can justify their inflated salaries and egos.
    http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-lausd-ipads-20140822-story.html#page=1
    The DA hasn't seen anything that needs pursuing.
  • Reply 47 of 86
    rob53 wrote: »
     
    Do you really think private schools would be better managed or that students would get a better education? Of course some students would but those are already in private schools financed by the 1%'ers. Free public schools in the US are guaranteed by our constitution but as usual are not supported with the kind of assistance they need. It starts with parents who need to do the majority of parenting instead of expecting public schools to do the parenting. Remember, private schools can expel students for any reason and at any time. They aren't held to the same rules and regulations public schools are. As with any public institution, there will be problems, corruption, and things just won't work. This happens in private institutions and corporations as well but we don't always hear about them. As for LA students not being able to read or write, here's the 2013 STAR CST test results. This district has over 400K students. Please compare them to a school district near you.

    [URL=http://star.cde.ca.gov/star2013/ViewReport.aspx?ps=true
    Apple can choose not to sell iPads to anyone "for any reason and at any time", but they have an economic incentive to sell to everyone. Public schools, on the other hand, profits via taxation (you can't choose not to give them money), thus have no such incentive.

    It's not quite as simple as that ...

    In California, public schools are funded, mainly, by property taxes paid by home owners, and federal tax redistributions based on "butts in the chairs".

    In many poorer districts the property tax base is low because a lot of people rent apartments, live in trailer parks, etc.

    Add to that the collapse of the housing market where districts are receiving less property tax income because of unoccupied houses (some abandoned) and lower assessment values,

    Then there's things like this: I don't know if it's still true (but suspect it is) -- when we lived in Chicagland, it was common practice for Cook County homeowners to challenge their property taxes and have an assessor investigate to lower the taxes for a fee (bribe).

    We bought our first home for $18,000 (1968) in McHenry County -- but paid more property taxes than friends with $80,000 houses in Cook County.
  • Reply 48 of 86
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

     

     

    Could care less about Chromebooks. I was talking about the Surface.

  • Reply 49 of 86
    Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

    Of course if it's true it's to be condemned.

     

    How dare Apple want to help people get the best technology, of course.

     

    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

    Theres nothing inherently wrong with keeping the technology base diversified...

     

    When the only other option on the market is Windows 8, I think it’s against the Geneva Convention to want to keep it diversified.

     

    Originally Posted by Torrid Foster View Post

    It's perfectly okay if Apple broke the law because they need to because Microsoft did it so its okay.


     

    Yeah, you know that’s not what we’re saying.

     

    Originally Posted by joshuarayer View Post

    Windows was the chosen OS to put into schools because of it being cheaper than Apple computers. Especially 20 years ago.

     

    Completely and utterly wrong, but enjoy that fantasy.

     

    Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post

    Take your "reasonably priced keyboards" and multiply that by the number of students involved and you'll see that adds up quickly.

     

    Exactly. So maybe the children should learn how to use a TOUCHSCREEN since that’s the game-changing future of technology to them what mouse+keyboard was to most of us.

  • Reply 50 of 86
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,390member
    Could care less about Chromebooks. I was talking about the Surface.

    The linked article wasn't about Chromebooks, they simply got a brief mention. It's safe to read it.
    http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-ipads-schools-20140101-story.html#page=1
  • Reply 51 of 86
    (Meh. Forget it).
  • Reply 52 of 86
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,390member
    Your post was.

    Also, you might care to tell someone what it's about before asking them to read something.

    I actually quoted the first paragraph for you. You didn't notice several different devices got a mention, and that the article would concern the high costs of LA's program compared to some other districts?
  • Reply 53 of 86
    We are in Illinois, our kids will be getting their own iPads from the school (K-12) next week.
    Since the article is about potential corruption in the LA schools, I'll assume that you meant that Illinois handing out iPads to your goats is equally corrupt.  Not that Illinois is known for corruption or anything.
    Rod Blagojevich
    George Ryan
    Dan Walker
    Otto Kerner
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/30/illinois-governors-in-pri_n_2581182.html

    Ahh ... ChicagoLand ...

    When we lived there, the state Supreme Court could not field a quorum -- because over half the members were in jail!

    Then there was Paul Powell, Illinois Secretary of State ... He entered Illinois politics as a poorer middle class individual. After several decades of Public Service, at <= $30,000 -- he died leaving an estate worth $millions -- including $800,00 in cash in several shoeboxes ...


    12/01/2005 Paul Powell: The Illinois Democrat Who Died With $800,000 In His Shoebox

    OK, OK, there was really more than just one shoebox. I'll let Seth explain:

    Paul Powell was born in Vienna, Illinois on January 21, 1902. He was a big wheel in the Illinois Democratic Party since WWII. Eventually, he became Illinois Secretary of State during the same year I was born, 1965. In 1966, his office was investigated for corruption; he was exonerated, but his chief investigator was indicted for theft of state funds. He was still in office when he died in Rochester, Minnesota on October 10, 1970. Shortly thereafter, a shoebox full of money was found in his room at the St. Nicholas Hotel here in Springfield—the infamous cache.

    The famous Paul Powell shoebox was actually more than one box, and not all were shoeboxes. There were also metal boxes, briefcases, and envelopes. This treasure trove—roughly $800,000 in cash—was discovered two days after he died, when Powell's staff and his estate executor gathered his belongings from the hotel room and storage area. The other, less famous findings included 49 cases of whiskey, 14 transistor radios, and two cases of creamed corn. This guy was prepared; for what, I don't know.

    Outrage? Hardly. An excerpt from The Southern Illinoisan:

    "We just assume politics is corrupt and a little bit of corruption is the cost of doing business," said Kent Redfield, a political scientist at the University of Illinois at Springfield. That was certainly the attitude toward former Secretary of State Paul Powell, owner of the mysterious cash-stuffed shoeboxes.

    "Paul did a lot of good things for southern Illinois, including helping to build the university I work at," said Mike Lawrence, the director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

    So when those shoeboxes were found in Powell's home when he died in 1970, it raised some eyebrows but not much ire. "People were surprised about the amount of money," Lawrence said of the cache that neither Powell nor anyone else ever explained. "But there was sort of a sense if he gave us our share, what's wrong with him getting his share."

    Powell never earned a state salary of more than $30,000 per year, yet in the last year of his life, his federal income tax return showed an income of more than $200,000. At his death his estate totaled $3.2 million, and, when settled in 1978, was worth $4.6 million, including nearly $1 million in racetrack stock.

    My hometown of Belvidere, Illinois was heavily Republican (the newspaper was named the Belvidere Daily Republican) yet a number of folks would vote every election for Paul Powell for Illinois Secretary of State. They knew he was corrupt and wanted him in office when he was finally found out (obviously, he never was). I got my first drivers license in 1970 and I still remember my father making out the check to . . . well, let me make this a quiz:

    Illinois Drivers License Bureau
    Illinois Secretary of State's Office
    Illinois Secretary of State Paul Powell
    Paul Powell
    That's right: "Paul Powell". Now are you surprised he ended up with $800,000 in those shoeboxes?

    http://www.tommcmahon.net/2005/12/paul_powell_the.html
  • Reply 54 of 86
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post





    It's not quite as simple as that ...



    In California, public schools are funded, mainly, by property taxes paid by home owners, and federal tax redistributions based on "butts in the chairs".



    In many poorer districts the property tax base is low because a lot of people rent apartments, live in trailer parks, etc.



    Add to that the collapse of the housing market where districts are receiving less property tax income because of unoccupied houses (some abandoned) and lower assessment values,



    Then there's things like this: I don't know if it's still true (but suspect it is) -- when we lived in Chicagland, it was common practice for Cook County homeowners to challenge their property taxes and have an assessor investigate to lower the taxes for a fee (bribe).



    We bought our first home for $18,000 (1968) in McHenry County -- but paid more property taxes than friends with $80,000 houses in Cook County.

    So what are you trying to say?

  • Reply 55 of 86
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by joshuarayer View Post

     

     

    Windows was the chosen OS to put into schools because of it being cheaper than Apple computers. Especially 20 years ago.


    Especially when they gave it away (I was at one of those 'schools').   It was the long game of 'the first taste is free.'  Hook the kids, and 10 years later, take away 'free' and replace with 'credits' (buy the OS at volume cost/discount, and bet Server Integration services for free), and then take those away, and basically say, 'ask HP/Lenovo/Dell for discounts on the HW'.

  • Reply 56 of 86

    I read this story about 3 month ago, why the rehash?

  • Reply 57 of 86
    apple ][ wrote: »
     
    What I find interesting is that the primary technology used to educate people around 1870 (when compulsory education was just being ratified across the U.S.) was the chalk and blackboard. Fast forward 150 years later, and it's still a chalk and blackboard. That's pathetic.

    While I am a big fan of technology, I don't feel that technology is always a good thing. It depends.

    Chalk and a blackboard was good enough for kids in 1870 and it's good enough for kids in 2014.

    Too many kids today use technology as a crutch, to make up for their complete ignorance in other areas. Let the kids work out a math problem on a blackboard, not using any electronic aids. Let the damn kids learn how to write using a pen and paper. Let the damn kids learn how to spell without using autocorrect.

    Likely, I'm the same age as you or, a little older -- 75 on Friday!

    I'd throw out there, that it's more than just the tools ... the curriculum, the discipline, the dedication of the teachers ... Or the lack thereof.

    IMO, the main thing that technology offers -- and which is not being exploited -- is that it can demand participation by the student.

    We installed a 7 computer LAN of Apple ][ computers in Saratoga, CA High School in 1980 -- 2 students per computer.

    It was an amazing thing to see ...

    Instead of the student leaning back in his chair, bored, listening to a lecture, watching someone write on the blackboard, watching, slides, overheads, the TV, films -- or just looking out the window ...

    The student leaned forward on the edge of his seat, and actively participated ... talking, asking/telling, sometimes laughing -- but all the while, learning ... participating ...


    But, it takes a lot of dedication, planning, preparation and continued effort to make this type of a program a success ... You can't just dump a bunch of hardware and software and then walk away.

    Marion Kenworthy was Vice Principal at Saratoga HS -- and she drove the success of the project -- every step of the way!

    'Course it also helped that two of the students at Saratoga HS were my daughter and Gene Carter's daughter -- Gene was VP of Marketing at Apple Computer, Inc.


    P.S. What'd you get me for my BDay? :D
  • Reply 58 of 86
    blah64blah64 Posts: 993member

    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    There's a good principle: "Never ascribe to a conspiracy what can be explained equally well by stupidity."



    And if a conspiracy is involved, I'd suspect digital textbook provider Pearson, with all the dubious ethics of most textbook publishers and skilled at manipulating school officials, rather than Apple, whose ties to schools have been weakening for over two decades.

     

    Bingo!  At least someone here knows Pearson.

     

    If there are any ethics violations to be found, Pearson should be at the head of the list of all suspects.  They use all manner of pressure, subterfuge and political shenanigans to weasel their way into school district pocketbooks.  

     

    And to a pet peeve of my own, they weasel their way into children's personal information as well:

     

    Pearson's Creepy Vision For the Future of Education Confirms ...

     

    Seriously, if you have kids, read this article.

  • Reply 59 of 86
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,390member
    Here is as thorough a report as any I'm aware of on how Apple and Peason got together and how the bidding process was done. It's does sound as tho Apple and Pearson may already have been selected to provide the services and hardware before the bids were even requested.

    http://www.scpr.org/blogs/education/2014/08/25/17192/how-did-la-schools-decide-on-ipad-software-it-star/

    A pretty revealing read.
  • Reply 60 of 86
    ipenipen Posts: 410member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Are there instances of Chromebooks being deployed and not working? I must admit I'm a bit nervous about Chromebooks (and the upcoming Windows competitors) taking share from iPad in education, mostly because of the built in keyboard. I hope Apple doesn't let their lead in education slip away.

     

    The special $750 student macbook is the answer.  Buy in bulk maybe Apple will give another 10% discount.

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