Federal Review Blames Lack of Resources and Planning for L.A. Schools' Failed iPad Initiative

A recent study by the U.S. Department of Education has found the Los Angeles Unified School District's $1.3 billion "iPad-for-all" education initiative, announced in the summer of 2013, had been "plagued by lack of resources and inadequate planning for how the devices would be used in classrooms," reports the Los Angeles Times.

The iPad initiative was officially canceled last month amidst an investigation by the FBI focusing on the relationship between Apple executives and former LAUSD superintendent John Deasy. The investigation was sparked by claims the bidding for the deal had been altered to favor Apple and Pearson, the higher-education company providing content for the iPads.

The troubled project led to the resignation, under threat of dismissal, of former head of technology for LAUSD, Ronald Chandler. Deasy also resigned under similar circumstances last October.

students-ipad
The new report deems the project too heavily focused on Apple's iPad as the centerpiece for the initiative, with no willingness to focus on a less-expensive alternative. It also found that the teachers who were supposed to incorporate the iPads into their classroom on a daily basis weren't provided nearly enough training in ways to successfully integrate the technology into an effective lesson plan.

The report further mentions that senior managers were "unable or unwilling" to voice concerns over these issues before they snowballed into bigger problems, with the Department of Education mainly looking at a lack of an immediate replacement for Chandler, as well as general mismanagement of the project, as main points of blame.

Attempts to fix the program before its eventual end were tried, but faced stonewalling at the hands of a few Deasy supporters, all believing the former superintendint did nothing unethical at any time before or during the intiative's lifespan.

"The Department of Education had a number of common-sense suggestions ... such as better planning, better testing and evaluation of technology, and better training," said school board member Monica Ratliff, who chaired a panel that reviewed the technology project last year. She produced a report that raised issues similar to those of the Education Department, but it was discounted by some Deasy allies as unfair to the superintendent.

The initial rollout of the program - in 47 schools and with $30 million spent on Apple products - in the fall of 2013 met immediate criticism amid ill-prepared teachers, spotty Internet connections, and crafty students bypassing security filters.

Following a suspension of the contract between the LAUSD and Apple back in August, the program initially begun over a year and a half earlier was officially canceled last December. The iPad-for-all program and its components currently remain under review by the FBI.

Top Rated Comments

Tiger8 Avatar
82 months ago

However, people should buy their own god damned gear. Most tax-payers cannot afford an iPad of their own ... why should they buy them for the less motivated? :apple: :cool:
I know man, why do we, taxpayers, even pay for education at all? I have never seen a group less motivated to learn like kids... My God! If it's up to them, they'll be playing all day, but our government FORCES them to go to school!
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Old Muley Avatar
82 months ago
Sounds like education

I've been an educator for well over 20 years and one thing I've observed is that we have always been easily distracted by shiny new toys and ideas. Many times we get enamored with the stuff without any real thought as to how it will be used. I remember when "SmartBoards" were supposed to be the big thing in the classroom. We got several, then they never got used. Palm Pilots were another so-called innovation than fizzled. Even now the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative has just turned into a way for kids to watch Pewdie Pie on YouTube during class and keep up on FaceBook.

In the end, it's not the stuff, it's the people.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FX120 Avatar
82 months ago
The problem with the iPad as an "educational tool" is that iOS lacks any sort of group policy-esque control of the individual devices. Give em to the kids, but there is no way to control what they do with them.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macintologist Avatar
82 months ago
I know someone who works in school IT. iPads are a nightmare to manage. Chromebooks on the other hand are super easy to administer and deploy.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hspace Avatar
82 months ago
The problem with the iPad as an "educational tool" is that iOS lacks any sort of group policy-esque control of the individual devices. Give em to the kids, but there is no way to control what they do with them.

THIS. Yes, iOS completely fails in this regard. You want to have control over iOS and limit functionality? Too bad... 5yr olds can hack it.

Apple just wants to provide a personal entertainment device, they care nothing about security. User accounts? Nah. Security? Who needs it.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JVossos Avatar
82 months ago
Tablets ...

If you are going to have a tablet, you should have an iPad .... they are more expensive, but they are best quality .... no one ever regretted buying quality.

However, people should buy their own god damned gear. Most tax-payers cannot afford an iPad of their own ... why should they buy them for the less motivated? :apple: :cool:
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

april 2021 event coverage feature

Apple Event Live Coverage: New iPads, AirTags, and More Expected [Event Over]

Tuesday April 20, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Spring Loaded" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut updated iPad models and perhaps some other hardware such as AirTags or iMac models based on Apple silicon. Apple is providing a live video stream on its website, on YouTube, and in the company's TV app across its platforms. We will also be updating this article with live blog...
m1 imac colors

Apple Announces Redesigned iMac With M1 Chip and Seven Color Options

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:22 am PDT by
Apple has announced a new, redesigned 24-inch iMac, featuring an M1 chip, a 4.5K display, and a range of color options, as well as an improved cooling system, front-facing camera, speaker system, microphones, power connector, and peripherals. The new iMac features a completely new compact design, and comes in a range of seven striking colors, including green, yellow, orange, pink, purple,...
duan rui iphone 12 13 notch

New Images Show Smaller iPhone 13 Notch Compared to iPhone 12

Saturday April 17, 2021 11:38 pm PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has shared more images that could give us our best look yet at Apple's redesigned notch for the iPhone 13. The new pictures follow similar images shared by the leaker last week, but the latest shots include a comparison with the existing iPhone 12 notch. DuanRui posted three images on Twitter that apparently originate from Weibo, although source details remain...
Top Stories 57 Feature

Top Stories: Apple Event Next Tuesday, Mini-LED iPad Pro, iPhone Rumors

Saturday April 17, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
It feels like we've been waiting forever for new Apple products, but the wait is almost over as Apple has announced a media event for next Tuesday, so make sure to tune into MacRumors for full coverage of everything Apple announces. While that was the big news this week, we also got some new details on Apple's iPhone plans for 2022 and 2023 courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and we also saw...
iphone 12 preorder purple

Apple Launching iPhone 12 and 12 Mini in New Purple Color on April 30

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:08 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available in a new purple color starting April 30, with pre-orders starting this Friday. Apple is also releasing a new MagSafe Leather Case and Leather Sleeve in Deep Violet, a Silicone Case in Capri Blue, Pistachio, Cantaloupe, or Amethyst, and a Leather Wallet in Arizona, all available to order beginning today. iPhone...
f1618938547

Apple Announces AirTag Tracking Devices Starting At $29 Each

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:10 am PDT by
Apple today announced AirTag, a Tile-like Bluetooth tracking device that's designed to be attached to items like keys and wallets for tracking purposes, letting you find them right in the Find My app. AirTags are accessories for attaching to backpacks, luggage, and other items. Any U1 device like the iPhone 12 can be used for precision finding to guide you right to the item you're looking...
iPad Pro

New 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Will Be 0.5mm Thicker to Accommodate Mini-LED Display

Monday April 19, 2021 11:30 am PDT by
The upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be thicker than the previous-generation version, likely due to the inclusion of the mini-LED display. We've heard several rumors about the change in thickness, and now leaked design images have confirmed it. A source that designs accessories for Apple devices sent MacRumors a series of photos that feature exact dimensions for the new iPad Pro models, and...
ipad pro with m1 chip

Apple Introduces Next-Generation iPad Pro With M1 Chip, Thunderbolt, 5G, XDR Display, and More

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:40 am PDT by
Apple today announced the next-generation iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, Thunderbolt and USB4 support, 5G connectivity on cellular models with mmWave support in the United States, and more. With an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, Apple says the M1 chip in the new iPad Pro provides up to 50% faster performance and up to 40% faster graphics compared to the A12Z Bionic chip ...
iPad Pro Feature Orange

Wedbush Analysts Say 'Spring Loaded' Event Will Debut New iPads With 'Modest Price Increase,' Along With 'a Few Surprises'

Monday April 19, 2021 6:37 am PDT by
Apple is planning to launch a new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and iPad Pro at its "Spring Loaded" event tomorrow, along with "a few surprises," according to Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe explained that the iPad will be the main focus of Apple's "Spring Loaded" event, with new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and ...
flat imac 3d 3 teal

Reliable Leaker Hints Redesigned Colorful iMac to Debut at 'Spring Loaded' Event

Saturday April 17, 2021 4:43 am PDT by
Reliable leaker known as l0vetodream has hinted that Apple may debut its rumored redesigned and colorful iMac at its "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20. In a tweet, the leaker posted an image of Apple's logo used for marketing the upcoming event and an image of the retro rainbow Apple logo alongside the colorful lineup of G3 iMacs. Apple leaker Jon Prosser previously reported that...