Friday, September 27, 2013

Hacked and Pilfered iPads Expose Epic Folly of LAUSD's $1 Billion Technology Program

I didn't think too much of this at first, but as details of this epic idiocy emerge, it's increasingly difficult to comprehend.

So neat in theory, giving students iPads for their work ---- no doubt many of whom whose families would be unable to afford such devices. By now though, students have hacked the security features to facilitate personal browsing and 71 iPads from the pilot program have been stolen. This could be the biggest taxpayer boondoggle in the history of urban education in the U.S.

See, "71 iPads issued to students have gone missing, LAUSD says," and "LAUSD halts home use of iPads for students after devices hacked."

I found this comment on the policy while trolling the Times' website yesterday:
This iPad project clearly doesn't stand up to even the slightest scrutiny. And so far, it's only the slightest scrutiny that's taken place.

But the question now is how can we trust these buffoons who've spent two years developing this plan?  They're committing $1 billion of taxpayers' money for technology that will probably need to be replaced in five years.  Nobody at LAUSD has been able to say what happens at that point.  When these devices need to be upgraded, how will the district pay for that?

In the Phase I iPad rollout, several different forms were sent to parents, the spanish version of which was labeled "incomprehensible" at yesterday's ad hoc committee meeting.  Nobody at LAUSD knew for sure whether parents would assume financial liability for devices beyond Apple's 5% warranty.

What kind of people decide to spend $1 billion while failing to work out even the most basic details of this plan?  If I as a teacher performed my job this amateurishly, how long do you think I'd be allowed to teach?  Supt. Deasy; his bureaucratic henchmen; board members Galatzan, Garcia, and Zimmer, all of whom have publicly backed this deal; and UTLA, which for the umpteenth time has seen fit to stand on the sidelines watching the parade of incompetence pass by - all of them should be held accountable.

We deserve better.

Lobo Gris at 11:58 AM September 26, 2013
More, "Letters: In LAUSD, iPads become toys."