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Scandal Surrounds LA Unified School District Over iPad Implentation

The LA Unified School District has found themselves at the center of a scandal as their plans to equip every student with an iPad has come to a halt, reports NPR.

The Nation's second largest school district had plans for a massive expansion of classroom technology as they aimed to provide an 700,00 iPads to teachers and students and spend $1.3 billion dollars for equipment, software and WiFi updates.

Controversy surrounded the plan from the start as many felt that the plan was too expensive, during a period where drastic budget cuts were being made. Others felt that the process had been expedited and that the quality of the software was compromised and that LA Unified School District lacked the infrastructure to pull off this endeavor.

More issues and criticism  followed the plan once the local NPR member station, KPCC uncovered emails between Superintendent John Deasy and executives from ed-tech giant Pearson education.

The emails showed that Pearson execs and Deasy were already planning on working with one another before the competitve bidding for the iPad tech contract was open.  

"KPCC's investigation found Deasy and his deputies communicated with Pearson employees over pricing, teacher training and technical support -- specifications that later resembled the district's request for proposals from vendors. Pearson and Apple emerged as the winning bidders and were awarded the contract in June 2013"

Due to the ethical violations of the dealings, these awarded contracts are now null and void and the bidding will reopen.

The KPCC investigation also found that much of the software provided by Pearson was unfinished and contained many problems ranging from simple typos in every grade, to more serious issues such as learning standards being incorrectly applied.

The expansion of ed tech in the LA Unified School District came as a result of the adoption and implementation of the Common Core Standards, and may contribute the rushing of the process. In May 2012 Deasy said of the standards adoption and iPad plan, "I'm not going to be interested in looking at third-graders and saying, 'Sorry this year you don't learn to read,' or to juniors and saying 'You don't get to graduate.' So the pace needs to be quick, and we make no apologies for that. 
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