In a surprising reversal, L.A. Unified Superintendent John Deasy has abruptly halted the district's billion-dollar technology program, which aimed to put an iPad into the hands of every student and teacher by the end of, yes, this year.It gets better:
It's a rare retreat for the headstrong superintendent intent on getting the tablets into classrooms as soon as humanly possible. But it comes after more than a year of negative news stories – everything from LAUSD students "hacking" devices to the incomplete iPAD-friendly software to an allegedly chummy bidding process in which Deasy gave Apple and Pearson, the software company, a leg up.
The practical part is to give children some practice in the months leading up to California's big switch in testing, when some students, this spring, will begin taking their standardized tests on computers, not on paper. Loads of students won't do well if they don't know their way around a computer.If you think giving a teenager an iPad is going to bridge any gap at all, you're just nuts. Or a true believer, but I repeat myself.
The idealistic part is to narrow the very real digital divide that separates poor and working-class Los Angeles children from middle-class and rich kids.
Here's the climax:
"My responsibility is to lift kids out of poverty," says Deasy. "They have the right to technology."That's not his responsibility, and kids don't have a right to technology. Kids are entitled to a decent education, which they obviously aren't going to get in a district run by someone who thinks fixing social issues takes priority over the 3 R's.
The LAUSD board should fire him immediately for not even knowing what his job is. That they don't tells you all you need to know about LAUSD in particular and public education in general.