LAUSD to confiscate iPads after spending $1 billion

posted at 11:21 am on October 2, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Wonder why California is broke and the LA Unified School District struggles at its core mission of educating children? The sad saga of the iPad project demonstrates at least some of the issues.  At an estimated cost of $1 billion, the LAUSD launched an effort to hand out “borrowed” iPads to its students in order to minimize textbook and material costs, but despite all of the money spent, their security program on the devices lasted hours in the hands of the students.  Now the district will try to confiscate all of the iPads, throwing in the towel on the massive investment after just a few weeks:

The ambitious plan to get an iPad in more than 30,000 Los Angeles students’ hands hit another snag.

Workers at the Los Angeles United School District (LAUSD) have started confiscating iPads that bypassed the devices’ security measures, according to the Los Angeles Times. The tampered iPads could access unauthorized websites and apps, such as Facebook, YouTube, and Pandora.

The school-issued iPads were installed with their own security software that prevented students from getting access to anything but the preloaded educational software. However, students at several different schools discovered a work around within hours after students received their iPads.

Good luck with getting them back. And does this sound a wee bit familiar this week?

Sarah Bradshaw, the chief of staff for District 5 of the LAUSD, said that there were signs that the iPad program was going to be a rough ride.

“We could see this thing coming,” she told ABC News. “So much of this has been rushed and so ill thought out.”

Sounds a lot like ObamaCare, too, another example of what happens when government strays from its core missions.  Now, taxpayers will have to eat the costs of the devices — they’re not going to get much on the resale market — and the school year will get disrupted for the students, who gave the district an education instead.  Meanwhile, the brainchild of this debacle will parachute out of the district at the end of the year.

But wait — the LAUSD hasn’t given up on the plan yet:

“There’s a reason why students did this,” said Ron Chandler, the chief information officer with the LAUSD. “We have to have a conversation about what is the appropriate place and maybe we need to relax our requirements a little.”

“Relax our requirements”? So when students break the rules on an expensive and embarrassing effort by the district, the plan is to change the rules to fit student behavior?  I take back what I said a moment ago … the students are getting an education through this, but it’s probably not the lesson parents wanted.


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Keep voting democrat!

Murphy9 on October 2, 2013 at 10:43 AM

D’oh

cmsinaz on October 2, 2013 at 10:44 AM

“We could see this thing coming,” she told ABC News. “So much of this has been rushed and so ill thought out.”

This could be said of any program rolled out by democrats/libtards.

HumpBot Salvation on October 2, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Apple would have done it this way…

oldroy on October 2, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Now just image in the Federal government took over healthcare.

Oil Can on October 2, 2013 at 11:21 AM

I predict a huge spike in the rate of “stolen” iPads.

rbj on October 2, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Democrats…

albill on October 2, 2013 at 11:27 AM

“…ill thought out.”

Yep, that’s a Dimocrat program alright.

Meople on October 2, 2013 at 11:29 AM

LOL.

changer1701 on October 2, 2013 at 11:29 AM

This program was a disaster from the beginning. I remember when this was proposed, I couldn’t believe it. I actually thought it wouldn’t last two months. I was wrong, it lasted two weeks. There should be firings as a result!

rjoco1 on October 2, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Only punish every 4th student, and only if their parents are registered anything but illegal or demorat.

Problem solved.

patman77 on October 2, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Three cheers for Blue America! Wait, we can only afford two cheers. Hang on, the Chinese said they will loan us some $$$ for the third cheer. Why settle for three when you can have four cheers!

FOUR CHEERS FOR BLUE AMERICA! :-D

Punchenko on October 2, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Now, taxpayers will have to eat the costs of the devices — they’re not going to get much on the resale market

Give out 100 (for the sake of argument) iPads.

Get back -10 iPads.

Resale value of nothing. BUT since 100 were given out, but 500 were PLANNED to be given out, really they netted 400 back.

So, if my California math is right, there is a surplus.

Gatsu on October 2, 2013 at 11:30 AM

ROFL

ROFL again.

Jeebus, how effin STUPID are these tools? A billion clams for this?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

California.

Bishop on October 2, 2013 at 11:31 AM

We need to have a district-wide conversation about common-sense solutions to the iPad confiscation.

Mr. Bingley on October 2, 2013 at 11:33 AM

They should have used made for products that had the security built into the hardware. Instead, they needed to be trendy and overspend for a Apple product that is low rate hardware for the price.

astonerii on October 2, 2013 at 11:34 AM

My kid’s school district is trying this too actually, but each child must provide their own device and it doesn’t have to be an Ipad, it can be any “smart” device from a smartphone to a quad core laptop.

If it gets lost or stolen, oh well, doesn’t cost the school and thus the taxpayers a dime.

Bishop on October 2, 2013 at 11:34 AM

They thought the kids might do that? Seriously, does this guy have any kids. If he did, he might have figured it out before he spent a bundle of tax payer funds on this project. Who’s running things in that state anyway.

Kissmygrits on October 2, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Given the leadership and history of the LAUSD – this is hardly a surprise.

It’s just the latest example of ‘leadership’ and responsible civil service here in the People’s Republic of Mexifornia.

By the way, in some schools, they are only getting about half of the iPads they distributed back….

Athos on October 2, 2013 at 11:34 AM

“Hacking is good when you use other peoples property” seems to be the message. The LAUSD needs to bring a whole host of operations security consultants in order to re-architect the insides of the iPads. People in our company (which is in the LAUSD)did the same thing (went inside and re-architected the OS) only it was permitted and it allowed us to fill a nich in capability that our customers needed. Cool beans. The LAUSD officials are morons, it is not the era of “free love” wrt to using handheld tablets. It can and will be a dangerous thing if you do not provision enforceable governance for their use by under age children, that is, K-12 students.

jake49 on October 2, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Jeebus, how effin STUPID are these tools? A billion clams for this?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

California.

Bishop on October 2, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Oh, very, very stupid, but then again, it isn’t their personal money involved….and some corporate cronies who sold the iPads to the LAUSD, made a tidy profit on the deal.

hawkeye54 on October 2, 2013 at 11:35 AM

“We have to have a conversation about what is the appropriate place…”

Any statement that starts with “conversation” and “appropriate” will just make students giggle.

whatcat on October 2, 2013 at 11:35 AM

By the way, in some schools, they are only getting about half of the iPads they distributed back….

Athos on October 2, 2013 at 11:34 AM

If they do get as many as half back, that would be a shocker. More so if the iPads recovered still actually work.

hawkeye54 on October 2, 2013 at 11:36 AM

My kid’s school district is trying this too actually, but each child must provide their own device and it doesn’t have to be an Ipad, it can be any “smart” device from a smartphone to a quad core laptop.
If it gets lost or stolen, oh well, doesn’t cost the school and thus the taxpayers a dime.
Bishop on October 2, 2013 at 11:34 AM

I expect the district will be in a ocean of legal hot water if doesn’t provide devices for those who can’t afford one. Disenfranchising students, y’know.

whatcat on October 2, 2013 at 11:38 AM

The next surplus auction should be very enlightening. If the recalled devices show up, good deals for all the bidders. If they don’t show up, well …

platypus on October 2, 2013 at 11:38 AM

By the way, in some schools, they are only getting about half of the iPads they distributed back….

Athos on October 2, 2013 at 11:34 AM

I’m sure in some schools, none will be returned. Those iPads are being referred to as ObamaPads, so the students feel rightfully entitled to keep them.

hawkeye54 on October 2, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Even if security could work, which it can’t…you can always hard reset the device, there’s a bigger problem.

iPads are not all that sturdy. Textbooks take a beating at the hands of school children (even college students for that matter). They’d be replacing them often, and the $$ for that would add up very quickly.

Dumb idea.

Chris of Rights on October 2, 2013 at 11:39 AM

maybe we need to relax our requirements a little.”

The new more functional iPads will be called MaxiPads.

faraway on October 2, 2013 at 11:39 AM

The reporting out here in Los Ang is that they want the iPads back so that they can reprogram them and lock them down again. They are working with Apple on a fix. It’s not a permanent confiscation or cancellation of the program.

However, one-third of the iPads have “gone missing”. Now, some of those might still be in the hands of the proper student, but the student doesn’t want to submit it for reprogramming–the question then is whether they will ever turn them back in. I’m sure others are truly gone; sold or stolen.

The stupidity of this whole thing is mind-boggling. The only people it benefits are Apple and the students who have either sold theirs or hacked it.

HakerA on October 2, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Even assuming that they paid the full $600 price for a 32GB full-sized iPad, 30,000 of them would come to $18,000,000 – that’s 18 million dollars for Rio Linda types. How exactly did LAUSD manage to run the cost up to a billion dollars?!? Put another way, where did the other 982 million dollars go?

wkh on October 2, 2013 at 11:41 AM

The comments there are 100% anti-LAUSD. The dept. told them the bond money was for building maintenance! Out and out liars.

PattyJ on October 2, 2013 at 11:41 AM

$1,000,000,000 for 30,000 iPads? That’s $33,000 dollars an iPad. What am I missing here? That’s absolutely bat-sh!t crazy. The jobs lost should be for an insane amount of money spent on each device. Heck, it would be insane at $3,300 each.

kenro85 on October 2, 2013 at 11:43 AM

They did have to put down deposits on those ipads, right? I mean the students. The district can just keep the deposit for the students that don’t return a working ipad, because they did in fact collect deposits, right?

Right?

TexasDan on October 2, 2013 at 11:44 AM

iPads are not all that sturdy. Textbooks take a beating at the hands of school children (even college students for that matter). They’d be replacing them often, and the $$ for that would add up very quickly.
Dumb idea.
Chris of Rights on October 2, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Yup. And it’s hard to hack a book.

whatcat on October 2, 2013 at 11:47 AM

What the f…? This is what “free” gets you! Do you really think that they can stop these kids from hacking these iPads…they grew up with computers and already outstrip most Americans over the age of 30. Dumb a**es…leveling the playing field and getting run over by their own roller.

allstonian on October 2, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Even assuming that they paid the full $600 price for a 32GB full-sized iPad, 30,000 of them would come to $18,000,000 – that’s 18 million dollars for Rio Linda types. How exactly did LAUSD manage to run the cost up to a billion dollars?!? Put another way, where did the other 982 million dollars go?

wkh on October 2, 2013 at 11:41 AM

$500 million was to set up the schools for wi-fi. The other $500 million was supposed to go for 460,000 iPads, whic works out to about $760 per iPad.

Steve Eggleston on October 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

$500 million was to set up the schools for wi-fi. The other $500 million was supposed to go for 460,000 iPads, whic works out to about $760 per iPad.

Steve Eggleston on October 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

So much for bulk discounts. LAUSD employees some master negotiators.

kenro85 on October 2, 2013 at 11:55 AM

So much for bulk discounts. LAUSD employees some master negotiators.

kenro85 on October 2, 2013 at 11:55 AM

They’re Rats; what did you expect?

Steve Eggleston on October 2, 2013 at 11:56 AM

I wonder who has the contract to dispose of the “confiscated” iPads?

I smell $$$MONEY$$$ ..

CrazyGene on October 2, 2013 at 12:02 PM

The wifes IPad was stolen.Apple support said they can be reformatted in minutes.They register it as stolen and if it ever shows up at one of their stores for repair they can take it and call you.

docflash on October 2, 2013 at 12:12 PM

This Utopia thing is harder than we thought.

mankai on October 2, 2013 at 12:19 PM

My son’s middle school handed out tablets this fall. I went to the meeting and laughed and laughed and laughed.

So naive, these “educators.” I knew the second a bunch of these kids entered their neighborhoods someone thought, “Gee, thanks for the drug money.”

Within days, a number went “missing” and more were broken. There is no plan to investigate these matters. We signed an “agreement,” but there is no way the school district is going to go after parents lest the usual cries ensue.

mankai on October 2, 2013 at 12:32 PM

“There’s a reason why students did this,” said Ron Chandler, the chief information officer with the LAUSD. “We have to have a conversation about what is the appropriate place and maybe we need to relax our requirements a little.”

Maybe the NSA should send recruiters into the high schools?

Ward Cleaver on October 2, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Well, in their defense, this program lasted 13 days longer than the California health exchange did…

http://rncresearch.tumblr.com/post/62899088325/kntv-ca-computer-glitches-on-california-exchange

UnderstandingisPower on October 2, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Liberals honestly believe that these kids’ parents, who have a take-home on welfare equivalent to a $60,000/yr job, seriously can’t get their kid a laptop or tablet for studying at home.

Sekhmet on October 2, 2013 at 12:46 PM

I love the whole, “…discovered a workaround within hours…”

Liberals are so stupid, though I suppose we should be grateful. Generally, when liberals observe their schemes failing miserably, they double down and throw more taxpayer money into the pot.

Witness: Healthcare, Green jobs, Shovel-ready projects, Detroit…

CaptFlood on October 2, 2013 at 12:46 PM

$500 million was to set up the schools for wi-fi. The other $500 million was supposed to go for 460,000 iPads, whic works out to about $760 per iPad.

Steve Eggleston on October 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

As someone who’s been involved in getting price quotes for MacBooks for an enterprise, I can tell you that Apple isn’t big on giving discounts. Their attitude is, “This is our price, take it or leave it”, and it will be as long as they’re not in the dumper, sales-wise.

Ward Cleaver on October 2, 2013 at 12:46 PM

$500 million was to set up the schools for wi-fi. The other $500 million was supposed to go for 460,000 iPads, whic works out to about $760 per iPad.

Steve Eggleston on October 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Without even looking, I know there are school rules against using Wi-Fi devices during class.

You know there is.

BobMbx on October 2, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Did these idiots never watch Scooby Doo? Meddling kids?

RovesChins on October 2, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Winning!!!

John the Libertarian on October 2, 2013 at 12:54 PM

The wifes IPad was stolen.Apple support said they can be reformatted in minutes.They register it as stolen and if it ever shows up at one of their stores for repair they can take it and call you.
docflash on October 2, 2013 at 12:12

I wouldn’t feel too relieved. First off, any device can be easily reformatted by even a casual user. That wipes out previous info in the device.
The problem is a thief will mine all the data (personal/financial) before you ever see it again. And, unless the thief is a complete idiot, he’s not going to bring in to an Apple support shop.

whatcat on October 2, 2013 at 1:15 PM

We’ve been using iPads with all of our HS students for over a year now, and it works really well. The difference is:
1. We police what they do with them during school hours. If you want to watch YouTube at home, knock yourself out. If you do at school during class, you’re getting a detention.
2. If they “lose” them, they pay for a new one. They already pay for insurance on them.
3. We happen to be a private school, so we’re allowed to do (1) and (2). I have no doubts that a public school would be unable to do both.

Darin on October 2, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Swimming in a sea of red ink, LAUSD cleverly drills several holes in their boat.

jukin3 on October 2, 2013 at 1:34 PM

$500 million was to set up the schools for wi-fi. The other $500 million was supposed to go for 460,000 iPads, whic works out to about $760 per iPad.

Steve Eggleston on October 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

So much for bulk discounts. LAUSD employees some master negotiators.

kenro85 on October 2, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Not to mention that the Apple site sells refurbished ones (which are really new devices, most if them anyways, not used ones) for half of that price. One of my colleagues mentioned a while ago that this is how he got his iPad mini, for 380 USD, and it has both wi-fi and cellular data on it. At first I was incredulous, knowing how much I paid for mine, and he showed me the deal on the Apple website. So, I am guessing the LAUSD couldn’t have got such a deal with Apple, or at least a discount for buying in bulk. Amusing that they think they will get any if these back, the kids will report them ‘stollen’ or some other gimmick, but they will never return them, let’s get serious here.

jimver on October 2, 2013 at 1:55 PM

“We have to have a conversation about what is the appropriate place and maybe we need to relax our requirements a little.”

I thought the schools were all zero tolerance now.

lea on October 2, 2013 at 2:09 PM

“We have to have a conversation about what is the appropriate place and maybe we need to relax our requirements a little.”

‘If at first you don’t succeed…lower your standards’

dont taze me bro on October 2, 2013 at 2:17 PM

whatcaf on October 2, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Actually iOS7 has a ‘solution’ for it, or sort of, anyways…Meaning you can now set your ipad to be wiped out after too many failed password attempts. So, assuming your thief is nit very versed and doesn’t crack your password in just a few attempts, you can go into Settings -> General -> Passcode Lock to find and an option called Erase Data all the way at the bottom. If you enable it, your phone will wipe itself out if someone tries to access it and fails it, say, 10 times or so.

jimver on October 2, 2013 at 2:18 PM

$500 million was to set up the schools for wi-fi. The other $500 million was supposed to go for 460,000 iPads, whic works out to about $760 per iPad.

Steve Eggleston on October 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Seriously? Just a quick mental note says $500 million for less than 500,000 iPads means over $1000 a pop. In fact, it’s closer to $1100, while the retail (retail!) price is $599.

Of course, they’re even less on eBay. In fact, Craigslist in LA has them selling for $125… :)

AJsDaddie on October 2, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Ipads in the classroom, work great, when everyone puts the IPAD back at the end of class, and they don’t ever leave the building.

What good is an IPAD at home if you cannot really use it for all the things an IPAD does. Why buy an IPAD if you are going to restrict all the applications. You might do well with a cheap Kindle or nook device just to read textbooks. Having your own IPAD as a gift I mean “borrowed” from school isn’t any fun if you can just sit and look at one text book application.

You know, a text book, might even be cheaper.

I have sent a bunch of kids to college, and the BIG secret is, with distance education now, you can log into the network and use class materials on almost any device, even one that is CHEAPER than the IPAD. You don’t need a $1000 name brand or apple laptop, you can use something you have already or pick up something new and lightweight for a couple hundred dollars.

I think a lot of the excuse is that if they buy things for the kids they get free stuff for the teachers.

Fleuries on October 2, 2013 at 2:35 PM

What do you expect when illiberal fascistic filth like Liveasaslaveandie is the epitome of a credentialed educator in the eyes of leftists?

ebrown2 on October 2, 2013 at 2:44 PM

“There’s a reason why students did this,” said Ron Chandler, the chief information officer with the LAUSD. “We have to have a conversation about what is the appropriate place and maybe we need to relax our requirements a little.”

New Porn Sex Ed Ap?

Freddy on October 2, 2013 at 2:45 PM

…the students are getting an education through this, but it’s probably not the lesson parents wanted.

“…parents…”?

mbecker908 on October 2, 2013 at 2:47 PM

This is a huge business deal for Apple anyway.

Kids with iPads. “Oops I dropped it, can I have another one please.” That is, for those who have not used the things for other purposes.

TerryW on October 2, 2013 at 3:26 PM

The best part of this for me: The money to pay for this debacle came out of LAUSD’s school construction budget.

So, instead of new schools or classrooms, we’ll have a closet full of iPads. Which will gradually be stolen by teachers and janitors.

And people wonder why California, and LA in particular, has the lowest test scores in the nation.

Dave in San Diego on October 2, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Swimming in a sea of red ink, LAUSD cleverly drills several holes in their boat.

jukin3 on October 2, 2013 at 1:34 PM

According to Cato’s “They Spend What?!“, Los Angeles spends about $19,000 for every student, and that was published in 2010.

Much of it comes from bonds which were voted in referenda. Just since 2002, California voters have voted for bonds earmarked for education (K-Uni) in the amount of over $35,000,000,000. With interest, that will require $71,000,000,000 to repay. Much of that has gone into building new facilities that aren’t actually needed. LAUSD, for example, has declining enrollment, but keeps building new schools.

And we have so much to show for it!

HakerA on October 2, 2013 at 4:38 PM

A LAUSD exec used to work for Pearson, the company that sells the software. He just resigned; something tells me he profited off this sale.

Ya think?

PattyJ on October 2, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Workers at the Los Angeles United School District (LAUSD) have started confiscating iPads that bypassed the devices’ security measures, according to the Los Angeles Times. The tampered iPads could access unauthorized websites and apps, such as Facebook, YouTube, and Pandora.

Meg. Fail. Do what our district Did.make them accountable for what they do and say, not where they go while on the ipad. And responsible for the ipad. We’re in our 3rd year at the hs and next year rolling out to middle school. Even in the elementary school each classroom have 3 to 5 ipads docked and programmed to grade level apps. For example the 1st graders can do their math assignments or reading or spelling exercises.

AH_C on October 2, 2013 at 6:52 PM

“We could see this thing coming,” she told ABC News. “So much of this has been rushed and so ill thought out.”

This could be said of any program rolled out by democrats/libtards.

HumpBot Salvation on October 2, 2013 at 10:44 AM

.
Except for government mandated and controlled, nationalized medical services.
So far, that is working like (insert your favorite expletive(s) HERE).

listens2glenn on October 2, 2013 at 6:55 PM

The biggest flaw in the program looks to be that it was assumed that students would behave virtuously — they would protect the hardware, not try to bypass the access locks, and would be satisfied to use the device only as prescribed. The assumption was wrong, at least in part.

Seems to me that a device for general issue (i.e. the device belongs to the organization, not the individual, and misuse does not directly cost the individual) would need to be made as rugged, easy to maintain, and as cheap as possible (to allow for ease of replacement). Probably both given the environment it would be in.

Russ808 on October 2, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Recently, five school districts in California’s Central Valley combined resources to fund a study of the effect of home computers on learning. The official finding of the study was summarized as follows:

“Although computer ownership and use increased substantially, we find no effects on any educational outcomes, including grades, test scores, credits earned, attendance, and disciplinary actions. Our estimates are precise enough to rule out even modestly-sized positive or negative impacts. The estimated null effect is consistent with survey evidence showing no change in homework time or other “intermediate” inputs in education.”

Perhaps we need a school dedicated to educating school board members and school administrators on how to properly spend taxpayer money. The first course should be named in honor of convicted felon and former Representative James Traficant (D-Mars). We will call it “Beam Me Up, Scotty.” Extra credit will be given for the course “Using School Computers for Fun and Profit.”

herdgadfly on October 3, 2013 at 4:21 AM

We’re drowning in a sea of stupid.

How did those nincompoops come to the conclusion that ANY security software would prevent a bright kid (and believe me, even the ones that seem “dumb” are much smarter than you think) from bypassing it and making the device his or her own? Are they really that naive?

Even my 5 year old grandson can bypass most “security” systems on a tablet. His Nabi is about the only thing he can’t break because he can’t yet spell his mom’s email address.

falcon on October 3, 2013 at 8:53 AM

Wonder who made money on this decision? Since when is it the school’s or government’s place to buy computer tablets for students? More liberal BS and wasted money.

harvey1 on October 3, 2013 at 11:29 AM

I love the whole, “…discovered a workaround within hours…”

Actually that phrase kind of gives me hope that we’re not raising a generation of brain dead kids. Give them a problem they care about and they solve it – I’m pretty sure we used to call that entrepreneurship.

2nd Ammendment Mother on October 3, 2013 at 1:54 PM