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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