According to a report by L.A.Times, Supt. John Deasy at L.A. Unified has suspended future use of a contract with Apple to provide iPads to all students in the nation’s second-largest school system. The publication notes that the suspension comes days after disclosures that the superintendent had especially close ties to executives of Apple and Pearson, the company that provides curriculum on the iPads.
The report says that the suspension of contract also resulted from an “internal report that examined the technology effort”, which showed major problems with the process and the implementation. Under the contract approved just over a year ago, Apple had been expected to provide iPads with Pearson as the subcontractor. However, a draft report of a district technology committee obtained last week, was found strongly critical of the bidding process.
“Among the findings was that the initial rules for winning the contract appeared to be tailored to the products of the eventual winners — Apple and Pearson — rather than to demonstrated district needs. The report found that key changes to the bidding rules were made after most of the competition had been eliminated under the original specifications.
In addition, the report said that past comments or associations with vendors, including Deasy, created an appearance of conflict even if no ethics rules were violated.”
L.A. Unified has now decided to try out other devices and other curricula at the high school level. Deasy says he expects Apple and Pearson to be among the bidders in the new process.