Letters: latimes.com http://lat.ms/1cYKixA
October 17, 2013
Re "A tablet, not a cure-all," Column, Oct. 15
Sandy Banks raises very good points about the ill-conceived rollout of Apple iPads to students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
I am not a Luddite, and I definitely believe that students can benefit from technology, but too many executive types (read: Supt. John Deasy) succumb to the techno-lust brought on by slick sales and marketing folks. Too many decisions in education and business are made at the "blue sky" level and don't really take into consideration what will be needed to avoid obvious (and not so obvious) pitfalls that will sink a project of this scope.
It appears that few top officials at L.A. Unified asked the hard questions or carefully considered whether the technology was ready to support the scope of what they wanted to do, and whether they had what was needed to support the technology.
L.A. Unified's purchase of iPads for its students is an outrage. The public voted on a bond issue for school renovations and construction.
This is not a class-warfare issue; it is a bait-and-switch issue. The district took money intended to be spent on projects that would last for years and instead bought items that have a short shelf life.
If district officials truly feel that giving every student an iPad will be helpful, they should put an iPad bond issue before voters and sell their idea to us.