By Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Daily News | http://bit.ly/1dkE32N
Julie Carson, a GED teacher at North Valley Occupational Center, speaks at a gathering of parents, teachers and students at Esperanza Elementary School in Los Angeles, Wednesday, February 19, 2014, to express their frustration that Superintendent John Deasy is redirecting construction bond funds to buy iPads instead of funding school repairs. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)
2/19/14, 8:32 PM PST | :: Critics of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s $1 billion iPad program gathered Wednesday outside a downtown school to call for money to be used on school repairs and funding for teachers.
Standing outside Esperanza Elementary School, Matthew Kogan, a teacher and creator of the Facebook page “Repairs Not iPads,” accused district Superintendent John Deasy of neglecting basic services at district schools.
The iPad program launched in 47 schools this fall and is being paid for in part by voter-approved construction bonds.
“The bond was intended for repairs and construction ... that money is going for a vanity project,” Kogan said.
Since going live in December, Kogan’s Facebook site has earned more than 1,000 “likes” and features photos of broken school bathrooms, cracked floors and other unsightly images in district facilities. District teachers have shared many of the photos eager to show off the neglect at their schools.
Koegan was joined Wednesday by a dozen students, teachers and parents.
“We have ancient portable classrooms here, where the walls are falling apart and we have termite damage, and like a lot of schools, paint that’s crumbling,” Esperanza Elementary first-grade teacher Anne Zerrien-Lee said.
During an event earlier in the day at City Hall, Deasy declined to comment on the planned protest or the Facebook page.
“I don’t participate in Facebook,” Deasy said. “I really don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have a Facebook account.”
He also suggested the media was focusing too much on the iPad controversy.
“Sometimes I think you all make the issue, as oppose to (focusing on) the students having the equipment they need to take their state tests,” Deasy said.
The iPad program has been criticized for its cost as well as technical and administrative problems, such as students being able to erase digital safeguards and browse unauthorized websites.
Los Angeles Unified’s long-range plan is to give all of its 600,000 students computer tablets.
Dr. Deasy’s predecessor as superintendent didn’t do e-mail – but he had staff who did it for him! LAUSD has a Facebook page. Here’s a picture of Dr. Deasy and visiting Hong Kong educators from it, posted last week:
If Dr. Deasy, who used this same “I don’t have a Facebook Account” excuse last week is claiming that he is totally unaware of the “Repairs not iPads” controversy he is frighteningly out of the loop and surrounded by the similarly intentionally ignorant.
As the to state test: The test is:
- Whether schools have the equipment they need to take the test and
- Whether the equipment they have works and
- Whether the test itself works.
It is not a test that tests students’ knowledge or teachers’ teachings. There will be no student scores or teacher scores. It tests whether the hardware and software works and as such is is educationally meaningless. It’s the same as when the State of CA checks to see if the Smog Checking Equipment at the Smog Test Shops works.
Only this and nothing more.