Monday, August 25, 2014


in which smf of 4LAKids comments upon this morning’s L.A. Times article: LAUSD OFFICIALS HAD CLOSE TIES WITH APPLE, PEARSON EXECS, RECORDS SHOW |

Monday, 25 August, 2014


From The Times  

In one email, from May 24, 2012, then-Deputy Supt. Jaime Aquino seems to strategize with higher-ups from Pearson, an international education-services company, on how to ensure that it got the job.

smf: Ensuring that a specific vendor gets the job is a violation of of the RFP process; doing so before the process opens is probably conspiracy.
"I believe we would have to make sure that your bid is the lowest one," wrote Aquino, who was an executive with a Pearson affiliate before joining L.A. Unified. smf: Note the first person plural “we” in “we have to make sure.”    I’m pretty sure that Aquino isn’t royalty. Maybe he had a mouse in his pocket?

smf: Making sure a bid is anything besides fair is a violation of of the RFP process. And, as the article says:
LAT: “(Ethics)  rules require district employees to wait a year before becoming involved in contracts with former private employers. At that point, Aquino had been at L.A. Unified less than a year since leaving Pearson.”

[smf: Aquino’s current employer, New Teacher Center, has a contract before the board at tomorrow’s meeting. LAT:  Aquino, who left the school system at the end of last year,…]

Deasy was one of the last to participate in that email exchange and made his comments after Aquino's, which covered several topics.

smf: Which establishes that he was aware of all previous discussions.
"Understand your points and we need to work together on this quickly," Deasy wrote. "I want to not loose [sic] an amazing opportunity and fully recognize our current limits." smf: The words “amazing opportunity” are an oft repeated Deasy mantra. Quickly = urgently. In the rush to not ‘loose’ the amazing opportunity corners were cut.

On Sunday, Deasy said that the conversations were only about a "pilot program we did at several schools months before we decided to do a large-scale implementation. We did work closely on this pilot."

smf: The pilot program,: “Schools for the Future”, involved hardware only – was an Apple initiative and involved heavily discounted (or free) tablets. There was no software or curricular component except for the Apple software bundled with the Schools for the Future iPads. Pearson was not a player in SftF.

A May 24 email from Pearson executive Judy Codding to Aquino and another senior official is titled "Creating a plan that merges Jaime's team's work and the proposed plan that emerged from 5/18/2012 meeting."

The email tackles the subject of how to pay for an online curriculum.

In it, Codding writes: "Jaime, I think everything you said makes sense to me. Yes everything would come out of the textbook fund. The price would be just as you and I discussed."

smf: re: That 5/18/2012 meeting -  Were Dick Cheney and oil company executives in that meeting too?

Ollie North and Contra leaders? Was a cake for the ayatollah discussed?

As for paying for everything from the textbook fund: That isn’t how it came down. Everything came out of the school construction funds. The price may or may not have been as discussed.
Deasy said he recalled that Aquino also offered another major vendor, Amplify Education Inc., a similar opportunity. Amplify didn’t make the cut. When it came down to the Final Three, Pearson was the only curriculum vendor.

Deasy acted as a liaison between the corporate giants.

The courtship was mutual.

smf: If the participants and the media are going to open the bedroom door I’m going to look inside. There have already been enough sexual innuendos and double entendres here to make a Marx Brothers movie. Or some run-of-the-mill porn dialog.

Deasy the Liaison:
Marjorie Scardino’s “My mind was racing all weekend…” email to him is like an epistle from Les Liaisons Dangereuses..

…and Courtship? This was more of an assignation. An afternoon delight. .Let’ us not romanticize a-bit-of-the-old-in-and-out.

See you in courtship.

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