Wednesday, December 04, 2013


from the agenda/order of business for the Dec. 10, 2013 Board Meeting

published 4 Dec 2013

Agenda Item #6. Board of Education Report No. 129 – 13/14
Office of the Deputy Superintendent of Instruction
(Amendment to the Information Technology Division Strategic Execution Plan to Update the Common Core Technology Project) Recommends an amendment to the Information Technology Division Strategic Execution Plan to update the Common Core Technology Project to add 38 Phase 2 specified schools with a iPad for each student, 7 high schools with a laptop computer for each student, a keyboard for each Phase 1 and Phase 2 student, enough iPad devices to allow all other schools to participate in the state testing program and all ancillary software, support and
contingencies at a total authorized amount of approximately $115 million.


2cents smf:   There may be an Office of the Deputy Superintendent of Instruction…but it’s empty. His replacement has not been hired. Dr. Aquino resigned and has left the building.

The original  Board Report No. 129 – 13/14  requested $134 million for phase 2. It was brought to the Bond Oversight Committee on Nov. 20th - but was not moved or seconded; it was not voted upon.  – a  polite way of saying that it got no support as presented.. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

  • The Bond Oversight Committee proposed a substitute motion to approve expansion of the program to 38 schools and including the seven high school laptop pilot – for a total of $45 million.

The committee sent back for future re-consideration the proposals for:

  1. Keyboards for iPads - because there was inadequate financial projections for actual costs.
  2. The Testing iPads because there was inadequate  financial projections for costs and the committee felt that the District had neither presented adequate justification for the numbers of devices requested based on the amount of testing, nor had they done a survey of existing devices already in place.
  3. The BOC questioned whether all teachers and staff needed iPads at this time – especially as Phase 3 is to be delayed at least one additional year.
  4. The BOC also made specific requests as to program evaluation and delivery and review of the Curricular Content (“The Pearson Common Core System of Courses.)

It is apparently the intent of the Office of the Deputy Superintendent of Instruction to proceed with the request to The Board of Education on December 10th anyway --including all but item #6 above  and not addressing any BOC concerns about financial projections and/or program justification. The Pearson curriculum question remains unaddressed.

additional background

LA schools committee nixes iPads for every teacher
Annie Gilbertson | November 20th, 2013, 6:53pm

Some members of a citizens oversight committee say iPad program expansion costs don't add up. They refuse to sign off on parts of district's current plan.

L.A. Unified committee votes to curtail expansion of iPad program

By Howard Blume  | November 20, 2013 | 8:11 PM

L.A. Unified committee votes to curtail expansion of iPad program

A committee that oversees school bond spending has rejected major portions of a proposal to expand the use of iPads in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Officials had sought the panel's approval for $135 million in spending. Instead, the committee Wednesday authorized $45 million. The panel failed to approve plans to provide iPads to all teachers and school administrators. And it reduced the number of iPads requested for students.

smf: In my dozen years on the Bond Oversight Committee, building 131 schools and repairing/modernizing many hundreds more in the largest public works project in the nation, the Board of Ed has proceeded against Bond Oversight Committee objections only  twice:

  1. In the Architectural Preservation of details from The Ambassador Hotel/ The RFK Schools. The BOC felt that architectural preservation of old hotels was not a proper expenditure of school construction funds. (At the time Superintendent Romer assured the oversight committee that he would solicit private donations for the preservation, something that really never happened.)
  2. In the construction of the Belmont Learning Center/Roybal Learning Complex – perhaps the most expensive single school building program ever undertaken …with more construction, geological and hazardous materials missteps than can be imagined! The Board of Ed attempted to build the BLC without committee oversight and was challenged in Higuchi v. LAUSD. The court held that the oversight committee had to be involved or no bonds funds could be used.  At the time state auditors and criminal investigators were breathing down and the board elected to fund the project from other sources, No bond funds were wasted!  The Belmont LC ending up costing something like ten times its original estimate and was completed more than six years late – but no bond funds were used.





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