Union calls for Deasy to report to 'teacher jail' during iPad inquiry
By Stephen Ceasar , LA Times | http://lat.ms/1uBXq0P
Sept. 4, 2014 :: Los Angeles teachers union president Alex Caputo-Pearl on Wednesday called on L.A. Schools chief John Deasy to report to “teacher jail” — district offices that house instructors who are facing allegations of misconduct — while the district’s $1.3-billion iPad program is under investigation.
Deasy halted the program after increased scrutiny over it. An internal report sharply criticized the project, citing major problems with the process and the implementation. And, L.A. Unified emails showed that the superintendent and his top deputy had close ties to Apple, maker of the device, and Pearson, the company that provided curriculum on the devices.
Deasy said that L.A. Unified needed to start over to include "lessons learned" about the project and to benefit from advances in technology.
Critics have raised concerns about whether Deasy and then-Deputy Supt. Jaime Aquino had inappropriate dealings with executives from Apple and Pearson. The district’s inspector general has begun a second inquiry into the program.
The superintendent has said that there was nothing improper before or after the bidding process.
United Teachers Los Angeles, the teachers union, contends that Deasy should be reassigned to the “teacher jail” just as their members are when they are under investigation.
“He’s got to play by his own rules and when under investigation, he must report to teacher jail,” Caputo-Pearl said in video of an early morning news conference at the district’s downtown headquarters.
The union has vigorously opposed the way in which the district handles teachers who face allegations of misconduct.
The union contends that teachers are kept in these offices far longer than necessary and that, in some cases, they are unjustly fired even after an allegation is proved untrue.
Caputo-Pearl said the union is working with the school board to end the practice of keeping teachers in these offices.
“But in the meantime, it is John Deasy’s ethical responsibility to live by his own rules and live by the policy that he champions and report to teacher jail immediately,” Caputo-Pearl said.
Deasy and his iPads
letters to the editor of the LA Times | Sept 4, 2014 | http://bit.ly/OksXFm
Re “A case study in dysfunction,” Column, Aug. 30
The amount of criticism heaped upon Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. John Deasy is staggering, especially over his troubled iPad project and the student tracking and data system. How many government technological systems can anyone name that have worked flawlessly upon introduction?
Give Deasy credit at least for trying to bring the LAUSD out of its obsolete mindset. Even if everything worked perfectly and every student finally felt that going to school could be beneficial, Deasy would be subjected to withering scrutiny by defenders of the status quo protecting their own backyard.
Deasy is to be congratulated and valued as an educator and administrator. He is not allowing union leaders, teams of parents, teachers and numerous special interests to continue sharpening the district’s pencils.
If Deasy truly wants to defend the civil rights of the students in the LAUSD, he might want to start by supporting those people who protect those rights each day: the men and women in the classrooms. Most of these teachers would lay down their lives to protect children, if such a defense became necessary.
Let’s honor and support these everyday heroes who serve our children for little money and even less prestige.
LINDA MELE JOHNSON