Just as the fall buying season gets under way for school systems from coast to coast, a series of high-profile cases involving questionable school technology purchasing practices has highlighted the need for more training in recognizing unethical behavior. At a time of increased public scrutiny of how scarce education dollars are spent, such practices threaten to undermine the considerable gains made in school technology in the last decade, some observers say.

In the latest manifestation of a controversy that erupted two years ago in a suburb of Washington, D.C., two Philadelphia school district administrators are...

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