Troubled iPad initiative plagued by problems from the get-go

computer-LAUSDLos Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines said that the district cannot afford to provide a computer to every student, signaling a major reversal of his predecessor’s ill-fated $1.3 billion effort to distribute iPads to all students, teachers and school administrators.

Instead, Cortines said, the district will try to provide computers to students when they are needed for instruction and testing.

“I don’t believe we can afford a device for every student,” Cortines said. “Education shouldn’t become the gimmick of the year.”

For former Superintendent John Deasy, who resigned under pressure in October, the ambitious iPad plan was a signature initiative. It generated national attention and fueled debate about how best to get the latest technology to students in less affluent areas.

Next page: Balancing computers with other district priorities