The Los Angeles Board of Education approved the next phase of a $1-billion effort to provide computers to every student, teacher and administrator, reports the Los Angeles Times. The board agreed to distribute iPads to every student at 38 more schools, begin a bidding process to provide laptops for students at seven high schools and buy as many iPads as needed to complete new state tests in the spring. In doing so, the board opted not to follow the advice of an oversight panel that had recommended purchasing thousands of fewer devices. In the end, board members — who said they wanted to avoid unnecessary spending — approved a proposal that removed entirely a cap on how many iPads the district could buy for standardized testing scheduled for the spring. But they also insisted that they expected the number to be well below the 67,500 tablets the district staff had recommended……Read More
John Deasy, the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District who has been at the center of a troubled $1 billion technology initiative, has told Board of Education members that he will soon resign just weeks after getting a one-year contract extension, the Los Angeles Times reported. Deasy has abruptly resigned from a schools superintendency before; in 2008, he quit as chief of the Prince George’s County public school district after two years to accept a job as deputy director of the education division of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Los Angeles newspaper did not offer a reason for the latest move by Deasy, who took over the district in April 2011 and proceeded to push a series of controversial school reforms, including a new teacher assessment system that based part of a teacher’s evaluation on the standardized test scores of students and an ambitious project to give an iPad to every child in the 650,000-student district and their teachers for home use……Read More
Providing Apple iPads to Los Angeles students will cost nearly $100 more apiece — or $770 per tablet, a new school district budget shows, according to the Los Angeles Times. This potential sticker shock can be avoided, but only after the L.A. Unified School District has spent at least $400 million for the devices. In other words, the district would have to buy nearly 520,000 iPads before getting lower prices. Officials did not answer questions Monday about how much the district would then spend on the remaining tablets. The newly disclosed price, a 14% increase per iPad, appeared in a revised budget released in advance of a public meeting Tuesday on the $1-billion project……Read More
California is almost always there to boost President Obama‘s policy agenda as he fights fierce headwinds in Congress, working with the executive branch to carry out the administration’s vision on healthcare, renewable energy and clean air, the Los Angeles Times reports. But when the topic shifts to overhauling education, the state has become one of the administration’s biggest headaches……Read More
Apple Inc. won a $30-million contract Tuesday from the L.A. Unified School District, paving the way for the company to provide every student with an iPad in the nation’s second-largest school system, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Board of Education voted 6 to 0 on Tuesday to approve the contract after hearing senior staff laud Apple’s product as both the best in quality and the least expensive option that met the district’s specifications. Tuesday’s vote authorized an iPad rollout at 47 campuses. However, by choosing Apple as the sole vendor, the district also made a de facto commitment to spend hundreds of millions of dollars with the Cupertino, Calif.-based digital giant over the next two years……Read More
If you think you’ve seen a lot of teens with iPhones lately, that’s because the popular Apple device may be owned by nearly half of all U.S. teens, according to a new survey, the Los Angeles Times reports. Investment bank research firm PiperJaffray released its Taking Stock With Teens survey in which 48 percent of the teen respondents said they owned an iPhone. That’s up from last fall’s 40 percent. The report said the increase was driven by sales of iPhone 5, which hit stores last September. Apple’s smart phone was also the most preferred. According to the survey, 62 percent of teens planned on making the iPhone their next mobile device purchase. The results were compiled from classroom visits and electronic surveys and involved 5,200 teens……Read More
Student photos of state standardized tests posted on social networks have caused a two-week delay in the release of scores and could result in more serious ramifications for nearly 150 California schools.
In a letter sent to all state school districts this week, the Department of Education announced the postponement of the 2012 test results until Aug. 31.
“It is imperative that when districts, teachers, parents and students receive their test results, we all can be assured that the integrity of the system remains intact,” Deb Sigman, deputy superintendent of public instruction, said in the letter.…Read More
L.A. Unified superintendent says school officials were never notified by law enforcement about the danger posed by a student accused of fatally stabbing his former girlfriend at a South Gate high school, the Los Angeles Times reports. Abraham Lopez, 18, was charged Monday with 10 criminal counts, including fatally stabbing 17-year-old Cindi Santana, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said……Read More
After a particularly brutal budgeting season this summer, states and school districts across the country have fired thousands of teachers, raised college tuition, relaxed standards, slashed days off the academic calendar and gutted pre-kindergarten and summer school programs, reports the Los Angeles Times. Slashed budgets are nothing new for educators, but experts say this year stands out……Read More
The Pacific Legal Foundation, acting on behalf of the Washington, D.C.-based American Sports Council, has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Education’s policy guidelines on Title IX, alleging that activists are using the guidelines to promote sex-based quotas in high school athletic programs, reports the Los Angeles Times. Title IX, passed in 1972, prohibits gender-based discrimination in federally funded education programs and is credited with helping ignite the growth of females in sports competition……Read More