Investigation finds Cobb School Board ‘deceived’ the public, Apple iBook deal terminated

“The Cobb County School Board moved to terminate its contract with Apple Computer late Sunday based on an investigation that found that the school system ‘deceived’ the public in choosing the company to supply it with thousands of laptops,” Kristina Torres reports for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Torres reports that Kessler’s findings included:
• Apple got the contract even though it appears the company did not initially make the final cut of companies to be considered.
• Central Office staff “refused to tell the truth” to Kessler’s investigators. “The responses by the personnel conveyed misleading information in certain aspects and false information in others,” the report stated. “Those responsible clearly wanted to create a false impression of the results of the negotiation to justify thier decision.”
• There were “discrepancies” in record-keeping to tie the deal together.

Torres reports, “The move, approved unanimously Sunday, will likely give critics ammunition in their call for Superintendent Joseph Redden to resign. Redden wanted to provide students with take home laptops, prompting his staff to consider Apple and three other competetitors for the job.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, the guy made sure that Apple’s lower Total Cost of Operation would be in the running amid all of low initial sticker price champs that he knew would light the ignorant-to-such-matters’ hearts afire down in Cobb? So, he wanted a chance at providing his students the world’s most advanced operating system, instead of the world’s most porous? So, he wanted people to be able to look at Apple Mac machines that would offer students iLife ’05 versus the type of “iLifeless” machines (for example: Dell, Gateway, Acer) whose whole reason for existence is a failed attempt to be like a Mac, but cheaper? Are those such bad things? Who would want an intelligent and informed Superintendent like that to resign? They ought to give him a medal, a raise, and let him buy Apple iBooks with Mac OSX Tiger, the best portable computers for students.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Cobb County school board pulls plug on 63,000 Apple iBooks plan – August 02, 2005
Judge shuts down 63,000 Apple iBooks for Cobb County students – July 29, 2005
One Cobb County Apple iBook audit expected to finish soon – July 27, 2005
Inquiry into Cobb County Apple iBook bids requested – July 14, 2005
Cobb County iBook saga: allegations that school leaders pressured employees to pick Apple – July 11, 2005
Lawsuit to halt Cobb County’s 63,000 Apple iBooks for education plan goes to court today – July 08, 2005
Cobb County’s Apple iBooks in schools saga continues with lawsuit – June 04, 2005
Lawsuit filed to stop Cobb County’s Apple iBook program – June 01, 2005
Cobb County school board approves Apple Mac plan; could eventually distribute 63,000 iBooks – April 29, 2005
Henrico school board dumps Apple Macs, picks Dells with Windows – April 29, 2005
Cobb County school officials intend to move forward with Apple iBook program – April 21, 2005
Cobb Commission chief urges delay in Apple iBook program, says issue has become too emotional – April 20, 2005
No conflict of interest in ongoing Cobb County Apple iBook saga – April 19, 2005
More controversy in Atlanta-area school district’s plan to buy Apple iBooks – April 16, 2005
Cobb County Georgia approves first phase of plan that could equip schools with 63,000 Apple iBooks – April 15, 2005
Atlanta-area school district on verge of deal for 31,000 Apple iBooks – April 12, 2005
Cobb teachers voice concerns over using Macs for proposed laptop program – March 29, 2005
Cobb County Georgia meeting discusses plan to equip schools with 63,000 Apple iBooks – February 24, 2005
Report: 90 percent of emails opposed to Georgia’s Apple iBook program – February 10, 2005
65,000 Apple iBooks for Georgia schools one of the largest school laptop programs in the country – February 10, 2005
Georgia school district to propose 63,000 Macs for students and teachers – February 07, 2005


  1. Well, fair enough, the guy felt that Apple would be the best overall option, even if on the face of thing they weren’t the cheapest.

    However, that doesn’t make up for the fact that he tried to cover this up. If he’d been open and honest, then fair enough.

  2. Yeah, if the guy lied, that is wrong. Choosing Apple by deceiving the public, lying to the school board, and using backdoor deals is not the way a Superintendent should run his position. While it’s a shame the program is stopped, the guy deserves to be punished.

  3. BUT… the fact that Apple is tied to this fiasco will reflect badly on them. and it seems that the press makes sure that the name of the computer company (ie: Apple) is put boldly forward in every article. if the computers were from a pc maker i dont think that would have happened.

    paranoid, perhaps? mebbe just a little.

  4. Students don’t need laptops with iLife on them. They need solid updated computer labs where they can be supervised. They need this time to be marked out for learning valuable computer skills, not downloading custom icons and messing around with iTunes for hours on end. There’s no reason in the world for this huge waste of money, Apple or not. I’ll buy my children the computer I want them to have, and will keep moving them away from any school that tries to force some laptop on them. Look at the Kutztown 13. Who needs that sort of nonsense in their lives?
    Teaching children that the internet is a valuable researrch tool is one thing, but having them tethered to wireless networks with laptops is silly. They could combine that 900 dollars a child into say, a g5 tower for every three kids and then cut that in half because most of the students will stagger the use of the labs by class schedule. Since they won’t be screwing around day after day with these machines there’s a good chance they will value the time they have to use the machines and get more done on them….
    I’m no expert though.

  5. I have to agree with Tom Strong that whatever the laptop is costing could probably be better spent elsewhere in a school system. Training, books, supplies… Time and again, technology has been shown to not “magically” improve education.

  6. MDN, are you defending the actions of someone that misleads, misrepresents, lies and deceives? Apple is that valuable to you to sacrifice moral judgment? He deserves a medal for that? I suppose you’re republicans, too, then, so there’s no talking sense to you…

    We all have rules and guidelines we have to follow. If it were a private school that he were in charge of he might have the ability to enforce a personal mandate, but that’s not the case.

    We all know OS X is better than windows and the laptops are better for anyone, but get off your fscking soapbox and encouraging people to lie, cheat and steal for your bread & butter!

  7. No computers in schools.
    Teach children to read a real book and write using pencil, pen and paper. No book reports or papers done using computers. Everything done by hand by the student.
    Draw with paints and crayons, not pixels.

  8. You idiots blindly believe what this reporter has written. If you’ve ever know anyone who’s been arrested you only read the cop’s version in the patpers. It’s total BS. There are always two sides to every story. Don’t believe this crap. This reeks of MS-Dell people making sure this deal didn’t go through. I guarantee something very slimey went on to kill the Apple deal!

  9. Yeah, let the lynch mob rule. The Superintendent did the job and selected the best platform for TCO and is getting fried by the losers. IF DELL and company want to win school contracts, they have to compete on more than just lowest price. Let’s talk about viruses, hardware failures, service and support, durability….. need I go on?

    The COBB County judiciary is acting like a bunch of backwoods rednecks who didn’t get enough schooling to begin with….. Maybe they should go back to running moonshine, and leave the technological decisions to those who understand the marketplace.

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