Los Angeles teachers union calls for investigation of school super Deasy’s ties to Apple, Pearson execs

“Los Angeles teachers union president Alex Caputo-Pearl on Monday called on the L.A. Board of Education to launch an investigation into Supt. John Deasy’s relationship with executives from companies that won key contracts related to the $1-billion effort to provide a computer to every student,” Stephen Ceasar reports for The Los Angeles Times. “”

“The Times reported Monday that Deasy and his chief deputy at the time, Jaime Aquino, appear to have been discussing the school system’s effort to supply students computers equipped with online curriculum with executives from tech giant Apple Inc. and education publisher Pearson at least two years before a bidding process was concluded and the contracts were approved, records show,” Ceasar reports. “The superintendent has said that there was nothing improper about the bidding process.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The LATU would prefer that their superintendents conduct business with potential vendors via ESP rather than email and phone calls?

The clusterfsck rolls along.

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  1. At the end of the article, it states that “The union also wants the district to revive the board’s technology committee to oversee the computer program.” If memory serves me correctly, those IT committee’s have a skewered point of view as they are inclined to experimenting with Dell and Lonovo products consistently. I don’t recall any investigations when majority of these deals are revealed after they go negative for the district.

  2. Jeez, how can mammals be so slow and still have respiratory functions?
    Of course they were having discussions, do these cretins imagine that people just go to a website and hand over millions of dollars with no discussion or investigation in to any possible pitfalls?
    I’d be demanding these people doing the enquiry be immediately removed from office.

    1. I think the point was that the discussions included educational content far before the bidding process was completed to determine what hardware device the content would be on. Makes it seem suspicious especially if Apple won and there were no other discussions with other vendors at the time.

  3. Imagine that, someone caring so much about about a project and making progress in education that they contacted the vendors involved.

    Can’t have people like that around.

    I guess these people want to buy computers like we’d buy pen and paper, without any concern about how it fits into an overall teaching strategy.

  4. Public bidding processes were devised to counter corruption like a government manager giving his brother-in-law a sweet contract with no bidding. This is a good thing.

    However, like everything government does, the rules are now so cumbersome that a government manager cannot consult with private individuals to devise the best solution to a problem. Furthermore, you have do-gooders like the teacher’s union using the rules to whack managers who are typically trying to do the right thing.

    The solution: don’t let government spend so much of our money and send you kids to a non-public school or teach them at home.

    1. It is inaccurate to characterize this teacher’s union as “do-gooders”. Their report appears to be politically-motivated character assassination. Deasy is taking power away from the teacher’s union and putting it, instead, in the hands of private enterprise. Presumably, Apple and Pearson. Sounds quite reasonable to me.

      1. TomH, I was trying to be diplomatic when I termed the teacher’s union as a bunch of do-gooders. I suspect that the union’s motivation in this case is far from pure.

  5. All tax payer funded projects need to be subjected to a transparent RFP. This is not defensible. Apple is not immune to the rules and frankly taxpayers who flip the bill will benefit from cahoots type deals like this one.

  6. Um…where were the unions when Microshaft were tying schools into non -cancelable software agreements? Where we’re the unions when Dell when they supplied sub-standard hardware, then overcharged education bodies for support and who then extracted compensation to the tune of $millions for ‘re-negociation’?
    Poor kids.

  7. Headline – LA Union requests investigation. Text – PRESIDENT of Union requests investigation. Which one is it? Two entirely different ideas. I agree with all that question any idea wherein a procurement can move forward without dialog with potential vendors well in advance of the procurement. I have a ton of experience in a different business with that – buying R and D. If anything, the dialog is more essential before buying near-off the shelf products. Never see comments about the disasters that occur if the government folks procure without such due diligence. Naive alas.

    1. I suppose the discrepancy you indicate depends on whether you think the President of the Union was speaking on behalf of the union after some meeting or speaking with his power but acting independently.

  8. If he has a questionable relationship (i.e.- getting perks for going with that vendor) then he should be investigated. That said, would they rather be using Chromebooks or Win tablaptops?

  9. Giving iPads or any other computer to students is stupid. The kids will just damage them or hack them and use them to get to websites where they should not be going. Then some clever lawyer will sue the school district because the student was molested by somebody he met on while cruising a wack-job site using the school supplied device.

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