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  • LAUSD Demanding a Multimillion Dollar Refund from Apple for Failed iPad Program


    The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) he demanded a multimillion dollar refund from Apple this past week, following a failed iPad program that was originally set to give more than 640,000 students a tablet for education. As of right now, it’s been thought that the Board of Education is exploring the possibility of litigation against Apple as it looks to get the money it has lost in the scheme. The news surfaced as general counsel, David Holmquist, issued a letter to Apple stating that the LAUSD “will not accept or compensate Apple for new deliveries of [Pearson] curriculum,” or any further services provided by Pearson, the partner that was to provide the educational materials. Holmquist added that the superintendent, Ramon C. Cortines, has ‘made the decision that he wanted to put them on notice, Pearson in particular, that he’s dissatisfied with their product.”

    For those of you who didn’t know about the program, it was originally announced in July of 2013 and was set up to improve education and provide children with new technology skills by giving each one an iPad. The scheme was to persuade other educational institutions to follow suit. At the time, the LAUSD estimated that $500 million would be paid to Apple for the iPads plus another $800 million to upgrade the wireless network infrastructures found in the schools, all of which would allow students to connect to pre-approved sites and content to help them learn. After the inquisition of 43,261 devices at a cost of $768 each (which included a $200 license for curriculum software provided by Pearson), the program collapsed and red flags went off. Much of the curriculum wasn’t available after several months of the program’s launch and students ended up learning how to hack the iPad to access whatever they wanted online. Furthermore, to top everything off, many of the devices ended up going missing.

    The whole situation has ended up in shambles with the FBI now investigating everything to figure out whether the program was rigged from the start. The LA Times is reporting that the SEC has even opened up an informal inquiry into the case this past week. The reason the issue is becoming so big is because the price that the LAUSD ended up paying for each iPad is one that is significantly more expensive than the cost of alternatives from Microsoft and Google. Furthermore, John Deasy, the person who acted as the superintendent at the time the program was signed off was also an Apple shareholder, which creates suspicion surrounding the intentions at the time.

    We’ll have to wait and see what happens but one thing that is for sure is that the turnout may be a major blow to Apple’s initiative in the education sector.

    Source: LA Times
    This article was originally published in forum thread: LAUSD Demanding a Multimillion Dollar Refund from Apple for Failed iPad Program started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      Can someone help clear this up for me. LAUSD is trying to sue Apple because they made a bad business decision and Apple happened to be the company they bought from? Surly there's more to it than that.
    1. holyshnikes's Avatar
      holyshnikes -
      It's not apples fault that the kids were stealing and having the iPads. I've talked about this before. The school is resonant for the equipment one purchased. How would it be apples fault if someone stole my iPad? Furthermore, the network vulnerabilities are also on the schools network administrators. They should know who is doing what on their network and not the other way around.
    1. exNavy's Avatar
      exNavy -
      If all the facts are here then it appears they should be going after Pearson who failed to have the materials ready on time for the school season. But since pearson may not have as much loose cash lying around in the bank as apple does it's obvious who you go after at this point especially since apple is always in the headlines and not this pearson company who I never hear a whisper about.
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpidermanAPV View Post
      Can someone help clear this up for me. LAUSD is trying to sue Apple because they made a bad business decision and Apple happened to be the company they bought from? Surly there's more to it than that.
      Off the bat, I can think of many reasons that Apple have contributed to the problem.
      The person who signed off on it was an Apple shareholder so it could be a case of insider trading.
      Apple very well may have misrepresented the readiness and suitability of the program.
      Apple may have misrepresented the possibility of students hacking the iPads and the effect it has on the total cost of the program.

      It all depends on what Apple said/promised to get them to agree to pay so much more money. It sounds like it didn't live up to Apple's promises and the LAUSD didn't get what they paid for.
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      I believe the downfall was that the school let the kids take the iPads home. Seems that is when all of the negativity took place. Harder to get malicious with properly when you are under the supervision of a teacher or camera. Hopefully they have learned something here.
    1. nakedcrook's Avatar
      nakedcrook -
      iPads for education? Really? That is a rookie mistake on the part of the schools. Was there any consultation ith anyone who knew anything about modern technology? iPads are not productivity devices...they are toys! If you want tablets for learning - go with a Windows tablet solution. For starters, they are much easier to control and manage when it comes to device and setting restrictions. Put those tablets on a domain, implement strict user policy settings, configure just about every aspect of the OS that you need to to ensure that no malware infects the tablet, have strict health policies in place, use restriction policies...I could go on FOREVER! ALso, be sure t hold the students financially accountable for lost or damaged products if the product is taken off of school grounds or used for purposes other than work.

      The best part of having a Windows tablet solution is that there is NOTHING on their app store worth downloading, so it is for business/education use only. No Candy Crush or Farmville or Flappy Bird or Fruit Ninja or whatever. Give students access to Microsoft productivity software, like Word and Excel, and teach them the fundamentals of real enterprise level software, sof they are actually competent with such software and hardware when they enter post secondary / the work force.

      saying an iPad is for work/education is like saying a triple chocolate cake is for a low carb diet. You want productivity? Use a device intended for productivity - use a Windows device.

      Normally I am an Android guy myself, but in this case - Windows Tablets ARE the best solution.
    1. severe's Avatar
      severe -
      Quote Originally Posted by CZroe View Post
      The person who signed off on it was an Apple shareholder so it could be a case of insider trading.
      Insider trading? It's a conflict of interest, at best.
    1. filabeaner's Avatar
      filabeaner -
      I work for a school district in Texas that is also trying to put iPads in the hands of every student. I can't wait until they (once again) follow LAUSD and scrap the program. It's a mess trying to teach these kids anything when all they want to do is play on the iPad that the school district gave them. Ridiculous!

      nakedcrook makes many good points in his post. iPads are for entertainment, not productivity.

      However, putting these things in the hands of every student is a genius initiative by Apple. If I'm a kid that's been using an iPad for many years at school from elementary forward, and now the time has come for my parents to get me my first very own cell phone... what do I want??? That's right... I want something that I'm already familiar with and already know. I want an iPhone. It's genius marketing.
    1. holyshnikes's Avatar
      holyshnikes -
      Quote Originally Posted by nakedcrook View Post
      iPads for education? Really? That is a rookie mistake on the part of the schools. Was there any consultation ith anyone who knew anything about modern technology? iPads are not productivity devices...they are toys! If you want tablets for learning - go with a Windows tablet solution. For starters, they are much easier to control and manage when it comes to device and setting restrictions. Put those tablets on a domain, implement strict user policy settings, configure just about every aspect of the OS that you need to to ensure that no malware infects the tablet, have strict health policies in place, use restriction policies...I could go on FOREVER! ALso, be sure t hold the students financially accountable for lost or damaged products if the product is taken off of school grounds or used for purposes other than work.

      The best part of having a Windows tablet solution is that there is NOTHING on their app store worth downloading, so it is for business/education use only. No Candy Crush or Farmville or Flappy Bird or Fruit Ninja or whatever. Give students access to Microsoft productivity software, like Word and Excel, and teach them the fundamentals of real enterprise level software, sof they are actually competent with such software and hardware when they enter post secondary / the work force.

      saying an iPad is for work/education is like saying a triple chocolate cake is for a low carb diet. You want productivity? Use a device intended for productivity - use a Windows device.

      Normally I am an Android guy myself, but in this case - Windows Tablets ARE the best solution.
      It's all about implementation. We have both Windows tablets and iPads we use in our schoolAaron Qaeda system (I work for the school system in the technology department) and both have their advantages and disadvantages. The widows tablets have been way worse than the iPads have been. It's all about apps that work well with teaching being the front running of it, and the tablets being the tool to use. Windows tablets are horrible to manage, like mass deploying apps, cameras not working, battery issues like crazy, half or most of the apps won't load for users, yet they work for that same user on a different tablet... The list goes on and on.

      The problem is, industry hasn't caught up with Apple. The cloud is huge. Now that Microsoft has caught up with 365 it will make things easier. Now students. Now students can log into office and save stuff to their cloud drive on an iPad with ease.
    1. novadam's Avatar
      novadam -
      Quote Originally Posted by holyshnikes View Post
      Aaron Qaeda
      Is that Al's brother?

      Sorry.
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      Quote Originally Posted by severe View Post
      Insider trading? It's a conflict of interest, at best.
      Not if he used the knowledge to buy/sell shares at the right time. Buying shares just before the announcement of the huge, precedent-setting, contract win and selling them before word of issues gets out is a clear case of insider trading.

      Use your imagination.