Top L.A. Unified officials worked with Apple/Pearson before iPad deal

Aug 24, 2014 by

Senior Los Angeles school district officials, including Supt. John Deasy, had a close working relationship with Apple and Pearson executives before these companies won the key contract for a $1-billion effort to provide computers to every student in the nation’s second-largest school system, records released by the L.A. school district show.

The first deal, approved in June 2013 by the Board of Education, was intended as the initial step in a speedy districtwide expansion. Under it, all students, teachers and principals were to receive iPads from Apple that would be loaded with curriculum developed by Pearson. A year later, after pressure from critics and problems with the roll out, the timetable for the project was extended; other curricula and other devices also are being tried out at schools.

Deasy recused himself from the initial bidding process because he owned Apple stock, but the records indicate that he and other district officials had developed ties with the potential to benefit the firms.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office has reviewed a report by the district’s inspector general and found that there was no criminal wrongdoing in the bidding process.

No evidence has emerged from the records that Deasy tried to steer the results once the process began. But in the period leading up to the bidding, the district and corporate executives collaborated closely.

According to the documents, Pearson appeared to be directly involved with Deputy Supt. Jaime Aquino in developing L.A. Unified’s five-year technology plan, which was approved by the Board of Education in May 2012.

via Top L.A. Unified officials worked with Apple/Pearson before iPad deal – LA Times.

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