Can Deasy survive the iPad scandal?

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Photo via Flickr by Sean MacEntee / Creative Commons

LA Unified Superintendent John Deasy has announced that his $1 billion plan to get iPads for every student is over and that he wants to solicit new bids for the future. This comes after emails obtained by news organizations revealed a cozy relationship between the LAUSD superintendent with Apple and Pearson, which produces educational software.

Can Deasy survive the scandal? Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute, Raphael Sonenshein told Warren on Which Way, LA? that Deasy’s been in tough spots before. “He’s a pretty tough cookie and I’m not sure what we’ve seen so far would be enough to knock him out,” Sonenshein said.

“This plan has survived all kinds of criticism and attacks for quite some time, but this story about a possible conflict of interest definitely seems to have thrown him for a loop at least for the short term, Sonenshein told Warren. However, he worries that this distracts from the real question: is the $1 billion plan to get iPads into all LAUSD schools actually good policy.

“This is going to reopen what should have happened in the first place — a wide open debate about this as a policy,” said Sonenshein. I would hate it in a way if this all came to whether there were improprieties instead of the bigger question of, is this the right thing to do with this sum of money?”

Below: John Deasy talked to Press Play’s Madeleine Brand about why he’s stopping the program