Interview with LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy on pausing the $1 billion iPad program

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The iPad program at LAUSD has been halted following criticism of the bidding process.

The LAUSD’s iPad project has been criticized since the beginning: students could hack them, there wasn’t ample Wifi technology in the classrooms, and teachers didn’t have proper training.

But it’s only now, after reports that school district officials were a little too cozy with Apple and Pearson in the bidding process for the $1 billion project, that LAUSD is pausing the program. ($61 million has been spent so far.)

Deasy spoke with Press Play’s Madeleine Brand and responded to criticism. “When you do something like this you build in pauses to assess how it is going. There are ways you can listen to the critics to make it better for students,” he said.[soundcloud id=’164887100′]

While reports suggest that the contract process inappropriately favored Apple and Pearson, Deasy disagreed. “It wasn’t inappropriate, I’d be very clear about that,” he said, adding that he meets with vendors all the time in order to be “aware of the best products on the market for students.”

“I actually think this is an opportunity to make the next bidding process as transparent as absolutely possible.”

More: KPCC has this timeline of emails exchanged before the bidding.