In 2013, the schools were to equip each of its roughly 650,000 students with an iPad in one of the largest educational technology projects of its kind in the United States.
The entire deal was constructed by John Deasy, a Superintendent at the nation’s second-largest school district. He resigned in October amid criticism that he “favoured” Apple and Pearson for the project over better and cheaper technology.
A KPCC investigation found Deasy and his deputies communicated with Pearson employees over pricing, teacher training and technical support — specifications that later resembled the district’s request for proposals from vendors. Pearson and Apple emerged as the winning bidders and were awarded the now-abandoned contract in June 2013.
The FBI is investigating the project, and agents in December seized 20 boxes of documents relating to the program’s purchasing process from the district’s headquarters.
The problem was that the technology was not up to the job and the built-in curriculum was often incomplete.
The Los Angeles Times said the LAUSD’s Board of Education in a closed-door meeting on Tuesday authorized its attorneys to consider potential legal action against Apple and its channel partner Pearson.
“As you are aware, LAUSD is extremely dissatisfied with the work of Pearson,” the district’s general counsel, David Holmquist, said in a letter to Apple on Monday. “While Apple and Pearson promised a state-of-the-art technological solutio… they have yet to deliver it.”
Holmquist added that the district was severing ties with both companies for future services on the project, according to the Los Angeles Times.
However Pearson said that it was proud of its long history working with LAUSD and our significant investment in this ground-breaking initiative.