Educator behind $1.3 billion iPad deal should go to ‘teacher jail,’ says union

The superintendent behind the abandoned $1.3 billion school iPad deal should go to 'teacher jail,' says union.

The superintendent behind the abandoned $1.3 billion school iPad deal should go to “teacher jail,” says union.

Los Angeles teachers union president Alex Caputo-Pear has called for L.A. Schools chief John Deasy — the man who helped orchestrate the ill-fated $1.3 billion tech deal designed to give an iPad to every student — to report to “teacher jail” while the program is under investigation.

“Teacher jail” refers to district offices which house instructors who are facing allegations of misconduct.

In Deasy’s case, the alleged misconduct relates to apparent inappropriate dealings with Apple and education publisher Pearson that may have influenced the bidding process for the massive deal, which has now been abandoned. Deasy claims there was nothing inappropriate about his relationship with either company.

“[Deasy has] got to play by his own rules and when under investigation, he must report to teacher jail,” Alex Caputo-Pearl said on Wednesday. In the past, the L.A. teachers union has protested against “teacher jail” on the basis that teachers are routinely kept in the offices for longer than is necessary, and have sometimes been fired even after allegations have been proven untrue.

While the union says it’s working with the school board to end the practice of teacher jail, they think Deasy should live up to his own views and voluntarily admit himself.

“It is John Deasy’s ethical responsibility to live by his own rules and live by the policy that he champions and report to teacher jail immediately,” Caputo-Pearl said.

We haven’t heard the end of this story just yet.

  • lucascott

    Good. This should be looked into. The accusation is that this guy wanted the district to get iPads so badly that he customized the requirements of what was needed by the district so that only iPads would fit the bill. I can only guess because he’s got a fair bit of Apple stock or something. And perhaps the same with Pearson.

    Which is not cool. I love my iPad but I’ll be the first to say that it shouldn’t be the choice in this kind of way. All that nonsense with the MDM issues etc may have been because device security wasn’t properly addressed in the bidding and that adds to the uncool.

    I sincerely hope that the whole thing is thoroughly examined and while it is, this guy has no ability to control anything. Cut off his access and put him on leave as I suspect the union would require. And if he’s found guilty fire his ass and refuse to give him any kind of unemployment etc.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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