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Four L.A. schools decline iPads in initial rollout

October 14, 2013|By Howard Blume
  • Students at Roosevelt High School use new iPads before a security breach resulted in orders to turn them in. Four other schools have postponed receiving the devices.
Students at Roosevelt High School use new iPads before a security breach… (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles…)

Four Los Angeles schools, scheduled to receive iPads in this first rollout of the tablets, have pulled out of the initial phase, saying they want to wait at least until security and other issues are resolved.

The rejection apparently is temporary — the schools still want the tablet computers — but their stance underscores ongoing problems faced by the L.A. Unified School District as it attempts to provide every student with a tablet over the next year.

Opting out of the early start are Palms and Webster middle schools on the Westside, Muir Middle in Vermont-Slauson, and Revere Middle School in Pacific Palisades.

“The principals are very excited about their future deployments,” said district spokeswoman Shannon Haber. But, she said, “they wanted to wait until the minor security issues and parental issues are ironed out.”

Some notable problems have emerged in the $1-billion initiative to provide iPads to every student in the nation's second-largest school system. At three high schools, more than 300 students deleted security filters and browsed unauthorized websites. That problem resulted in the tablets being turned in by all students at those three campuses; at others, the devices are being used only at school. There also has been confusion over such issues as whether parents are liable for the iPads if they are lost or broken.

Separately, a state legislator Monday called for an oversight hearing to review the  project, which is funded by school-construction bonds.

“I don’t believe the right steps have been taken to ensure proper execution and smooth operation of this project,” said Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills) in a letter requesting the hearing. “It is essential that complications are corrected before more devices are distributed.”


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