Re "iPad plan doesn't compute," Editorial, Sept. 27
In addition to the concerns cited in your editorial regarding the Los Angeles Unified School District's attempt to provide an expensive iPad to every student, there's one other inevitable, insurmountable problem that the district apparently overlooked: obsolescence. Improvements in computer technology occur at breakneck speed; what's leading-edge today is tomorrow's doorstop.
Who's going to pay to replace the iPads that do survive for more than a few years? The same folks who ponied up the first billion — the taxpayers.
R. Douglas Collins
L.A. Unified School District (and all American) officials need to see what successful education programs do rather than going for the latest fads.
In her book "The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way," Amanda Ripley follows three American exchange students through a year at high schools in countries whose students lead the world and who turned their systems from bad to excellent in less than a generation: Finland, South Korea and Poland.
These programs have many of the same characteristics: Only the best get in to their schools of education; the necessity of getting a good education is understood; and the national standards are set high and all are expected to meet them. There are no computers or even calculators in the classrooms (much less iPads); the children are expected to use their brains.