Letters: iPads won’t cure what ails LAUSD
Re “Giving Apples to students,” Aug. 28
As W.C. Fields said, “Never give a sucker an even break.” Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. John Deasy and his friends at Apple are taking the working-class parents of Los Angeles for suckers by pushing the nonsense that giving every student an iPad will improve education.
I have been a math professor for 29 years, and I can assure readers that the things children need to succeed in college are these: good study skills, the ability to write, competence in basic arithmetic and mastery of Algebra I and II.
I ask: Will giving iPads to children help with these?
While one could applaud L.A. Unified for forward-thinking sensibilities, spending $1 billion to equip every student with an Apple iPad with limited software and without adequate teacher training is hard to reconcile in this otherwise underfunded district, where school library budgets have been slashed relentlessly.
As libraries wither and the inventories of books (that have already been paid for) languish, will these iPad-using students be instilled with a capacity for reading that can be so uniquely fostered by a real-life, devoted librarian?
The story of how L.A. Unified found the money to buy thousands of Apple iPads is one of biblical proportions. By deceiving those who voted for the bond measure to repair schools and practically misrepresenting the plan to the bond watchdog committee, district officials found the money.
This, when most elementary schools have no librarians, many schools have part-time nurses and all but a few adult schools have been closed. All that is missing from the story of the tablets is the burning bush.
Just how many great teachers could be hired and retained with $1 billion?
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