LAUSD’s iPad gimmick

LAUSD’s iPad gimmick

Back in 1972-73, my senior year, I took a humanities class from a great teacher at Wayne Memorial High School, my public school in Wayne, Mich. An Italian immigrant whose family had suffered under Mussolini’s fascists, he instilled in me a great love of literature, art and the other humanities.

iPad 3 - wikimediaAlthough generally a liberal, this was before the Political Correctness plague. So he didn’t turn every piece of literature or work of art into a Marxist morality tale against “dead white males.” And he didn’t hate me because I was a young conservative. He engaged me in intelligent discussions.

I remember him disdaining even the multimedia of his day, including mimeographs and overhead projectors. “All I need is a blackboard and chalk,” he said, using a piece of chalk to point at the blackboard. We also had a Humanities book that had pictures, poems, etc.

He was right. After his lectures, which always involved a lot of involvement with students, I would go out and check what he talked about, using encyclopedias, books and records.

Too bad he’s not in charge of the Los Angeles Unified School District. It is going to provide iPads to all its 640,000 students by the end of 2014. Reported, “The board will use the $30 million in tax money to fund the first 31,000 devices but will look for additional funding in order to secure the remaining tablets.”

That means voters passed the Proposition 30 $7 billion tax increase to give kids iPads.

It’s just a gimmick. The real problem is the state’s rotten curriculum the LAUSD must follow, now made worse by the adoption of the dumbed-down federal Common Core standards, themselves another gimmick; and the lack of good teachers.

Good teachers

No doubt there are many good teachers in the LAUSD, the equivalent of my Michigan teacher four decades ago. But there are just way too few of them. And despite some challenges from charter schools, and the new “parent trigger” law, there just isn’t enough incentive in the closed government system to make things as great as they ought to be. It’s like forcing everyone to buy a Yugo.

The iPads themselves might allow the kids to break out of the system and find Web sites that teach something original and good. But even if the LAUSD puts restrictions on what the kids can see, no doubt many kids also will find ways to “jailbreak” the restrictions and gain access to pornography, racist sites and other things I don’t want my tax money supporting.

And if the kids can find out things on their own on the iPad, then why not just get rid of the school as an expensive appendage to real learning?

Let’s list the recent gimmicks: “Whole Word” reading, the “New New Math,” President George H.S. Bush’s “Goals 2000″ scheme (signed into law by President Bill Clinton), President George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” scheme, President Barack Obama’s “Race to the Top” scheme, Common Core, an iPad in every youthful hand.

All are gimmicks. All don’t work. All never could work.

The only thing that works is pulling your kids out of these gimmicky schools and using private, parochial or home schools.


Write a comment
  1. Let It Collapse
    Let It Collapse 27 July, 2013, 13:46

    I wonder how much in ‘campaign contributions’ from Apple that it took to load up LAUSD with ipads? 640,000 or them? Wow.

    And think about the IT services that will be required for maintenance and repairs, especially in the hands of unruly kids who can’t be trusted with a cheap $10 calculator?

    Another taxpayer disaster waiting to happen.

    Kids attending high school back in the 60’s w/o all this hi-tech nonsense were smarter than the ones attending today.

    It’s got nothing to do with ipads.

    This is all about the corporate-government connection.

    Let it all collapse. Let’s go back to ground zero. We need a starting point.

    Reply this comment
  2. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 27 July, 2013, 14:42

    It’s like forcing everyone to buy a Yugo.
    So true!

    Reply this comment
  3. Scott
    Scott 27 July, 2013, 14:53

    I think that school should center on reading, writing, and arithmetic. Science is more reading and arithmetic. History is more reading and writing. If the kids get the basic tools and are taught independent thought, how to conduct research (doing history reports for example) they will be able to do and learn anything they want. If the kids can’t write a report they are not employable beyond burger flipping.

    Reply this comment
  4. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 28 July, 2013, 09:42

    My total comes to $4.78.

    I offer the cashier $5.03, and am met with a dull stare.

    Reply this comment
  5. Let It Collapse
    Let It Collapse 28 July, 2013, 12:33

    I did fine with a piece of lined white paper and a #2 pencil. I actually had to think about how to solve a mathematical equation or what grammar or spelling to use in an essay. A computer didn’t spit it out for me. Consequently, I bet at the respective age levels I could have outperformed 90% of the students at LAUSD today with a stupid piece of lined white paper and a #2 pencil.

    Besides that, nobody is taught critical thinking skills in school today either…in grade school, high school or even college. That too has gone by the wayside. That’s why you don’t see any pushback from the younger generation over all the criminality and theft going on at the elite levels. And the younger generations will suffer the most from it.

    Apple got a sweet deal from the government here. But certainly paid a price for it. Nothing in this world is free.

    It’s the government-corporate connection.

    Reply this comment
  6. admin
    admin 31 July, 2013, 16:35

    The Catholic Diocese in Sacramento has also bought into this iPad nonsense, much to the chagrin of angry parents already paying $10,000 a year per student, per year. At least the tacpayers are not paying for this, and parents can fight the school. The public has little recourse.


    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Tags assigned to this article:
EducationJohn SeilerLAUSDiPad

Related Articles

Good News, We Think…

Anthony Pignataro: We’re kinda torn on whether to celebrate this one: “The California Parole Apprehension Team (CPAT) — created as

Groan: L.A. Times film critic accepts as given that fracking is evil

Dec. 28, 2012 By Chris Reed The question I posed in my Wednesday piece about fracking and California has already

CA “community solar” fight looms on subsidy issue

Hawaii’s boom in residential solar power is inspiring advocates of the alternative energy resource to push hard in states across