LAUSD Demands Refund from Apple and Pearson

June 16, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. compensation / ˌkɑmpənˈseɪʃən / (n.) – something given in return for a bad product or experience, usually money
Example: The customer demands compensation from the shop for her damaged phone.

2. privilege / ˈprɪvlɪʤ / (n.) – a benefit that some people get but others don’t
Example: Rich people have the privilege to go to private schools.

3initially / ˌɪˈnɪʃəli / (adv.) – at first
Example: The principal initially wanted to ban all gadgets in school, but he eventually changed his mind.

4. curriculum / kəˈrɪkjələm / (n.) – a list of subjects or classes offered by a school
Example: Basic computer classes are included in the school’s curriculum.

5. bypass / ˈbaɪˌpæs / (v.) – to find a way around something
Example: A student was able to bypass the school’s security system.


Read the text below.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) demands that Apple and Pearson provide compensation for their failed iPad-based education project.

The LAUSD’s project with Apple and Pearson, an education firm, includes providing iPads to students, teachers, and administrators in 47 public schools in Los Angeles, California. This project started in 2013 with the aim of providing poor students with the privilege of using gadgets for educational purposes, which many wealthy students already enjoy.

The school district initially bought 43,261 iPads with the Pearson curriculum for math and English. The LAUSD also purchased an additional 77,000 iPads to be used in standardized tests. In total, the LAUSD spent at least $500 million for both the iPads and the Pearson curriculum, plus an extra $800 million for the improvement of Internet access in the schools.

To make sure that the iPads will be used only for schoolwork, restrictions were set in the devices. However, students were able to hack the iPads, bypassing the set restrictions. Aside from that, the LAUSD also found flaws in the computer-based curriculum in the purchased devices. The curriculum was incomplete, as it had no available online tests and evaluation tools. Pearson’s curriculum also had technical problems. 

The LAUSD is now looking into the possibility of taking legal actions against Apple and Pearson. For now, the students and teachers are using other resources because of the project’s problems. The LAUSD is also reportedly planning to look for other software and devices, but this news is yet to be confirmed.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think the LAUSD should sue Apple and Pearson? Why or why not?
·         In your opinion, how can this issue affect the sales of Apple iPads and the Pearson curriculum?

Discussion B

·         How important are gadgets in school?
·         Do you think schools in your country will become more technologically advanced in the coming years? Why?

June 16, 2015