Common Core

LA Schools: Millions for iPads, But Not One Cent for Math Textbooks


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Remember when Los Angeles Unified Schools spent $1 billion trying to buy iPads for every kid in the district—and then, when that became a fiasco, considered even more expensive options?

Well, Steve Lopez of the Los Angeles Times reported this week that some LA schools don't even have math textbooks for all grades:

With the conversion to Common Core standards, L.A. Unified purchased new math books for eighth grade, but not for sixth or seventh. The reason was lack of funding.

"We're left to fend for ourselves," said Kravets, who, like other math teachers has scoured the Internet for materials and made copies for students.

"We're chained to the copy machines," said Larry Rubin, another Palms Middle School math teacher. Rubin said he spends more than an hour on lesson plans in the evening and as much as 45 minutes at the copy machine the next day.

Talk about putting the cart before the horse. Superintendent John Deasy had money to burn on boondoggle after boondoggle, but couldn't be bothered to make sure that the classrooms he oversees are minimally equipped for basic instruction? Lopez takes him to task for this and other mistakes, including a failed tracking system that caused some students to never receive class assignments:

And by the way, what's L.A. Unified Supt. John Deasy doing on a tour of South Korea when he should be on a tour of Jefferson with a clipboard and a bullhorn, directing student traffic while a fix is made, and finally taking the blame for rolling out the ill-fated system despite warnings that it wasn't ready?

Deasy just announced his retirement; hopefully his successor will dare to dream a little smaller, albeit more competently.

Incidentally, the situation at Palms Middle School is an indictment of Common Core as well. The new standards rearrange the levels at which students learn certain concepts, and the approach requires entirely new teaching methods and materials. It's not possible to half-and-half it between the old way and the Common Core way: This will generate both gaps and overlaps in a child's education—as well as massive confusion. I would like to see the kids put through that experience try to pass one of the rigorous Core-required standardized tests.

Schools have to be fully Core-aligned, or stick with what they already got. But given the significant cost of being Core-aligned, this reality can be a major problem, as Palms Middle School's case illustrates. Of course, it's possible for administrators to navigate such difficulties with more finesse than Deasy evidently did.

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  1. They need to appoint a math book czar

    1. It should be a Kaiser; Germans had better mathematicians.

      1. Teacher, my dog ate my intertubez.

      2. I like the way you think

      3. But imagine the fuhrer that would cause

  2. LA Schools: Millions for iPads, But Not One Cent for Math Textbooks

    “All the math stuffs you want is online, OK? We don’t need no stinkin’ textbooks.”

    1. Teacher, my dog ate my intertubez.


      1. “The dog pissed on my e-homework.”

  3. the classrooms he overseas

    Might want to invest in dictionaries, too.

    1. Ya got me

  4. Don’t you understand computers make kids smarter? And iPads are better than computers, just like smartboards and whiteboards are better than chalkboards–at least until some idiot writes on the former with a permanent marker or some other idiot uses a harsh detergent to strip the teflon off the latter. So what if books work without batteries and chalkboards can be cleaned with a damp rag. Better!

    Why do you hate children?!

  5. The new standards rearrange the levels at which students learn certain concepts, and the approach requires entirely new teaching methods and materials.

    Common Core’s main purpose is to require new materials.

    Education fads have always and only been scams to sell stuff.

    1. …Including more and better administrators!

  6. 45 minutes at the copy machine the next day

    I bet books would be cheaper than paying for all that copy paper.

    1. Separate budgets. If it doesn’t come out of my budget, I don’t care.

      1. What do you want to bet the iPads and the Textbooks come from different budgets?

        1. And the Ipads don’t come out of administration salary budgets ?

  7. They used Common Core to calculate the number of textbooks needed.

    1. Like the Superdome, with less rape.

      1. Correct me f I’m wrong, but didn’t the tales of lawlessness in the Superdome turn out to be pigswill?

        1. Mainly so.

          But this is an Onion article.

          Not sure if Rich is a idiot or just trying to start shit.

          1. Neither. He’s sharing a humorous Onion article.

          2. Rich is the idiot?

    2. That would be a way to keep opposing fans out.

  8. Honestly, is there any massive government program where the most logical and likely explanation for all of the weird incompetence, waste, everything isn’t politicians stealing money to benefit themselves and their friends?

    When does this scam fucking end?

    1. I can name a few historical counterexamples, but I like your general point so much that I will refrain from doing so.

    2. While politicians, as a class, do tend to be kleptomaniacle thenshortage of funds has a much more fundamental explanation; systemic incompetence. This seems particularly true of the public school,systems, which will surprise nobody familliar with the abysmal mean quality of ed school graduates.

    3. When does this scam fucking end?

      Not before the Nat’l Guard is called in to put us down.

    4. When does this scam fucking end?

      Cleansing flames?

  9. Central planning leads to waste and shortages? Well I’ll be damned.

  10. It’s not possible to half-and-half it between the old way and the Common Core way: This will generate both gaps and overlaps in a child’s education?as well as massive confusion.

    Which means that it will be impossible to go back to the normal time-tested way (hardly the “old” way) after we’ve converted everything to Common Core.

    The leftist ratchet strategy: ram through as much leftist ideology and structure into the system while you have control, and by the time order is restored and the leftists are drubbed out of power, it’s extremely difficult to root out the shit they put in. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, etc.

  11. Please place “de-LAUSD” jokes below the fold!

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  12. Stories like this just make me want to get a piece before it’s all gone.

    1. I see you get it.

      Like rats on a sinking ship.

      It’s going down! Grab everything you can !

  13. Here, here’s the only math textbook you need for L.A. public schools:

    Yesenia’s period is three weeks late. Last month, she had sex with Alejandro, Roberto, Tequan, Felipe, and Nestor, in that order. Yesenia, 16, already has two children, Rosa, aged 9 months, and Ilario, aged 2 years. Last month, Yesenia’s mother gave her $71 to buy birth control, but Yesenia bought herself a new set of acrylic nails with decals on them instead. Yesenia already spent $500 last year buying herself faked immigration documents so she could sign up for welfare, food stamps, and Medicaid for her other two kids. In eight more months, she will sign up the third child for more welfare handouts.

    1. Who is the father of Yesenia’s baby?
    2. How much money will it cost to have this baby? Answer: $0, the taxpayers of the state of CA will graciously pick up the tab for her.
    3. How many more years until Yesenia figures out how birth control works and takes responsibility for her own fertility and choices? Answer: 35.
    4. When will Yesenia’s daughters start getting knocked up? Answer: Age 14, like they all do.

    1. that was pure fucking poetry

    2. You are a ver bad man. i like you.

    3. Birth control doesn’t cost 71$ a month.

      A first or second generation, 23 year old Mexican guy is a lot like a 40 year old white guy. He wants a wife and a family. He is willing to forego the pleasures of a wantom college lifestyle ( since it is out of his finalcial reach) to get it. He is happy to be a paint and body man at 21 and for the rest of his life if he can have a family of his own and a house of his own for them to live in.

      You have them confused with the TV black culture.

      1. Hey, I went to Wantom College, and it was great!

        Actually, Hispanic culture in the US is just about in the middle of white and black culture, by many measures: poverty, crime, single motherhood, etc.

        1. Hispanics are like the soup that Goldilocks ate.

  14. Isn’t photocopying all that material copyright infringement?

    1. Put your hands up and step away from the fucking Xerox!

      Don’t tase me, bro! AAAAAAIIIIEEEEEGGGGGHH

      Stop resisting!

  15. The obvious solution is that the LAUSD needs more funding.

  16. I don’t know the details of this, but I am not going to dismiss the iPads out of hand. There are vast amounts of educational materials available online for free, so an iPad can replace textbooks. And while iPads aren’t cheap, neither are textbooks. I don’t know where the break-even point is, but I suspect that if an iPad could replace all textbooks for for 2-3 years, they might come out ahead. So this may have been a good idea gone wrong.

    1. There you go pimping Apple again.

      Even if we assumed the disorganized mess of free online crud could replace carefully designed and written textbooks (which it can’t), there’s nothing an iPad can do that an Android tablet that costs half as much can’t.

      1. I wouldn’t call the Khan Academy “online crud,” and there’s lots more. I’m sure a school district has the resources to organize it.

        Cost aside, iPads are pretty inarguably the best, but just as public school cafeterias don’t need to have gourmet food, I’ll agree that they could probably get by with cheap tablets.

    2. IPads are also the least cheap solution in the tablet world and it speaks volumes that this is what the admins tried to buy.

  17. “Anybody who doesn’t know what’s wrong with America’s educational system never screwed an el-ed major”

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