L.A. school officials barred from access to curriculum for iPads
Bianca Gomez, left, Humberto Salazar and Doroteo Cruz are happy to receive iPads at Theodore Roosevelt High School, as part of the first phase of L.A. Unified's iPad rollout. The district approved Tuesday the next phase of the plan, which includes distributing iPads to students at 38 more schools.(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles school officials have failed for now in their efforts to get full access to a digital curriculum that the school system purchased in June.
The curriculum, developed by Pearson for use on district iPads, is off-limits because Pearson is likely to bid on a separate contract with the L.A. Unified School District, and district rules limit contact between a bidder and the district.
Some of the curriculum is available for use on the devices, but officials have wanted to see all of it.
The issue came up at a Thursday meeting of the district’s technology committee, headed by school board member Monica Ratliff. She has attempted to get access to the curriculum for months.
“It just seems outrageous that we would be unable to see the curriculum no matter how hard we try,” Ratliff said. “It just seems that something is wrong.”
A so-called Cone of Silence limits communications during the competition for a contract “to ensure a level playing field with an open and competitive process,” according to district documents. The new competition is to decide which vendors will provide devices and instructional materials for laptops. That bidding process begins Friday.
As of Friday morning, Ratliff will be unable to contact Pearson — or even speak publicly about the